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David Robson on the discipline of architecture over the years

The British architect, speaking with STIR at the Frame Conclave 2019, discusses the state of architecture, our cities, and his frank opinions about making way for the ‘new’.

by Meghna Mehta Sep 26, 2019

STIR had an exciting opportunity to meet and interact with David Robson, a British architect, critic, writer and author of multiple books, who was present as a speaker at the Frame Conclave 2019, held in Goa, India, in August 2019. Amongst various discussions with multiple thoughtful delegates and professionals, Robson was gracious enough to sit with us and have a discussion on the issues of modernity and heritage among many other issues that were discussed at the conclave and are of grave concern today.

The discussion with Robson circled around varied thoughts where he mentioned ideas that may seem obvious but are often neglected by most of us. His opinions on the life of buildings make one rethink - do architects romanticise too much about the past? What does the ‘star architects’ tag really mean? His frank and honest beliefs about the state of politics and architecture in Sri Lanka, India and London (where he lives), brought about a great sense of virtue to the conversation. He also mentioned about his recent book on staircases and an upcoming book on balconies that is inspired from his stay in Switzerland.

08 min watch STIR in conversation with David Robson | Geoffrey Bawa | David Robson | STIR
STIR in conversation with David Robson Video Credit: Courtesy of STIR

Further conversing with reference to his talk “Remembering Bawa” at the Frame Conclave, and for being long known for his association with famous Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa, he revealed what it was like to have documented his work along with him and after he passed away. The talk and our discussion gave us an intriguing outlook on what Bawa would have thought about the journey of a building, reflecting back to his work, ideals and propositions.

Robson was also kind to have further written an article exclusively for STIR, titled ‘Geoffrey Bawa: The Master Architect of Sri Lanka’

(Read more about the Frame Conclave 2019)

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About Author

Meghna Mehta

Meghna Mehta

An architect by education and a journalist by passion, Mehta pursued a crossroad between her two interests. Having completed an M.Arch from CEPT University in Ahmedabad, she has worked in the field of architectural journalism for over 5 years. Besides content generation for STIR, she continues to teach in architectural schools in Mumbai.

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