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All Posts on Architecture, Indeed

All posts on this blog, in order of appearance:

This is reverse of ‘Last few posts…’

I will come back and mark them in categories viz.: Most visited, most shared, most popular, my favourite, receives most spam comments, updated, and perhaps even add notes.

  1. Building, dwelling, thinking. on September 7, 2012
  2. Tenders and Bidding 101 on September 12, 2012
  3. A curious case: Project in a new place on September 13, 2012
  4. What has Rahul Gandhi done for me? on September 24, 2012
  5. Subversion at CEPT Campus on September 30, 2012
  6. Lower That Lowest Quote on September 30, 2012
  7. Underbelly of Museum Business on October 8, 2012
  8. When in doubt, show underarms on October 8, 2012
  9. Delhi Glows on WordPress on October 13, 2012
  10. Turtles in White China on October 15, 2012
  11. In Memoriam Louis I Kahn, State of Union and Roosevelt on October 22, 2012
  12. Mixing Education With Business on October 29, 2012
  13. Survival, Without Brain… on November 3, 2012
  14. God’s letter to Indians I (White Skin, Dark Hair) on November 7, 2012
  15. If Crime Doesn’t Pay Architects on November 7, 2012
  16. How to grab government land on November 19, 2012
  17. Rich Folks, Poor Folks on November 24, 2012
  18. If Honesty Pays Architects on November 24, 2012
  19. (How it goes) When you start young on December 3, 2012
  20. Countdown starts for SA50 on December 17, 2012
  21. SA50 is here… (Re-sign) on December 26, 2012
  22. More SA (Calender) on December 26, 2012
  23. Grand Alumni Dinner? on December 27, 2012
  24. Multi-percussion & Saxophone at Campus (27.12.2012) on December 28, 2012
  25. A headache is a headache, but Architecture is more complex on January 1, 2013
  26. Where are values? on January 6, 2013
  27. Values are at the back (of your mind) on January 7, 2013
  28. Eight Minutes at Tagore Hall (Multi Kulti, 28.12.2012) on January 8, 2013
  29. SA50 1st Day (26.12.2012) on January 13, 2013
  30. SA50 2nd Day (27.12.2012) on January 14, 2013
  31. 10 Architecture Firm Blogs to Watch in 2013 by Architectural Record on January 17, 2013
  32. SA50 3rd Day (28.12.2012) on January 18, 2013
  33. SA50 4th Day (29.12.2012) on January 19, 2013
  34. Have Faith in Unknown: Redirecting to an interesting view, and person… on January 20, 2013
  35. A headache is a headache, but Architecture is more on January 25, 2013
  36. You are your business card on January 27, 2013
  37. SP40 is here on February 9, 2013
  38. Century’s Worst Advert, TVC featuring Colgate on February 13, 2013
  39. Riverfront = Wall on February 15, 2013
  40. EMD, another name for extortion money on February 20, 2013
  41. More from SP40: Movies (10.02.2013) on March 2, 2013
  42. In memoriam: Henri Labrouste, Father of Modern Library on March 16, 2013
  43. Empanelment: Better Than a Business on March 3, 2013
  44. It is Ito on March 17, 2013
  45. Who is right? on April 6, 2013
  46. The why of it all (Internship for students of planning) on April 9, 2013
  47. Question of the day: To teach or not to teach on April 9, 2013
  48. Here’s What It Would Look Like If Paris’s Houses Could Fly on April 13, 2013
  49. Sympathy for Boston (and others) on April 16, 2013
  50. Ellis Bridge is not what Ellis Bridge was on April 29, 2013
  51. Architect, Developer, Father in law on May 16, 2013
  52. Story of CEPT Logo on May 16, 2013
  53. Dabbawala scam: Case of life imitating advertising on May 20, 2013
  54. Northwest Washington Bridge Collapse: Reminds me of Ellis Bridge on May 24, 2013
  55. In Memoriam: Beloved Brooklyn Bridge on May 25, 2013
  56. A month of SPAM, and how to get a closure: Learn from Peter Cartier on May 27, 2013
  57. More on Dabbawala Scam: Too many people are missing the point on June 11, 2013
  58. Cost of the Building: 155,000… Architect’s Fees; 8,000 on June 13, 2013
  59. Scavenger Hunt – MoMA Landmarks of Modern Architecture on June 19, 2013
  60. Toilets for women: mirrors of imbalance on June 23, 2013
  61. CEPT University Official Page on Facebook on July 4, 2013
  62. New New CEPT Logo on July 4, 2013
  63. In Memoriam: Kurula Varkey on July 15, 2013
  64. School is a place to give not to take (To teach or not to teach II) on July 19, 2013
  65. It’s been done by the women in academics on July 23, 2013
  66. Enough about Chennai Express on July 24, 2013
  67. No need to shout: M/s. Prabhakar B. Bhagwat on August 3, 2013 (Taken down, somehow came out wrong)
  68. Poster War is on at CEPT (Who supports B Plan?) on August 16, 2013
  69. How BHP Conquered CEPT: A simile on 67th Independence Day on August 17, 2013
  70. CEPT to CEPT CO PVT LTD: Shame on all involved on August 19, 2013
  71. Christopher replies to: An appeal from CEPT students on August 29, 2013
  72. Marissa Mayer controversy: Its all about perceptions on August 30, 2013

