The Sushant Lecture Series (SLS) is regarded highly within the Architecture community and is slowly gaining character for its variety of discussions. Initiated in 2012, all the lectures organised are free and open to the public and usually enjoy large and enthusiastic audiences. Over the years a dedicated group of faculty and graduate students hosted lectures and readings to showcase the range of architectural, literary and engineering practices to keep the students and faculty informed about the market, innovations and products.
The SLS has most recently hosted Hafeez Contractor, renowned and leading architect in the country; Pradeep Sachdeva, architect of famous Dilli Haat; Sanjay Prakash, master in sustainable development; Revati Laul, leading journalist; Mr. Abhishek Somany, Managing director of Somany tiles; Didi Contractor, specialist in mud architecture; Priya Khanna, art passionate; Dikshu Kukreja, Christopher Muller, William O’’Brien, etc.. (others can be noted from the outlook report).
Platform Lecture Series (PLS), a unique project at Ansal University, was originally initiated by the SSAA in the academic year 2009-10. Within this project eminent leaders and thought provoking industry stalwarts come together to give insights on contemporary issues in various fields like Architecture, sports, politics, finance & economics, health & medicine, media & advertising etc. This provides a unique platform where students are encouraged to think rationally and imbibe qualities that would enable them to be global leaders. These Platform Lectures on various topics and interests are organised frequently, which sets an informal session between the speaker and students to rationalise the discussion.
Complete list of past speakers can be obtained here:
- Ar. Hafeez Contractor (Architect): Lecture
- Mr. Rajan Anandan (MD & VP, Google India): Lecture
- Ms. Priya Khanna (Artist): Lecture
- Ar. Dikshu Kukreja (Architect): Lecture
- Ar. Mohit Kumar (Founder of Archade): Workshop/Lecture
- Ar. Karthik Dondeti (Parametric Modeler): Lecture
- Prof. William O’Brien (MIT): Workshop
- Pavan Sukhdev (Special advisor and Head of UNEP
- Rajat Sharma (CEO, India TV)
- Vikram Bakshi (Chairman Ascot Hotels and Resorts Ltd.)
- Dr. Kiran Bedi (India’s First woman IPS Officer)
- Sanjeev Sanyal (Founder Sustainable Planet Institute)
- Matthias Pfeifer (Architect)
- Shriya Malhotra (Urban Researcher)
- Vijender Singh (Boxer)
- Somnath Ray (Architect)
- Mario Botta (Architect)
- Micheal Danino (Historian, Conservationist& Writer)
- Danny Lane (Renowned Glass Sculptor & Furniture Artist)
- Amitabh Kant (CEO and MD DMICDC)
- Ms. Lata Krishnamurty (Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India)
- Sh. Sunil Kant Munjal (Chairman of Hero MotoCorp)
- Mr. Raj Jain (President, Wal-Mart India & MD & CEO, Bharti Wal-Mart Pvt. Ltd)
- Dr. H.K Chopra, Chief Cardiologist at Moolchand Medicity)
- Mr. Atul Setya (Programme Coordinator, Sushant School of Art and Architecture, Lucknow)
- Prof. Suzanne Ang, (Head Programme Coordinator, Deakin University): Lecture/Workshop
- Prof. John Ruff (Head, Valpario Universtiy US), Lecture during International Conference 2013
- Sachin Bhoite (Urban Planner and Designer, ARUP UK): Lecture
- Dr. Kaarin Taipale, Environmentalist- Urban Sustainability and Related Policy Issues.
- Ms. Shriya Malhotra, Urban Researcher- Maps and Mapping
- Suchitra Deep, Architect, Firm Terra Architects, Bangalore- ‘Practice Matters’ On the subject of professional practice and ‘The Eternal Conundrum’ About translating design intent into practice.
- Ms. Kelleann Foster, Architect & Associate Professor at University of Pennsylvania- Various avenues available for Indian students
- Mr. David Wittenberg, CEO-The Innovation Workgroup
- Mr. Mark F. Hesmann, Work with visionary clients- The Urban Planning-Enabled through Golf.
