India is a mosaic of peoples, languages, religions and ancient traditions. It is a land of contrasts. A young republic with a modern, liberal economy, but also the land of the dazzling Taj Mahal, maharajas, Bollywood films, colorful saris, decorated elephants, sacred cows and countless stories that can make anyone dream away. And yet, in addition to this paradisiacal image, there is a contrasting and poignant poverty, a pungent stench, an omnipresent filth, an enormous pollution with an explosively growing population.
India, a country rich in culture, spirituality, optimism, hospitality and freedom, but materially poor. It is a country with a history, a swirling mass, a hectic dynamic, bright colors and smells, poignant poverty alongside distasteful wealth, a living past and an alienating future, traffic chaos and noise.
Not only because of India, but Asia as a whole and Europe versus Asia as a guideline, because of Westerners such as Le Corbusier (architectural-historical lecture Luc Deleu) and Louis Kahn (film show) who built in Asia. Le Corbusier’s pure modern blank sheet to create an architecture for India free from any colonial or western expression, opposite Louis Kahn’s historical source of inspiration to give monumentality a contemporary expression.
The Indian Bijou Jain ‘Studio Mumbai’ (lecture) who, after his western education, goes to work in his native country in a very personal and fascinating way and arouses great admiration in Europe. Against the contrasting East Indies, we get a rather ascetic stillness in Studio Mumbai’s craftwork. The Indian bureau Matharoo (lecture), which pushes the boundaries of building and architecture in a rather exuberant style within the field of architecture and design.