Grant Period: Over one year
For completing an illustrated manuscript provisionally titled ‘Include by Design: Architecture for the Inclusive Artplace’. The grant will enable the recasting of the manuscript for publication through the use of new photographs and illustrations, and will underwrite the book’s production costs.
In 1998, Himanshu Burte received a grant to develop a conceptual framework for the design of the public ‘artplace’ in India. His survey of the ﬁeld, and meetings and discussions with artists, critics, art lovers, administrators and architects led him to conclude that ‘there is very little examination of the artplace in general, as an institutional type.’ He observes that the generic term ‘artplace’ in fact does not exist in the general discourse. The term’s absence in language, Himanshu declares, mirrors the lack of focused attention to this institutional space in society. Further, the architecture of artplaces, if it is discussed at all, Himanshu notes, is always on a case by case basis, without reference to a general theory regarding its fundamental character and orientation, or indeed, its relevance to speciﬁc contexts.
Himanshu’s attempts at formulating a relatively universal theoretical framework for the design of artplaces, were especially guided by its applicability to India. A normative assumption that has informed this inquiry is that “the architecture of artplaces and other public buildings, especially in a democratic multi-cultural society, should be inclusive.” The building’s ability to invite, engage and accommodate a wide range of users and their needs is, for Himanshu, an important consideration in this analysis.
This project has now resulted in an illustrated manuscript provisionally titled, ‘Include by Design: Architecture for the Inclusive Artplace’. The manuscript holds Himanshu’s survey and photographs, of both traditional and modern public artplaces in Kerala, Rajasthan, New Delhi, Mumbai and Bhopal, among other places. On completion of his study, Himanshu, on his own volition, sent the manuscript out for an assessment by his peers. The favourable reception of his work encouraged Himanshu to approach publishers. And when Seagull Books Pvt Ltd accepted the manuscript for publication, Himanshu approached IFA for support to underwrite publication expenses.
lFA’s dissemination grant will enable Himanshu to recast the manuscript for publication, develop new photographs and illustrations, and underwrite the production costs for the book. The feedback Himanshu has already received from both his peers and the publisher will be used to rewrite some sections of the manuscript. Himanshu will also be mindful of the demands of publication when recasting this work. He also feels the need to revisit the sites of his fieldwork in order to review his conclusions two years since the manuscript was completed. He will also redo the entire set of illustrations to bring them in line with the speciﬁc format prescribed by the publisher. This new format, Himanshu agrees, enhances the communication of his ideas.
Himanshu had, in the course of the earlier grant, undertaken some photography. However, these stills rarely complement the manuscript text, and do not always illustrate it correctly. Moreover, the stills were taken over a long period in time and hence do not cohere fully. There is also a necessity to re-shoot most of the photographs and enhance their expressiveness. Mr Naveen Kishore of Seagull Books, himself an accomplished photographer, has offered his services free to undertake the photographic works for the book. While Seagull Books will invest in the costs towards the design and artwork expenses, lFA’s grant will underwrite the paper and printing costs.
The book will contain approximately 200 pages and around 70 photographs in addition to graphics and other illustrations, and will be priced in the range of Rs. 400-500 for a hardbound edition. The print run will be 1,100. The subvention that lFA’s support enables will go a long way in making the book available at a reasonable price to a wider audience, while maintaining a very high standard of production appropriate for a book on architecture. Academic/institutional clientele, including libraries of architecture in India, will be the primary target of Seagull’s distribution efforts.