- Ms. Rasika Mohan and Emma, South Asia Field Officer-Engineers Without Borders Australia
- Mr. O.P. Ratra, Architect-Plastic Architecture
- Mr. Pradeep Sachdeva, Architecture- Contextual Architecture
- Mr. Aditya Kumar – Understanding Informal Settlements
- Mr. Ryan Sequeira, – Paradigms of Urban Design
- Ms. Sabah Siddiqui, Clinical Psychologist, Ambedkar University -Psychology and Space
- Mr. Karthik Dondeti, Thinking with Computational Reasoning
- Mr. Rahul Kumar, Geodesic Domes
- Ar. Dikshu Kukreja, Let’s Get Thinking
- Ms. Priya Khanna, Art and Architecture
- Mr. Jaime de Miguel – New Paradigms in Design and Fabrication
- Ms. Vibhuti Sachdev – Araish for Restoring Monuments
- Mr. Manoj Mathur – Industrial Design for Modern World
Recent Guest Lecturers held in SSAA
Karthik Dondeti introduced parametric modelling as an important tool to explore multiple design variants. A specific intent was to expand the views of the students regarding design exploration and thinking with the help of computer aided tools and familiarise them with the many new effective representational techniques. Dondeti made a case for the advantages of adopting such methods to push the boundaries of design development and design evaluation. He demonstrated multiple scenarios within various projects, each unique in terms of design constraints, investigation methods, intent and scales of intervention. In addition to this, Dondeti also brought in digital models to stress on the importance of testing multiple design scenarios using traditional means before arriving at a final design product.
Karthik Dondeti is an architect with a graduate degree in Design and Technology from Graduate School of Design, Harvard University. His expertise in Computational Design and Environmental Simulations led him to work on multiple Research projects at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, MIT Sustainable Design Lab and Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Currently, Dondeti is the director of an India based architectural firm ‘Design Collaborative’ and is the founder of a research think tank Architecture Design Operations (ADO) where he continues to explore the integration of Computation in the design practice.
Mr Prakash showed glimpses of projects undertaken by his firm and highlighted the focal points of these projects. In the course of his presentation, he explained fundamental formulae that describe the impact of human activity on the environment, such as the I = P x A x T equation, that states that Population (P), Affluence (A), and Technology (T) directly contribute towards our environmental impact (I). Although the presentation was laced with the use of technical jargon, Mr Prakash made it a point to introduce humour. He maintained that although architecture has classically been seen as a visual art, his approach is different in that he sees it as a solution derived out of quantifiable constraints. Examples of his work that he went on to showcase included the headquarters of a software firm- Agilent, the Mirambika School, and The Energy Research Institute (TERI) Retreat building.
He argued that “sufficiency can only happen only if you have access to everything–otherwise it is poverty”, and that the reason “Indian architecture doesn’t get talked about on the world stage is because it doesn’t have its own identity.”
The talk ended with a question and answer round. Students and faculty interacted with Mr Prakash, and tried to understand the technical aspects mentioned in the presentation.
Sanjay Prakash is an architect with a commitment to energy-conscious architecture, eco-friendly design, people’s participation in planning, music and production design. Over the years, he has integrated all his work with the practice of new urbanism and sustainability in his professional and personal life. His area of practice and research over the last 32 years includes passive and low energy architecture and planning, hybrid air-conditioning, autonomous energy and water systems, bamboo and earth construction, community-based design of common property, and computer-aided design. Under his guidance, hundreds of persons have developed capabilities in performing design, conceptual or management work in these areas. He is Principal Consultant of his design firm, SHiFt: Studio for Habitat Futures Architects and Engineers Pvt. Ltd.
As part of the Platform Lecture Series organised by Sushant School of Architecture at Ansal University, Mr. Stuart Tappin, Director of Stand Engineers with over 20 years of conservation experience in the UK and overseas delivered a talk on ‘Building Conservation in UK: An Engineer’s Perspective’. With his deep understanding of the special issues relating to historic buildings, scheduled monuments, museums and galleries and buildings within conservation areas, he discussed structural engineering in conservation, narrating the challenges and opportunities involved.
The talk involved some of his works revolving around restoration, insertion of new lifts and stairs, a strategy for routing new services through the existing historic structure, mansard roofing that used mathematical tiles, and devising repairs which avoided damage to elaborate plaster ceiling and wall finishes. The examples he narrated include Marlborough House, London, Kew Palace Richmond, Surrey, Inner Temple, London, Palace of Westminster, London, Humayun’s Tomb, New Delhi, Lord Mayor’s State Coach, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, The Lodge, Soho Square, St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Leybourne, Kent.
The talk followed with an interactive session between Mr. Tappin and the students and faculty, around issues such as funding of projects, harsh weather conditions, and a general understanding of the technical aspects mentioned in the presentation.
Didi Contractor, one of the eminent crusader of responsible building and also the core group member of the The Forum for Responsible Building, has had a series of interactions with students and practitioners in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore. She delivered a talk at Sushant School of Art and Architecture on ecologically sensitive vernacular building methodologies.
As part of the guest lecture series, Sumita Sinha gave a talk on ‘Participatory Architecture’ at Sushant School of Art and Architecture. Sumita is an award-winning architect, academic and author with her design practice, Eco=logic. Sumita has worked and taught in UK, India, Serbia, Venezuela, France, Palestine and Spain. Sumita’s awards include the UIA:UNESCO International design award, Women In Business award at the House of Commons and Atkins Inspire award for Architecture. Her portrait was included in an exhibition about 28 women who had made a difference to the life and culture of Britain.