One Continuous Line

Art, Architecture and Urbanism of Aditya Prakash

Aditya Prakash belonged to the first generation of Indian modernists, a lodestar group of civil servants under Jawaharlal Nehru’s leadership immediately after Independence, at a time when the connectivity between city, citizen and nation seemed vibrant and expanding. Ignoring disciplinary boundaries, Prakash viewed all aspects of his work as multiple dimensions of a single quest—to understand the purpose of life, enjoy it, and to keep the interests of the poorest at heart. This is the “one continuous line” and it represents an insight into Prakash’s philosophy in life and design.

Conceived as an introduction to his vast body of work, this volume is an illustrated narrative, with a series of interspersed visual essays. The book traces his education as an architect, his early modernist works, his deep artistic impulses and his efforts to rally a culture of academic inquiry in the face of political stagnation and apathy. It documents early successes and later frustrations of his life as an architect and academic, and his arguments against the turn to postmodernism in Indian architecture of the early 1980s. The book also provides an interpretive and personal narrative of Prakash’s life and legacy, in order to encourage others to engage with this visionary architect’s oeuvre.

The Aditya Prakash Archives referred to in this book have been acquired by the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal (