Q. The TML observes a certain evaluation process to critically review projects and arrive at a ‘list’. As a finalist of The Merit List 2016-17 Cycle, what are your comments on the TML process?
The process asks the architect community to present projects for the Merit List. And then has a small and eminent jury to look at the entries and shortlist as meritorious list of works. This is the most direct way of doing a peer review of architecture and it works well. The variety of work in the Short list and further in the Merit List as well indicates to the range of project type and the depth of the evaluation process; the jury interviews and citation notes reveal the critique quite effectively.
Q. How important do you think is TML as an initiative / peer-to-peer recognition in the context of contemporary Indian architecture?
Peer recognition of works across the country is one way to understand the variety, depth and richness of modern architectural design in the country. Journals, magazines and the numerous design awards showcase a few works, and except for a few, they are highly commercial and not very convincing in keeping a critical maturity and integrity. They also seem to lack a rigorous, transparent and critical process. TML needs to build on the integrity of process and remain deeply critical in its approach. It has made a good start. It might be good to see a bit of all the projects that appear in the shortlist.
Q. What was your response on the width of work you saw as part of the final list of 13 projects?
There was quite a wide variety in typology and like the jurors’ comments very few industrial projects. But also, larger scale, architectural projects seem to be missing. Also, in a time when infrastructural projects are growing maybe it may make sense to encourage more of that too. Like boat jetty, bus stands, footbridges, etc.
Q. Do you have any critical observations that we should take into consideration while we announce the next cycle? How would you recommend that we change the process for the better?
- Can the website present the why, what and how comments from the jury for each project in the Merit List?
- While keeping it non-separated into categories, can one have a graph representation of broad types in the Short List?