Built environment, knowledge, praxis: Postcolonial conversations between India and the UK

University College London, UK, 16 – 17 May 2014
This two-day symposium initiates a long-term critical and intellectual exchange between India and the UK focused on the knowledge, practice and discourse of the built environment.
As the first concrete event marking this dialogue, its aim is two-fold. On the one hand, it traverses not only the making and unmaking of the built environment in India and its related discourses, but also unpacks the disciplinary, communitarian and epistemological frameworks that enclose such production. On the other, it is interested in tracing some of the entanglements of these concerns with(in) the context of the built environment in the UK, either in terms of transcultural processes or related conceptual interests. The colonial past shared between Britain and India presents the potential of excavating some of these links and considering them under new terms of reference within the postcolonial context. This opens up the possibility of a two-way conversation along certain discursive themes, being fundamentally premised on the fact that the postcolonial condition warrants newer and more equal exchange of history, theory and practice of architectural and spatial thought.
The symposium is a collaboration between Dr. Tania Sengupta (UCL Bartlett), Dr. Jaideep Chatterjee (Shiv Nadar University, India) and Dr. Pushpa Arabindoo (UCL Geography). It is supported by a UCL Grand Challenges award and a Bartlett Architecture Research Fund award. The panelists from India and the UK include: Arunava Dasgupta (School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi), Andrew Harris (UCL, Geography), Ashok Lall (independent practioner and educationist, Delhi/ Mumbai), Himanshu Burte (Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai), Hussain Indorewala (Kamla Raheja Vidhyanidhi Institute for Architecture, Mumbai), Iain Jackson (University of Liverpool), Jonathan Hill (UCL Bartlett), Kaiwan Mehta (Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore), Megha Chand (Cardiff University/ UCL Bartlett) and Tatjana Schneider (Sheffield University).
Keynote Lecture
Dr. Swati Chattopadhyay, Professor, Dept. of Art History, University of California, Santa Barbara on 16 May at 6.30pm in the Gustave Tuck LT.

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