Kamla Raheja Memorial Lecture Series

Kamla Raheja Memorial Lecture Series 2023 – 24th February 2023

The Kamla Raheja Memorial Lecture Series is an annual event held by the KRVIA to discover new directions in architecture and urban practice and pedagogy through discussions and debate, experiment and play, it enables the institution to open out new avenues and horizons for exploration within the academy. Every year a different issue concerning contemporary spatial practices is unpacked through multidisciplinary explorations, seminars, lectures, exhibitions and workshops. These events have covered a wide variety of issues including questions of the domain of architectural thinking, housing, infrastructure, history and heritage. The KRMLS is ssupported by the Kamla Raheja Foundation.


The theme attempts to articulate the city, urban phenomena and architecture through the lens of culture. It is an interdisciplinary understanding of culture, which is in a state of flux, shaped by the city, its identity and its architecture.

The theme runs through a three-year of cycle and brings about sub themes as follows.


2022 Urban Culture | Architecture | Question of identity

Architecture as a Generator of Urban Culture and producer of the collective
Book Launch: Charles Wolfe: ‘Sustaining a City’s Culture and Character’
KRVIA Faculty: Aneerudha Paul


2023 City-ness | Heritage| Question of Architecture Values
History as a seamless continuum for production of the urban

Book Launch: Nirmal Kishnani: ‘Ecopuncture’

KRVIA Faculty: Shantanu Poredi



2024 Regeneration | Community | Question of Environment
Regenerative processes as large virtues for the environment and the community

Book Launch:

Ecopuncture: Transforming Architecture and Urbanism in Asia

This book upacks misconceptions about Nature and Sustainability, and examines the designers role in bridging human-made and natural systems. To contextualize the challenge, it reports on several asian cities that have succumbed to ecological squalor, as well as others that have begun to reverse the damage done, by embracing a whole systems approach. 


Nirmal Kishnani

Nirmal Kishnani is Associate Professor at the School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore (NUS) where is Programme Director of the Master of Science, Integrated Sustainable Design. He teaches sustainable design and researches into how emerging principles of socio-ecological thinking translate to new pathways for practitioners in Asia. He has sat on several advisory panels in China, Singapore and Vietnam shaping policy and formulating guidelines that affect design practice. Collaborating with industry, he has created platforms for reporting forward-thinking projects and ideas, such as the FuturArc magazine and FuturArc Green Leadership Award. From 2015 to 2017, he was Assistant Dean and, later, Vice Dean, and was tasked with shaping the new net-zero energy building for the School which was completed in 2018. His book – Greening Asia: Emerging Principles for Sustainable Architecture (2012) – critiqued the Green movement in Asia and postulated a new principles for design thinking. His newest book – Ecopuncture: Transforming Architecture and Urbanism in Asia (2019) – moves the discourse towards regenerative thinking and is accompanied by a video documentary.


Classical Inspiration for Modern Design


There are some historic elements of Indian architectural design that have repeatedly inspired modern architecture, while there are others that remain ignored. What’s inspiring about some of them, and what’s the hesitation with others?


Keynote Speaker

Naman Ahuja

Dr Naman Parmeshwar Ahuja is Professor of art history at JNU where he is also Dean of the School of Arts & Aesthetics. He is the General Editor of Marg, India’s oldest publishing house dedicated to art and culture.

As a writer and curator, his work has deepened our understanding of Indian art from the perspectives of  visual culture, aesthetics, iconography and transculturalism. His books have been translated into French, Spanish and Dutch. He has curated some of the most important exhibitions of Indian art in the past ten years, including: The Body in Indian Art & Thought which was shown at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels and the National Museum in Delhi in 2013; and India & The World, in which 120 objects from the British Museum were staged in strategic dialogue with Indian objects at the CSMVS in Mumbai and the National Museum Delhi. The exhibitions have received critical acclaim for generating narratives of Indian history within a globalised world cognisant of issues of caste, gender, comparative religion and decolonisation.