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Amrita Raja selected as 2012 Summer Design Fellow

Friday, 11 May 2012

Shepley Bulfinch has named Amrita Raja as the firm’s 2012 Summer Design Fellow. Amrita, who was selected from a highly competitive field of more than 50 candidates, will spend ten weeks this summer immersed in design challenges in the firm’s Boston studio.

In selecting Amrita as this year’s Fellow, committee members cited the depth of expression in her work and her understanding and articulacy in discussing her design decisions and intent.

Amrita will start her final year in the Master’s program in Architecture at Yale this fall. She is now in the early stages ...[more]

Design notes: the 2013 Fellowship poster

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

In a provocative blog post on beauty in architecture, 2012 Summer Design Fellow Amrita Raja commented upon the reluctance of many contemporary architects to discuss the role of beauty, relying instead on more purely rational justifications such as performance. It reminded me of the 2009 NY Times article about Douglas Bowman who very publicly left his position as Google’s top visual designer because, in his words, “at Google design lived or died by data.”

Amrita’s post also reminded me of the scene in the documentary film Helvetica, where Michael Place from UK-based design firm Build talks candidly about how, for him, design is primarily ...[more]

On beauty

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Beauty has been banned from the studio. She peers through cracks in boarded windows at the new architecture of performance. The story of her exile is one that spans two disparate events: Sullivan’s dangerous assertion that “form follows function” and the economic downturn that forced a restructuring of architectural practice in the 21st century.

The latter was the blow that erased Beauty’s place in public discourse. A capitalist economy relies on progress and growth, especially in times of duress; this necessity in times of dwindling funds produces a desire for cheaper, more efficient structures, where discussion of Beauty are seemingly moot. It appeared that for the contemporary client, a building’s ability ...[more]