Spring 2016: February Session: Tropical Topics

Sat 30 Jan - Thu 25 Feb' 16

The tropical climate is unique in its own diverse way and it has a direct impact on the design of our built environment; thus ‘tropics’ as a topic is in the discussion of design, architecture and situated place making ever since the modernism and beyond.

A new generative theory of the “tropics” is needed to address its political, architectural, urban, botanical and health connotations. Beyond the image of a lush and exuberant landscape, the tropics is a geographic concept that needs a new measure for engagements.

The February Session focused on all of these elements. We had Soumitro Ghosh with us, he is a prominent Indian architect based in Bangalore with some award winning projects under his belt. He was followed by, Iliona Khalili, the master of alternative building methods and materials, who is carrying forward the mission of sustainable building techniques some of which were started by Nader Khalili. Our participants had the experience of working with her hands-on in a week long design-build workshop on making earth-based domes and emergency earthbag shelters. We had Professor Philip Goad, who is an authority figure on Australian architecture and tropical modernity. Professor Goad took the Session beyond South Asia, and connected the dots of the tropics of both North and South with discussions from Latin America, Africa, Australia and South and Southeast Asia. It gave us an overall picture and understanding of how architects all over the world innovatively addressed the issues of tropicality in their designs, with the insights for what we can do in the future.

Selected highlights from February 2016:

Design Studio with Soumitro Ghosh



Thoughts and Works: Soumitro Ghosh

Design Build Workshop with Iliona Khalili




iliona khalili workshop

Special lecture with Tarshito


Modernism & Tropics – Indian Subcontinent, South America and Africa: Workshop with Philip Goad





Public Lecture by Philip Goad – Poetry In Section: The Architecture of Glenn Murcutt