After finishing a year of blogging:

 73. Remembering Rishi on September 12, 2013

 74. Advertising creativity goes around in circles on September 14, 2013

 75. Crime pays Council (of Architecture) on September 25, 2013

 76. Garba garbad at CEPT: Part I on October 10, 2013

 77. Garba Garbad at CEPT: Part II on October 11, 2013

 78. No fun being a contractor anymore on October 17, 2013

 79. This post on November 13, 2013 (Sticky – but not particularly popular)

 80. Welcome Mr. Chhaya on November 17, 2013

 81. New Google Search Adverts: Warm, fresh, after our own hearts on December 2, 2013

 82. Amending Architects Act, 1972 on December 10, 2013

 83. May be CEPT shouldn’t wait another 100 years on December 23, 2013 (Most liked so far)

 84. Fees for project: 200 crores, Kickbacks: 50 crores on January 10, 2014

 85. CEPT Logo Design Competition, Again on January 16, 2014

 86. Garba Garbad Part III: The real story of CEPT Navratri on January 17, 2014

 87. RIP, Piraji Sagara on January 24, 2014

 88. MHRD’s Design Manifesto: Towards a better design future (And what about CoA?) on January 25, 2014

 89. Architecture in Doshi Family on February 15, 2014

 90. Now the Code of Conduct on March 5, 2014

 91. Dirt on WAPCOS on March 7, 2014

 92. CEPT Logo, Final Final on March 13, 2014

 93. Shigeru Ban and Pritzker explained by Conrad Newel on March 25, 2014

 94. The Best Architectural Websites 2014 by Bob Borson on April 21, 2014

 95. Are CEPT students smart? on May 12, 2014

 96. Pissing Tanker Advert: Missing the point by a mile on June 8, 2014

 97. Rishi (Remembering you again) on June 19, 2014

 98. Elena Shumilova and her lovely photos on July 5, 2014

 99. RIP Ajay Gandhi on July 14, 2014

100. New Idea TVC, Not So Smart on August 19, 2014



Opens today: Yayoi Kusama’s Narcissus Garden at Philip Johnson’s Glass House

Kusuma Narcissus Garden


Yayoi Kusama’s Narcissus Garden at Glass House opens today…

YOUR NARCISSISM IS FOR SALE: The idea behind Kusuma’s work is more than allegorical of present times, but she saw it coming.

Kusuma Narcissus Garden

Set aside the politic and struggles of the client/ user of Glass House, this is still a work that brings us to question ourselves – if we want to.

Philip Johnson’s work, more in focus because of the discussion around closing of MoMA’s Architecture and Design galleries, in some way, curiously signalled more works like Glass House being celebrated and created at an ever larger scale.

More @

and @

And, if the famous debate around architectural plagiarism interests you,

(“I’m a plagiarist man — you see, you must take everything from everybody”
Philip Johnson)

then I recommend @


Massive Fire Destroys Natural History Museum In Delhi

Natural History Museum (National Museum of Natural History) at Delhi is destroyed by fire this morning: the fire safety system in the building was not working.

Even 35 fire engines couldn’t save it.


