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- DescriptionAmongst the Top Ten Best Selling Books, Non-Fiction in India for 18 running weeks, this is a must read for the layman and the architect alike. Born an American, celebrated in India as a leading architect and urbanist, Benninger possesses a sense of timelessness that spreads across oceans and over mountains. Letters to a Young Architect is a sensitive memoir of his life in India and his personal concerns about architectural theory and contemporary urban issues. The book represents a mature reflection of lessons learned along an ardous journey. Through the medium of articles and lectures presented over the past decade, a lucid collection of essays emerges to testify to the commonality of the human condition. The book documents a fifty-year passage, beginning in America in the 1960's, studying under the great master Jose Luis Sert, and continuing in the Indian subcontinent through a critical period of India's ascendance. This is a collection of autobiographical narratives and ideas reflecting a man's journey of the spirit from America to India and the philosophical considerations that matured from his experiences. Letters to a Young Architect reflects on the role and the direction of architecture in framing a new man and a new society in the new millennium. He tes his encounters with gurus like Walter Gropius, Arld Toynbee and Buckminster Fuller and the manner in which their personal passion for humanity shaped the lives of others. His journey is t only stories from the dusty roads he travelled on, but also of the passions and emotions of those he met along the way. Benninger is a strong believer in tradition, in gurus and in students and in a linage of values, ideals, principles and practices that have evolved and matured from generation to generation. His Principles of Intelligent Urbanism have provided an alternative to a new generation of urban planners and designers, who feel the fatigue of imported ideas impaled over the global landscape. Benninger is concerned with the education of architects; the very nature of architecture itself; and, the role of urbanism and planning in the creation of a new society. The role of Indian masters, like Balkrishna Doshi who guided him in his searches, are touching tributes to the Indian Guru-Shishya tradition. Benninger has a clear agenda to create human scale relationships within his spatial arrangements; to link indoor activities with exterior settings, utilizing the salubrious Indian climate to create live-work spaces; to employ local motifs, signs and symbols to bring meaning to the environment; to reduce energy consumption in both the construction and the life cycle operation of his buildings; to celebrate traditional materials and crafts; and to use the charisma of architecture to bring a sense of identity to a place and its inhabitants. His narrative presents a language that lies between American ideals found in its wooded, Arcadian landscapes, and sacred tions enshrined within Asian courtyards, generating a unique approach to architecture and place making.
- Author BiographyProfessor Christopher Charles Benninger lives and works in India and Bhutan. He is involved in the design of new towns, cities and large educational campuses (Please refer to Wikipedia). Born in America in 1942, Christopher Charles Benninger has lived in India for the past forty years. He studied urban planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and architecture at Harvard University, where he became a tenured Assistant Professor in 1970. A Fulbright Fellowship brought him to India in 1968, where he worked with Balkrishna Doshi. He returned to Ahmedabad as Ford Foundation Advisor to found the School of Urban Planning there in 1972. Benninger founded the Centre for Development Studies in India in 1976, involving him in Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Malaysia and Sri Lanka where he carried out assignments for the World Bank, the United Nations and for the Asian Development Bank. His innovative Site and Services approach to self-help housing in Chennai in the early 1970's became a global model of shelter accessibility. For the United Nations Center for Human Settlements (UNCHS) he wrote the Theme Paper for the Seventh Session of the United Nations Commission on Human Settlements (1984). He has lectured widely in Asia, Europe and North America. Benninger has won the Great Masters Award as one of only six recipients in the Indian subcontinent; The Golden Architect Award and prestigious awards from the Indian Institute of Architects. He won Designer of the Year Award (1999) in India, and the American Institute of Architects' Award (2000), jointly sponsored by Business Week and the Architectural Record for his design of the Mahindra United World College of India. The project was also a finalist for the Aga Khan Award. Benninger's designs and theoretical articles have appeared in journals and chapters of books around the world. Professor Benninger is on the Board of Editors of CITIES, a journal dedicated to urban studies in the United Kingdom. He is a Fellow of the Indian Institute of Architects and the Institute of Town Planners, India, and an Associate Member of the American Institute of Architects and of the American Planning Association. He is the Patron if the Planning Institute in America. Professor Benninger is presently designing the Indian Institute of Management Kolkata's new campus, the Azim Premji University and the Indian Institute of Technology at Hyderabad.
- Author(s)Christopher Benninger
- Date of Publication13/07/2011
- SubjectAutobiography: Business
- Place of PublicationScotts Valley
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- Content Note43 black & white illustrations
- Weight553 g
- Width196 mm
- Height232 mm
- Spine17 mm
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