Internationally renowned architects Balkrishna Doshi and Moshe Safdie participated in a rare live virtual discussion to reconsider the question, ‘What makes a livable city?’ They weigh the roles and responsibilities of architects in relation to that of policy makers, planners, and developers.
"We as architects need to intervene with the body politic to achieve the qualities that we are hoping to have in the environment."
- Moshe Safdie
This discussion takes place nearly half a century after Doshi and Safdie worked together on the Habitat Bill of Rights. Written in 1976, the Bill of Rights was conceived of as a response to the increases in urbanization in developing countries and, in part, as a timely guide to developing equitable housing in a period of rapid industrialization.
Balkrishna Doshi began his architecture studies at the Sir J.J. College of Architecture Bombay (Mumbai). In 1956, he opened his own practice in Ahmedabad and called it Vastu-Shilpa. In 1962, at the age of 35, he founded the School of Architecture at the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) in Ahmedabad. In 1978, Doshi established the Vastushilpa Foundation for Studies and Research in Environmental Design with the aim of developing indigenous design and planning standards for built environments appropriate to the society, culture, and natural environment of India.
Doshi is the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, including the Global Award for Lifetime Achievement for Sustainable Architecture, the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, and the Gold Medal of the Academy of Architecture of France, among others. He is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Indian Institute of Architects, and the Institut Français d’Architecture, and an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. In 2018, he was the first Indian architect to be awarded the Pritzker Prize.
Monica Chadha is the founder and principal of Civic Projects, an architecture practice with a focus on social impact. Prior to starting her firm, she served as founding director of Impact Detroit and led project teams at both Studio Gang and Ross Barney Architects. Outside of Civic Projects, Monica serves as co-chair of the Sensible Growth Committee of the Metropolitan Planning Council, as a Strategic Consultant for Archeworks, and is on the Board of the Delta Institute. She has been an Adjunct Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology since 2007, engaging students in social impact design practices.