Architecture, or not architecture: this was a loss that could be prevented.

Nature, Ecology, the value of preservation, conservation and that of Memories, clashing with costs of adhering to Fire Safety and building by laws.

Massive Fire Destroys Natural History Museum In Delhi
News and photos @

Architects are never taught the right thing


Aravena has nailed it, and many have been feeling and saying the same thing: “Architects are never taught the right thing”

See his interview with Dezeen @

Further debate and discussion can come soon, now that you have found fame and more visibility, Aravena. Thank you for voicing this concern.

The confusion is apparent in new generation, only I feel that it relates to the entire education system, not just to architectural education. The disconnect is there, and I can see students desperately trying to figure things out, to know what is right for them, and for their times.

About a new generation of ‘Socially minded Architects’, I disagree, having recently met the older generation of socially minded architects, some of them even working in development sector against all temptations and with real passion.

More later.

RIP, Mohammad Shaheer

Rest in Peace Shaheer.

Mohammad Shaheer, landscape architect, former head of Landscape Department, School of Planning and Architecture Delhi, landscape designer of Asiad Village and other prestigious projects like Babur’s Garden at Kabul; owner, Shaheer Associates and partner, MSYK passed this morning.

SPA graduate from 70s batch, post graduate in Urban Design, Sheffield post graduate in Landscape, soul of SPA’s LA department, visiting faculty, guest lecturer and juror at various places, ISOLA fellow active in design till now… this is a good way to go, while still working.

Your expertise in Master Planning, Site Planning, Urban and Architectural Design, Landscape Architecture, and art brought out sensitive designs. Even if you were sometimes inflexible in your views, those are the very views that helped many of your students shape theirs.

Many of your generation are passing, leaving the baton into the hands of the next generation. Hope those you have nurtured and in turn those whom they have taught, will rise up.

More @

And @


Go in Faith, Pratyush

Go in Faith, Pratyush
Pratyush Shankar is leaving the School. For a more fulfilling life in a more organised system, where there will be more respect, more recognition and more self satisfaction, apart from more work.
That is how it is. The politics that he endured, that tires the new dean and that he was also part of, will be behind him. And we have to give it to him for trying to and achieving some degree of success in changing the School for better before leaving. For being open to new and fresh ideas that people were not ready to hear about. For work with some of the same people, and bringing in and steadying some new people as well. In comparison to the other schools in CEPT, SA has been more successful in attracting good faculty despite the problems of system, resources and academic rivalry being similar as in other schools. Some of the credit for this is shared by Pratyush, even if he was quite a pain at times. Love him, hate him, but don’t you ignore him.
There may be debate about how much of the curriculum that was so painstakingly revised by him and Chhaya has found its way in the present syllabus. But there is no denying that when other colleges are struggling just to teach a 40 year old syllabus, School of Architecture CEPT, Chhaya and Pratyush were long debating the relevance of education, of architectural education, and an appropriate way of teaching architecture. This guy, along with some others, had the sense to question it, and act on it.
To students who could relate to him, who were unable to relate to more senior or more rigid mindsets, this is a loss. And for school too, even if we are now used to it. It may be easy to say now that the old system should have been changed by anyone with a little sense. But during the in-between times, a new system is difficult to glean, specially when people are nostalgic and resistant to change. It was not easy to navigate the dark space left by stalwarts with strong viewpoints & highly individual teaching styles, and an informal and questioning teaching atmosphere. Transition to an education preparing fodder for new age offices may have sounded like death itself. Demise of architectural philosophy that formed the basis of School’s teaching is a big one. Something the profession, the academia and the students are all grappling with. No one dare say that you didn’t try to resolve this.
These are the churnings: Being trapped in a cross current of changing times. Battling with the biases against ‘outsiders’. Dealing with complaints all over the market that School graduates don’t have the skills to translate their grand concepts into reality/ are too loopy/ take too long to settle down. Representing SA at public forums, and in front of other institutions. Expanding own boundaries and dealing with personal crises. You win some, you lose some.
Somehow the farewell note from CEPT sounds like obituary, but neva mind! More good things to you, Pratyush. Without doubt, CEPT is a better place because you came along.

