The Merit List [TML] is an initiative by Matter supported by Takshila Educational Society to recognise projects of critical relevance in the context of contemporary Indian architecture.

The List

The Takshila Lecture on Architecture & Society



Submit / Nominate a Project

Open for submissions 15th August 2018 onwards


Underpinning TML is a dire need of a serious commitment to create a culture of excellence, establish a peer-peer review and form a community of professional exchange in order to critique and celebrate consequential works of architecture in India. The TML process seeks to institute a line of inquiry that traverses typology to make place for exceptional ideas in design irrespective of typology and scale. With intent to evaluate each project in its own context and judge the merit of each against the programme it deals with, The Merit List intends to outline a set of critical discussion points as a reflection on the state of affairs in contemporary architecture.

The Takshila Lecture on Architecture and Society

Architectural practice today is pushed to the peripheries of society it claims to serve. After two cycles of rigorously reviewing contemporary architecture from a diverse pool of practices, The Merit List strives to bring forth pertinent discussions on critical issues to a larger audience. The Merit List Jury over the past cycles has been able to articulate some immediate and urgent concerns that the fraternity of Architects and Designers in India must confront. The Takshila Lecture on Architecture and Society is delivered by an eminent professional / academician that addresses growing disparity between the practice and pedagogy of Architecture in India, and the realities of our social, cultural and economic contexts. The lecture and the following dialogue aims to challenge the status-quo with a conviction that an open and honest conversation on the state of practice will instigate positive change.

The 2018 Takshila Lecture on Architecture and Society Prof Neelkanth Chhaya in conversation with buy Lyrica Bijoy Ramachandran
go site 14th August 2018 I NGMA, Mumbai

The Takshila Lecture on Architecture and Society
Prof Neelkanth Chhaya in conversation with Bijoy Ramchandran

S, M, L, XL

Projects are products of situations and flourish within their contextual parameters. To keep the evaluation of the project completely independent of typology, TML took a cue from Rem Koolhas and made scale as the only organiser of content for the Jury Process. This way, each piece of work is independently evaluated against the background of its programme.








10,001sqm and above

1000, 100, 10


About 1000 studios in India frame the critical content of work and thought. These studios contribute substantially the architectural identity of contemporary India.


About 100 projects: products of work from these studios become essential case-studies in the concerns, issues, semantics and ethos of practice in India. These projects are rich in content and should have a significant impact on the discourse – professional and academic – in future.


About 10 projects from this set transcend the framework of the probable and surprise us with ideas that deserve chronicling. These projects represent the promise of things to come: the work that is valuable and must be discussed in order to calibrate the trajectory of status-quo.


Jury Insights (2016-17)

The jury as a whole wrestled with the amount of value that should be placed on the positioning of the project: type based innovation or newness in a geographic region—against the value of a formal exploration and resolution through tectonic and spatial means.

Melissa Smith

The general assumption one made looking at most of the work being considered was that good architecture requires a large commission, a healthy budget, and an indulgent client. This isn’t necessarily true. One was looking, more keenly, for the larger import of the work.

Bijoy Ramachandran

Since there is no fixed categorisation of projects, TML enables the jury to develop a system appropriate to the selection at hand. All of this provides credibility to the recognition as does the avoidance of artificial ranking.

Himanshu Burte

To empirically delineate the complex narratives of the contemporary architectures-in-the-making of India; the strength of the TML Process is that it will avoid the facile generalisations that have characterised similar critical exercises in the past.

A G Krishna Menon


The Missing Typologies

Where is our contribution? Why is it limited? Why must it not be so? Abstract “How do you work with the city where architecture does not transcend being primarily viewed as a built environment?” – Mahesh Radhakrishnan  The pluralistic expression that India belongs to does not secure an abiding place in the projects that architects can traditionally deal with in practice. The praxis […]

Patterns of Patronage

“Who is the client?” Abstract With respect to the classic relationship shared by an artist and his patron, the profession of architecture inherently responds to the societal forces of opportunity, market patterns, and the influence of the culture. Architecture has unfailingly bemoaned the loss of the right kind of patronage. How deep does the issue of patronage root itself in the matrix of […]

Isolated Discourse

Where is the culture of exchange? Abstract Architecture must chart an open culture of exchange with other disciplines of design and accommodate more integrated levels of dialogue in the creative process within the physical reality of the built environment as its backdrop. The craft of making buildings is not limited to architects. It exists inspite of and in absence of the […]

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