The Future of Architectural Practice in India – Sanjay Prakash

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Globalisation, changing job profiles, migration, need for affordable housing, artificial intelligence and the advent of new materials and technologies for construction has set new expectations from architectural practices. We talk to prominent architects in India on the pressures, new skill sets and challenges that architects will need to be prepared for.

Below, Sanjay Prakash, Principal Consultant at SHiFt Studio, shares his thoughts.


Sanjay PrakashThe interconnected globalizing world of the future and India’s urban explosion will require new challenges to be met by Indian architects, which society and pedagogy and law are not very well prepared for.


 Multi-disciplinarity:
One cannot imagine a major architectural project nowadays that can be well designed without a deep collaboration, even leadership of technologists, engineers, ecologists, landscape specialists, etc. In the light of this, our outdated concepts (in the Architects Act, for instance) making the Architect the captain of the inter-disciplinary team become rather obsolete.
Young people who are able to speak the language of the environment, engineering, graphics, quantities, science and art together will be more in demand than the architects who speak mainly a visual language nowadays.
Flat world:
There will be no difference between doing OTK in Shanghai, Mumbai or London, and architects will have to learn to compete globally. It is already happening.
System Integration:
Architects will increasingly be expected to be part of design-build teams and will have to gear up their skills accordingly. This will imply that construction and services innovation will command a premium because (as shown by the design-build community in heavy civil engineering domains like railways and bridges) extreme commercially competitive creativity is demanded in the design-build environment.

Also read Sanjay Prakash’s views on the role and relevance of architects today in the society.


Sanjay PrakashSanjay Prakash, B. Arch., A.I.I.A., is an architect with a commitment to energy-conscious architecture, eco-friendly design, people’s participation in planning, music, and production design.  Over the years, he has integrated all his work with the practice of new urbanism and sustainability in his professional and personal life. 

His area of practice and research over the last 34 years includes passive and low energy architecture and planning, hybrid air-conditioning, autonomous energy and water systems, bamboo, wood and earth construction, community-based design of common property, and computer-aided design. Under his guidance, hundreds of persons have developed capabilities in performing design, conceptual or management work in these areas.

He is Principal Consultant of his design firm, SHiFt: Studio for Habitat Futures (formerly known as Sanjay Prakash & Associates), and was a partner of daat and Studio Plus, firms that predate his current firm.  His name and work is mentioned in the twentieth edition of one of the main reference works in architectural history, A History of Architecture by Sir Bannister Fletcher.

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1 Comment

  1. Jaisim Krishna Rao says

    Sanjay Prakash ji well stated with indepth analysis. Yes over nineteen professional deciplines ha e to be integrated from concept to realization

    Alternative is small individual iconoclastic projects. But can only be created by mazters who have experienced the journey

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