Garba 2015 starts today at CEPT

Time to turn a new leaf. Navratri celebrations are here again. Beauty. Joy. A little bit of devotion too.

The campus is so beautiful around this time...

The campus is so beautiful around this time…

Photo courtesy: CEPT University FB Page @

Celebrating World Architecture Day at Nirma University: 5 October 2015

Celebrate World Architecture Day today, with Manit Rastogi (Morphogenesis); Kevin Low (Small Projects), Greg Truen (Saota arrcc), 4.00 pm onwards.

World Architecture Day Celebration 5 October 2015 poster

Site plan of Nirma University, designed by Amin and Shah. Easy to see why so many people get confused and lost here. Hopefully it won’t be so difficult to find your way, at least for those who turned up the last time for Steven Holl’s presentation…


More details about the architects:

Invitation to World Architecture Day Celebration 5 October 2015

World Architecture Day Celebration 5 October 2015

World Architecture Day Celebration NIRMA 5 October 2015

World Architecture Day Celebration 5 October 2015

Corruption in Architecture, what’s eating us from within

Corruption in Architecture is eating us from within…

Practising architects show interest in Council of Architecture finally. The reason the CoA needs practitioners and not politicians is the way practices are shaping up. With more than 450 schools of Architecture churning out more than 20,000 architects a year, and a limited number of works coming up for design and execution, the competition is going to be cut throat.

And when when the battle gets bloody, all is fair. As the first step, corrupt practices are flourishing, tempting others.

Q: What about corruption?

A: The teachers are not teaching and the professional organisations are wary of bringing up the issue. In MES, in Corporate world, in Institutes, in Government, and in Industries – Wherever there is even a little bit of bureaucracy, the system of ‘cut’ is entrenched, and the percentage is on the rise.

Q: Why can’t architects can’t focus on Design?

A: Those who focus on design lag behind because of or are blocked by these other aspects of ‘practice’

Will come back to update this or follow with a post on Corruption in Architecture – Roots and Remedies.

Lilavati Lalbhai Library: New CEPT Library in the making

Update (second edit 03.09.2015): on Rahul Mehrotra’s presentation about his proposal for the new library

It is a very subjective design. Or it was presented subjectively. The link to the recording is now gone, and the debate continues…

The architect, a star and never really considered to be a person who cared for others’ opinion, is now subject to intense scrutiny from a small group of people who care. Funny how the lens has changed. He is the same person whose first design in Ahmedabad (Bandhej showroom), based on Old City street experience, was hailed as a big achievement – a tribute to Ahmedabad’s culture and context. The design that simultaneously offered an exclusive experience with introduction of new materials (actually, textures).

So, at least he was considered good at removing a theme from it’s historic context to create a rarefied design out of it, while still leaving behind a sense of the original.

IIM’s new campus is a lesson in conformity and in deft avoidance of scrutiny by Ahmedabad’s architectural community. I expected the same to happen when a new building is proposed in CEPT. But through the hands of a person who could have taken a stand against the old-crumbling-difficult to maintain and even if great but expensive past, but who chose to conform, it is rather a surprise project to have gone to a non conformist. Most architects seem to have accepted the need to have a library building. Many architects designing universities around India are going ballistic with the symbolic or formal aspects of a library… It is surprising that no critic is asking basic questions: How many students today read? And how will they read in future?

A little nostalgia, a library with no identity

Recently visited the campus with an alumni who came after many years, and we went to every space, corner and floor, and (together) realised that a lot of what past users remember about the campus is mere nostalgia, when in reality a whole new life is happening there…

A memory of past floats up: A dingy space on the first floor of the awkwardly operating administration block… To recall, the original library was accessed by a stair that was a really poor solution – almost everyone was uncomfortable climbing up or down it, no one enjoyed standing anywhere close to it. There was hardly any space at the entrance. Inside was dark, small, without requisite reading spaces. So when the library moved to a new location in the middle of the long flank of L block – variously an open space, a studio, a lab – many users welcomed it. It is a glamourless attachment, always above something, or below something – It shakes when people walk, echoes, and is still overcrowded; rainwater once damaged books that librarians ran to save but couldn’t accomplish. It was, and is, a sorry sight.

