Architect and academician Yatin Pandya helps us understand the generic principles of space organization that render so many historical Indian buildings timeless.
What sets traditional Indian architecture apart from other forms involves an abstract concept of what is known as kinesthetics, or “the spatial experiences derived through narratives of the dynamic perceptions of time, space and existence.” It’s certainly an intriguing subject, even if it sounds very formidable to all but the most architecturally-informed. Rest assured, however, that the wealth of visual materials – photographs, architectural plans with analytic overlays and volumetric constructs and miniature-style reproductions representing spatial, environmental and experiential qualities more than fill in where words momentarily fail – similar to the candle in Rumi’s poem about the five men and an elephant in a dark room: Each of us touches one place, and understands the whole that way [but] if each of us held a candle there, and if we went in together, we could see it. Thus, this book helps the reader fathom the answers behind such pertinent questions like: what makes India’s historic architecture awe-inspiring and why architectural masterpieces have retained their vitality even after so many centuries. The author particularly emphasizes the role of the aforesaid kinesthetics in guiding the perception of space while in movement and he shows how the process of encoding and decoding between space and the perceiver orchestrates spatial narratives.
Award-winning author, activist, academician, researcher and practising architect Yatin Pandya has been involved with city planning, urban design, mass housing, architecture, interior design as well as conservation projects. He has written a number of articles in National and International Journals. Several books authored by him on architecture, including Concepts of Space in Traditional Indian Architecture have been published internationally.
Concepts of Space in Traditional Indian Architecture is now available at Areca Books. Come visit us at our new outlet on the ground floor of The Star Pitt Street at 15, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, Mon – Sun, 9am – 6pm.