Capturing Architectural Progress: Sharing My Indian Journey Through Drawings


Capturing Architectural Progress: Sharing My Indian Journey Through Drawings

I m publishing my architectural drawings' photos for several reasons, the foremost being to chronicle the progression of my artistic journey. Each drawing is the product of effort, creativity, and personal exploration. By sharing them, I create a visual record of my path, my advancements, and the challenges I have encountered. I've never really drawn before, and this studio is a perfect opportunity to practice this essential skill for an architect.

In exposing my drawings to the scrutiny of others, I also hope to gather constructive feedback and guidance that will aid in my improvement. Architecture is a vast and intricate field, and every drawing represents an opportunity for learning.

Furthermore, sharing creations enables me to connect with a community that shares similar interests. I can exchange ideas, techniques, and inspirations with other artists and architects, fostering an environment conducive to mutual growth.

I will develop later the context and the choice of each draw.

Grandi Bhawan, Punjab university, Chandigarh.

Capitol complex, Le Corbusier

Capitol complex, Le Corbusier

Gufa, Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi

Jama Masjid Mosque, New Delhi.

Pierre Jeanneret Museum, Chandigarh

Pierre Jeanneret Museum, Chandigarh

Jantar Mantar, New Delhi

Stepwell Baoli, Red Fort, New Delhi


Alexandra Warshawski

 One of the dérive, Delhi 

This fabulous architectural concept by Guy Debord aims to navigate space at the whim of time, without prejudice.

It allows one to be carried by the wind, sharpening the senses of the one who follows it, compelling them to embrace life's opportunities.

This was an exercise given to us in the city of New Delhi. A 4-hour dérive during the day and 4 hours at night.

An exercise familiar to me as I tend to apply it in my daily life. A guiding thread directs it, but the dérive is a way to bypass the rigidity of a predefined path in society.

It is interesting to disconnect from it for a moment in order to better appreciate it. Often, it offers countless opportunities and encounters.

This day will probably be the only dérive of my life that I will describe in detail.

But it will neither be the first nor, most likely, the last!

Delhi, August 31, 2023.

Our starting point was the Sikh temple Gurudwara Bangla Sahib.

This place, discovered five years ago, had deeply marked me.

It may go against Guy Debord's theory, but being accompanied by two Indians unfamiliar with their own country's other religions, I invited them to meet me there.

10:00 am.

After removing our shoes, a melody called us to climb the marble steps leading to the temple.

Devotees kissed them one by one.

Then a solemn procession followed around a stage where the sung prayer was accompanied by the sharp rhythm of percussion and the resonance of bells.

Around us were carpets with a thousand patterns on which the faithful prayed and meditated.

Then a breeze called us outside, where a sacred pool surrounded by colonnades drew us into their shadows. A narrow strip of 3m/300m provided shelter from the sun and rain for anyone who sought refuge at any hour.

A hidden space for sharing and communion in this chaotic city.

A sanctuary of serenity for those who seek respite, slumber, introspection, or reflection...

A place of communal sharing where one can receive a daily meal without charge.

And even prepare sustenance to offer to the community in the name of God.

We were beckoned by the music and fragrance to proceed at a leisurely pace toward the kitchen, where other women and men, volunteers themselves, extended their warm welcome to us.

Three hundred chapatis were prepared by these souls, accompanied by the temple's music streaming live into the space.

Then came the time for farewells, and also a mild tendinitis...

It was too early to taste our chapatis.

The queue grew in front of the dining hall, and we decided to continue following the melody.

The temple's music called us back to it.

After being drawn in twice by the meanders of this place, repeatedly passing through the same areas, a scent beckoned us toward a dark opening beneath the colonnades' path. It was then that behind this unwelcoming entrance, a small courtyard offered meals at any hour. A simpler fare than that of the main kitchen, yet of quality.

Out of modesty and respect, no photos were taken without the consent of those who might appear in them.

After sharing this meal with strangers, we wondered what adventures were still to come. The scorching heat led us to opt for the northwest direction, where the city's shadow would provide us protection.

We were captivated by an ultra-brutalist, even futuristic building and the precision of its concrete formwork.

Once we resumed our walk, a bus came to a halt before us, its doors wide open, inviting us into its embrace. As we stepped on board, we were greeted by new souls, their faces filled with warmth, who directed us toward a local market that was a vivid tapestry of colors and life. We meandered through the market's labyrinthine alleyways, drawn into shops adorned with saris of a thousand hues, each one telling a story of its own.

That marked the end of the first four hours, but my dérive continued, weaving through a tapestry of experiences and encounters that would remain unrecorded in this narrative, yet they constituted the essence of my day.

19:30 pm.

My dear Indian friends were familiar with Delhi at night as I was, which is to say, quite unfamiliar indeed. In a moment of inspiration, a technique from my Paris life crossed my mind. Forty minutes later, we found ourselves standing inside a theater, its ornate façade illuminated by the soft glow of evening, without ever having to reach for our wallets.

Inside, a captivating performance awaited us—a showcase of traditional dances from various Indian states. For two hours, we wandered within the theater's dimly lit expanse, searching for the perfect vantage point, one that would offer us an unobstructed view of the stage and the vibrant costumes adorning the dancers.

When the curtain fell, we waited with bated breath. As it rose again, it unveiled all the dancers, a riot of color and movement, each figure telling a story through their intricate motions and their thousands colours.

A man two seats away from us extended his phone towards us, inviting us to capture the gratitude. After 30 minutes of video recording, he invited us to explore the theater's backstage and handed us his business card. He turned out to be the director of the Visual and Musical Culture Foundation of Odissi State.

Compelled to venture out, we found ourselves in an art gallery. We had the fortune of catching the final moments of an exhibition blending tradition and poetry. The works on display were explained to us by their creator, Subrata Ghosh, unveiling their essence and depth.

It was then that we realized we were within the confines of Joseph Allen Stein's India Habitat Centre.

The India Habitat Centre stands as one of India's most comprehensive conference venues. Its mission is to bring together individuals and institutions engaged in various fields related to habitat and the environment. Comprised of five blocks interconnected by elevated walkways, we strolled through its spaces, bringing our dérive to a graceful conclusion.

These carefully orchestrated experiences have allowed us to realize that the dérive can be influenced by architecture, and that a space can compel us to never leave its embrace. The drift unfolds through space, climate, the people we encounter, and their culture.

These beautiful and enriching experiences are ones I always delight in repeating. 

This experience serves as a reminder that every space, every encounter, and every culture can offer us fresh and enriching perspectives. It teaches us that the dérive, when guided by curiosity and an open mind, can become an extraordinary means of understanding the world that surrounds us.