A lot of nostalgia

The campus wasn’t always like this: It was young and vibrant, with some 300 souls or less for many years. Small but green. Scale just right for a pint sized, close knit community; part of it literally lived there. The studios were no doubt beautiful. Simplicity of parallel walls, great. North light was a delight to all users; the terrace ideal to sleep or party on. That building and its corners were owned by users in so many ways – Personalised tack boards, painted stools, dog shelters. The red bricks – hugged, felt, drawn, photographed – loved in all aspects.

But getting the short end of the stick was that the beauty was not uniform. There were not enough toilets. Not enough plug points, and people were hanging aluminum reflectors in single height spaces just to be able to see. The campus gradually started changing… There was frequent theft, and even occasional assault. Wars for display space, storage, and persistent, universally hated problems like leaky loos, or that echoing, claustrophobic auditorium.

Fast forward to 15 years ago: After a long and rather sluggish period in which CEPT campus mainly dealt with siting of new buildings and site development issues when the inside spaces where mostly ignored. A lot of spaces subverted the dictum ‘form follows function’ that the academia and students lovingly espoused. So when small, functional additions occurred, users breathed relief. Generally an intervention was so delayed that people didn’t have the strength to question what came about. Right, the little changes during this phase were sensitive. Because matching was easier than making a drastic statement. Those making it were also the last modernist bunch who could relate to the language and the structures in any deep and meaningful sense.

Then came up the unwanted but celebrated gift: Gufa. Sitting right next to campus, the land under it is donated to campus, its price paid by CEPT by renaming the campus. Without contributing even a little bit to the form, structure or activities of the campus. Although the beautiful Herwitz gallery tries to make up for Gufa’s non-functionality, in terms of language and their relation with surrounding context, both buildings are aliens.

This phase of changes was followed by all the divisions and marking of turfs that spawned more ugliness in form of boundaries and completely random structures popping up without any scrutiny that this proposal will face. There are those who are lamenting the loss of ‘natural’ identity: The campus already has a lot of edges and is formalised at so many places. And then those who feel that South Lawns’ importance is diminished by the boxy library building. Well, South Lawn already is a doormat.

Do not cry murder upon seeing a new proposal, the mauling started long ago.

Original post:


From the mishmash of random buildings and sub-divisions that the CEPT campus now is, one is going to go, for good:

NBO Hall, arguably the hottest (literally) building on the campus, is making way for the new library. From the time when we heard of it being designed (, to when the first images surfaced, to now, when Rahul Mehrotra is going to present it to everyone.

Tomorrow, at CEPT auditorium – ironically under the existing library – or rather purposely so.

New CEPT Library Rahul Mehrotra

Can’t resist comparing it to other library buildings (@ But also with all the buildings crumbling on the campus at present… (Will those who are against changes please deposit a penny for every good thought they have in the fund for making this library. May be then the practice of attaching ghastly person-al names to new buildings will stop.

Poster – Presentation on the new CEPT Library by Rahul Mehrotra – 19th August

Reference, verbatim from CEPT’s message:

Dear All,

You are invited to a presentation by Rahul Mehrotra on the design of the new Lilavati Lalbhai Library at CEPT University.

Please see enclosed poster for the event.​
​Rahul Mehrotra
Lilavati Lalbhai Library at CEPT University

19 Aug at 5.30 pm
At Auditorium, CEPT University

The new Lilavati Lalbhai Library at CEPT University will address the growing needs of the University. Centrally located, in place of the exiting NBO block, it will act as an academic hub for the campus. Apart from creating space for larger collections, the new technologically proficient library will have specialized reading areas, exhibition and presentation spaces.

The new building is being designed by prominent architect & CEPT alumnus, Rahul Mehrotra. The design for the library has evolved over several meetings with a team of people including director of library services, senior library staff, campus office staff, and senior administration and  faculty members. The location and bulk of the building was first designed by Christopher Benninger, CCBA, who is responsible for the overall master plan of the University. Construction is expected to begin soon and the building is expected to be completed by Jan 2017.

Rahul Mehrotra is a professor of urban design and planning and former chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). His practice, RMA Architects, is based in Mumbai and Boston.

​Look forward to seeing you at the event.​​

RIP Prabhakar Bhagwat

Invitation to Prabhakar B Bhagwat lecture

We have lost PBB. There are no words that will do justice to all his work and all our emotions.

