The Forms: 2018-19

Why The List?

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 to understand the concerns of practice and pedagogy in India. The Merit List intends to frame a counter-narrative to the numerous design awards that have grown over the years in India. 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.


Contemporary architecture practices in India produce work of substantial quality. They venture beyond the concerns of form and space and engage with the potential of the rich landscape often curating projects that are complex and multidimensional that address issues that push the boundaries of programmatic frameworks. Recognising a need to seek and chronicle such projects, TML aims to instigate critical discourse on the architecture of India. The TML process seeks to institute a line of inquiry that traverses typology to make place for exceptional ideas in irrespective of typology and scale.

S, M, L, XL

Projects are products of situations and flourish within the parameters of these situations. 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 and the challenges.








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 identity of modern 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 10 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.

2018-19 Jury


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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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

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