Learning from Delhi – ‘An engaging book, joyful to go through’

Posted by Fiona Dunford, Marketing Executive

For the second year, the UDG Awards Programme will include a Publishers Award. Publishers in the urban design field were invited to nominate one of their books published in the last 18 months.

Learning from Delhi: Dispersed initiatives in changing urban landscapes, by Maurice Mitchell, has been selected as one of the four finalists and is reviewed in the Autumn edition of Urban Design. The review panel which comprises Juliet Bidgood, Marc Furnival, Jonathan Kendall and Laurie Mentiplay and is chaired by Alastair Donald, will choose the winner, which will be announced at the Awards event in February 2012.

Useful and beneficial for student, practitioner and academic alike, Learning from Delhi not only brings together notions of the spatio-physical and socio-economic, but also spatio-temporal and socio-environmental. An engaging book, joyful to go through; evoking the innocence of being a student, yet carried out with thoroughness and professional dedication, as well as the seriousness that such an exploding urban situation demands, particularly with the accumulating implications of not addressing these issues, and highlighting that doing nothing is not an option.   Marc Furnival

An invaluable theoretical and practical guide to ‘thinking global and acting local’, Learning from Delhi is based on a ground-breaking course run by the London Metropolitan University School of Architecture, in which students produce schemes from research undertaken during field trips to India. It provides a comprehensive review of the course and of the schemes produced since 2002, and argues the value of linking practical projects with education in the studio.

The book also received great feedback from The Architectural Review:

‘This book is a powerful wake-up call to all architects. It speaks about the meaning of architecture in circumstances that appear very different to those with which we are familiar in the West. The line of enquiry always revolves around the question of “how might architecture improve the way we live?”… It is a manifesto for an alternative form of architectural practice,… a testament to the value of an education – not a training – and undoubtedly equips students with strategies that are increasingly relevant.

The reader is offered beautiful and mind blowingly complicated plans of existing settlements that have been surveyed, not copied and pasted. Evocatively shady interior views are set into landscapes strewn with debris; all the drawings inhabited by people. This is the landscape of humanity, where architecture serves as a backdrop, not a monument.’

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