Last rites: Today at Vadilal Sarabhai Crematorium, 7.45 pm.

Prayer meeting at Residence, Monday, 8.00 am.

Rest in Peace, dear Prabhakar Bhagwat.

From past:

Invitation to Prabhakar B Bhagwat lecture

For this lecture, my notes didn’t come out right.

For their studio notes, see:

Arrived: CEPT Archives: for Built Environment, Design & Culture in India

This is great news.

Painstakingly. Lovingly. Mindfully compiled architectural archives are here. Madhusudan Dhaky recently inaugurated CEPT Archives, a treasure trove of material that piled up with CEPT library, with more added on by an enthusiastic team, supported by architects, teachers, students and Alumni of Faculty of Architecture.

CEPT and School of Architecture are few of the places to always maintain a broad view of design, imbibing the ideology that built environment-culture-design are related and should be treated as part of one big whole. 

CEPT Archives: for Built Environment, Design & Culture in India

The bottle is new but the wine is old. The label is new though the love is old. The documentation, worth it’s weight in gold… The CEPT Archives will surely be a great resource centre, and make it easier to access the archival material, even with the scare it gave everyone during last monsoon. It was long in coming and a lot of pain in coming, but finally it’s here. Open, for all, at a time when 27 other schools of Architecture in Gujarat are admitting young minds interested and looking forward to more on Architecture and built environment.

Find more @

Some more information@

The Gujarat Model of Corruption: Better than other states?

This is all hear-say, but its shocking how many people are saying it, and how openly it is being accepted as bearing truth without much doubt (even if with disgust).

Heard that the present PM, by leaving, has ruined the semblance of governance that existed in the year before he left. From people who, at one point, were so blind in their hope that they wouldn’t hear one word of advice. So what happened? Let’s go over a bit of history:

Long before national election

Gujarat had a good feeling about it’s new CM because of the efficiency he showed in dealing with Earthquake of 2001 since his arrival in October*. Initially, many officers were heard mentioning that they had received instructions from the CM to process the files before papers turn yellow… seen as a good sign by many if not all.

A clean CM?

There was no mention of him or any channel leading to him when discussing kickbacks. Even as that was surprising, it lasted long enough to begin sounding credible.

Time and again people wondered if it was possible to go on like that, not taking, and not letting anyone else take, any money.

The complaints from traders, trade associations and businesses about BJP decreased. (That under Congress, at least work got done after paying a bribe, whereas when BJP came to power, they got so busy in amassing money that work came to a standstill in government)

Then came noises that the power was so centralised that the local level politicians had stopped mattering. All the power went to Babus, and local political structures were left shaken.

The work of centralising power at Gandhinagar was gaining momentum. And fewer people were actually heard praising the work than those organising/ noticing the propaganda events. But still a handful were talking about how the CM understands the need for professionals and quick decision making, and how he doesn’t tolerate nonsense.

Before National Elections

That number went down gradually and nothing of the sort was heard in the year leading up to national elections.

Before that year, and during that year, more and more people started complaining about their discomfort and about the need to know someone in Gandhinagar. Things slowed down, as they do in the run up of national elections. Even when not many anticipated the present government to get a clear majority, there were discussions about collectors being given quotas to collect and to send money up to Gandhinagar.

There were references to all norms and standards evaporating, and all those in positions of power doing pretty much as they pleased. The government that prided itself in putting capable (and often honest) people in key positions when push came to shove faltered, or was perhaps beyond caring, knowing this was a do or die.

New Government… and a year of placidity

Then came the new, majority, BJP government. And Gujarat was to have a new CM in over a decade. From the first day, there was anxiety over what would become of the state amidst a turf war between the supporters of two of the most steadfast deputies of the new PM.

Now, after a little over a year, there are complaints from all quarters about corruption and inability of the new structure to act, or reign in the rampant greed.

All the CMs like Jaylalitha, Vasundhara Raje, Pawar, Yadav and Mayawati were heard (long before the scandals erupted publicly) to have routes and channels. But nothing is heard about Gujarat.

Is Gujarat ahead of others, again?

