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Urbanization Seminar

Brinda Somaya, Architect and Urban Conservationist.

Chair: Rahul Mehrotra, Professor of Urban Design and Planning and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Whether it involves the restoration of a rural Indian village, the creation of a corporate campus, the rejuvenation of city monuments or the establishment of an academic institution, Brinda Somaya has successfully created a practice that covers the many faces of the Indian landscape. Her reputation has been built on her unique ability to find the appropriate way to build forms that belong. An overview of some of her completed works shows each project having its own original and unique architectural interpretation. This clarity of vision will be presented in a journey through her four decades of practice.
Brinda Somaya will share how she built her practice in India and will focus on the experiences and challenges she faced as she evolved into a leading South-Asian woman architect. Her works include the rehabilitation of an earthquake-devastated village, restoration of an ancient cathedral as well as twentieth century Louis Kahn buildings, creation of educational and information technology campuses, collaboration on the tallest residential tower in India and the conversion of massive garbage dumps into beautiful and usable community parks and plazas. Her talk will take her audience through the enormous changes that India has gone through since independence in 1947 and the challenges it continues to face today with a population of over 1.2 billion people catalyzing rapid urbanization. Her primary belief, that strongly underlies all her work, is the architect’s role is that of a guardian, he or she is the conscience of the built and unbuilt environment.

Co-sponsored with the India GSD