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KT Ravindran

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For those who remain to be convinced by the political importance of architecture, KT Ravindran is the person to meet.

Professor and Head of Urban Design at the School of Planning and Architecture of New Delhi, his work focuses on the development of cities, and more specifically on the inclusion and conservation of heritage buildings in modern urban spaces. Founder and president of the Institute of Urban Designers, he teaches classes such as “Urban Morphology” and “Humanizing Cities”. Under these baroque terms, there is a necessary architectural, geographical and sociological assessment of the explosion of urban landscapes. Amidst the obvious anomie in the development of Indian cities, KT Ravindran offers theoretical and practical solutions to the architectural and geopolitical issues which have appeared in the last two decades.

Indeed, one of the examples of his contribution is in the Nizamuddin area of New Delhi, where he is convinced that heritage conservation can go hand-in-hand with socio-economic development, a feat that has often been the Achilles heel of Indian public actors. His main goal has always been to involve local populations and re-include them in the space they inhabit. “It’s about getting the people to believe in what you believe in”, he told Outlook Magazine, “and making a narrative out of it”.

A frequent speaker at many national and international conferences, KT Ravindran is also significantly involved in the public decision-making sphere, as he was the Vice Chairman of the Environmental Impact Assessment Committee of the Government of India – where he oversaw the scrutiny of the environmental sustainability of national-scale architectural projects – and an advisor to the Secretary of the United Nations on their projects in New York City.

As a member of the Delhi Urban Art Commission, KT Ravindran finds himself at the intersection of the aesthetical, environmental and sociological ends of architectural endeavours. Very interested in vernacular building traditions, he proves that creativity in design is of utmost importance to develop solid projects, insofar as the architectural challenges facing Indian city-dwellers can only be overcome with new solutions – as well as their full participation and belief in what architects propose.

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