*(The recovery after Earthquake needs to be compared to the pre-October scenario under Keshubhai Patel, and the way the Tamil Nadu government dealt with offers of help post Tsunami of 2004.)

US firm paid $976,000 bribe to win water project in Goa and Guwahati: What did you expect?

What did you expect?

US firm paid $976,000 bribe to win water project in Goa and Guwahati

Quoting verbatim from the article @

A New Jersey-based construction management firm has been charged with bribing Indian officials several crores of rupees to win two major water developmental projects in Goa and in Guwahati.

The bribery of USD 976,630 for a Goa project by Louis Berger included that to a minister, the details of which have not been disclosed by the Department of Justice.

Yesterday, the company agreed to pay USD 17.1 million criminal fine to resolve charges that it bribed officials in India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Kuwait to secure government construction management contracts.

Two of its former executives – Richard Hirsch (61) of Philippines, and James McClung (59) of the UAE – pleaded guilty to the bribery charges.

McClung previously served as senior vice president responsible for the firm’s operations in India and in Vietnam.

Sentencing hearings for Hirsch and McClung are scheduled for November 5, 2015.

The Indian government, assisted by Japanese government, initiated the five-year Goa Water Supply and Sewerage Project to expand, rehabilitate and build water and sewerage facilities.

Louis Berger was part of a consortium for the project in Goa. The consortium included two Japanese firms and an Indian partner.

The team developed a project management information system and plan, evaluated bids, reviewed design and construction plans, and ensured quality work was done on time and within budget, the company says on its website.

Louis Berger maintained a detailed diary and account of bribery made to Indian officials. On August 26, 2010, “a consortium partner prepared a payment tracking schedule stating that the company had paid USD 976,630 in bribes in connection with the Goa Project to date,” federal prosecutors told a court in New Jersey.

(This is only the tip of the iceberg…. So more will keep coming.)

IIA Elections, much ado about nothing?

Dear IIA,

Kudos to you about the strong follow up for the elections this time, even as there are too many mails telling everyone to put the profession first, or to get it right. Whatever. All the recent initiatives are progressive, but technology, however advanced, can’t repair the haemorrhage that some old brains have. Was it possible to find a way to communicate with people without waving everyone’s email addresses and cell numbers all over the place? Next time, find representation from all ‘kinds’ of architects, including the shy ones, the non-conforming ones, those who don’t own a smartphone yet, those who work for non profits, and some women… Panels, except for their stated views, are similar in appearance, and somehow don’t look like representing the diverse community of Indian Architects. But well, a good start is a good start.

With over 200 schools of Architecture popping up in recent times, some of them without a single real faculty, please help CoA in making good decisions about students’ future. And architects’.

Hoping for a good end result.

Reblogging ‘State of Advertising: Why Brand Advertising Is an Industry in Peril’

This post was worth my time: Simple. Clear. Captures the problem and the potential. Yes, the only advertisements we love to watch on the internet are shared and recommended videos. Ones that engage us: show us an idea that we want to spread around, or the work we want to recommend.

State of Advertising: Why Brand Advertising Is an Industry in Peril

The way I see it, the difference between TV and internet is that in absence of TV, internet will kill the idiots in this business… So many of TV ads are insufferable (on top of being a part of what we hate anyway) that one would think morons to be the building blocks of advertising universe.

I do not know whether to lament the CarDekho advertising, literally gone to dogs, or to celebrate the Nissan ads of Terrano.

It may be true that often the client doesn’t know how to select a good agency. Or to get feedback about their campaigns in a way that they can decide to keep continuing or to discontinue their fabulous/ disastrous approach. But finding a way to measure and respond to this will benefit both sides.

So, success on the internet is for the ‘loved’ advertising, as opposed to the ‘hated’. People will readily rally behind an idea they can relate to, and a brand that engages them. Of course, while making one feel a useful, worthy component of the free world, in command of sharing  – to become an extension of the Brand itself. I remember seeing Amul’s hoardings shared by so many, and that is true for Google India’s last ads as well. For those I loved (Automobile ads and PSAs in equal measure) and shared, a special post will be up soon.

People won’t remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel.


For more on the topic of Brand Advertising, see:

Brand Advertising is Dead-Long Live Brand Advertising @

…long live lovemarks @

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