The Process

 

Submission / Nomination

The Merit List was open to nominations / submissions for projects for a duration of three months. In this duration, 226 project entries qualified for consideration. These projects came from across India and covered a wide spectrum of typologies and scales.

 

Qualification

Any project that had been completed in the last three years (after 15th August 2012) was eligible for the first cycle of TML. The incomplete / under-construction projects that we received were set aside for future consideration.

 

Jury Process

A peer-review, the Jury process was organized around three rounds of evaluation.

The first round of Reflection – the Jury selected projects based on the submission data independently and by articulating their personal choices and reasons. These choices were discussed and the Jury arrived at a ‘Shortlist’ – about 122 projects that were included as works worthy of discussion.

The second round of Deliberation – the projects were reviewed in a Jury meeting over discussions and each project was weighed against the parameters and contexts of the work. Many projects were discussed threadbare, and many were contested in heated arguments over endless cups of coffee. The Merit List began to take shape.

The third of Consensus – While the final list of projects was arrived at by consensus there were still unresolved disagreements and to maintain the spirit of the process, all critical comments were recorded. Each project was discussed and debated on in detail and The Merit List was composed.

After the last round, the writing of citations articulated the reasons for selection as conveyed by the Jury and the Conveners to justify the selection and generate critical points of discussion.

 

The Panelists

The panelists for the Jury for 2015-2016 were Prem Chandavarkar, CnT Architects; Samira Rathod, SRDA; Mahesh Radhakrishnan, MOAD and Sankalp Meshram, Director/Film-maker. View their profiles here.

Ruturaj Parikh and Maanasi Hattangadi from Matter. served as curators and conveners for The Merit List chronicling the Jury process and the exhaustive volume of data received.

 

The Parameters.

The Jury individually and collectively set certain parameters as lenses through which all projects were viewed and discussed. As TML was committed to evaluate all projects against their challenges and parameters, the Jury consciously resisted unilateral approaches. The scale [S,M,L,XL] of the projects was use only as an organiser.

 

The Discussions

It was observed by the Jury and the Curators of the Merit List that beyond the primary discussions on projects, many broader issues that concern practice, pedagogy and the built environment emerged from the discussion. These were largely framed as provocateurs for ideological & thematic concerns that the profession of architecture should deliberate upon as instruments of reflection on the state of affairs. Read the significant points of concern here.

 

Anonymous Evaluation

The review process provided anonymity to each project wherein it was coded with a number and the Jury evaluated the projects on the basis of the submission data, without prior or seconded knowledge of its author.

TML ensured that the authors of the projects in consideration were revealed only after the final list was composed. While the Short-List was announced, the projects were just listed to avoid any visual references that may influence the Jury Process. The process was credible, un-biased and objective as the Jury and the Curators looked beyond individual biases and cultural prejudices in the interest of the authenticity of The Merit List.

The authors of The Merit List projects can seek a copy of recorded critical comments by the Jury if they so desire and if they wish to maintain a record of the crit. Write to us if you wish.

 

The Merit List

The 12 projects [5 Citations, 1 Special Mention and 6 Commendations] in the final list are selected after a rigorous and un-compromising review. These projects are not to be ranked. The very premise of a list as against an award is to view these as critical case-studies and represent the most desirable values in contemporary architecture in India. We must celebrate these works as examples of the highest standards in a variety of domains and areas of strength in contemporary Indian architecture.

This list may serve as ‘essential readings’ and can help adjust the course of the profession in years to come.

 

Recognition

Each author of the projects selected in The Merit List will receive a citation letter, a poster, a personal and unique memento, and a curators’ note as a record of the recognition.

 

Patronage

The Merit List is completely funded and supported by donation of time and resources by the Curators, StudioMatter and the Members of the Jury. The Merit List will seek external funding to support future cycles without compromising on the fundamental premise and process that is unique to The Merit List.

The external funding will help organize site visits for the Jury and a Valediction ceremony apart from subsidizing the effort of the Jury and the Curators.

 

Queries / Critique / Comments

We welcome our participants, architects, students and other observers to write to us to share any query / concern / critique on The Merit List, its process and its conduct. We will be happy to receive constructive criticism to improve the process in subsequent cycles. Write to us on think@matter.co.in.

 

Next Cycle

Will be announced soon.