Pritzker Laureate Balkrishna Doshi to Deliver Primary Speech at The Boston Architectural College’s 2021 Commencement
May 14, 2021
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Renowned international architect, urban planner, educator, and Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate Balkrishna Doshi to receive an Honorary Doctorate and deliver The Boston Architectural College’s primary speech at its virtual commencement Friday, May 28.
“It is an immense honor to have Balkrishna Doshi deliver the BAC’s commencement address to the graduating class this year,” said President Mahesh Daas. “His legendary work has made outstanding contributions to the world culture, transformed communities and inspired generations of designers―including me. As with all timeless buildings and cities, Doshi’s work defines and elevates human condition through design excellence.” President Daas recalls Prof. Doshi’s own words that “Building should evolve to express time.”
Influenced by 20th-century architectural giants Le Corbusier (Charles-Édouard Jeanneret) and Louis Kahn, Prof. Doshi’s 70-year legacy is one of education, thought leadership, and ethics. Prof. Doshi’s work respects Eastern culture while cutting across genres and socio-economic boundaries. His approach to architecture has always provided a unique perspective—embracing culture and creative form. As Prof. Doshi once said, “The whole environment is alive and constantly moving. You cannot see air but the moment we see the leaves moving we are aware of its presence.”
Prof. Doshi is uniquely suited to address the BAC’s latest generation of design leaders as they continue the institution’s commitment to furthering spatial justice and design excellence. In anticipation of the event, Prof. Doshi was “...truly humbled in accepting this Honorary Doctorate from The Boston Architectural College, and sends heartfelt gratitude to the trustees, students, faculty members and alumni of The Boston Architectural College.”
Beginning architecture studies in 1947 at the Sir J.J. School of Architecture Bombay (Mumbai), Prof. Doshi founded his own practice, Vastushilpa, in 1956—renamed Vastushilpa Consultants. In 1962, he founded the School of Architecture, CEPT Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (now CEPT University) in Ahmedabad, India, where he taught until 2008. He established Vastushilpa Foundation for Studies and Research in Environmental Design in 1978 to evolve indigenous design and planning standards for built environments appropriate to the socio-cultural and environmental milieu of India. Prof. Doshi was Founder, former Director and former Chairman of the School of Architecture and Planning (Ahmedabad, 1966–2012), which was renamed CEPT University in 2002.
In 2014, the first comprehensive exhibition of Prof. Doshi’s Work, Celebrating Habitat: The Real, the Virtual and the Imaginary, curated by architect Khushnu Panthaki Hoof, opened at the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi. A comprehensive touring exhibition of his work Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People, which was curated by Khushnu Hoof and coordinated by the Vitra Design Museum, opened in 2019.
Prof. Doshi has been announced as the Foreign Honorary Member of American Academy of Arts and Letters (2021); Recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize (2018); Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters of France (2011); Global Award for Lifetime Achievement for Sustainable Architecture, Institut Francais d’Architecture, Paris (2007); Prime Minister’s National Award for Excellence in Urban Planning and Design, India (2000); Aga Khan Award for Architecture (1993-1995) for Aranya Community Housing; Gold Medal, Academy of Architecture of France (1988); Gold Medal, Indian Institute of Architects (1988); and Padma Shree National Award, Government of India (1976). Prof. Doshi is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Indian Institute of Architects, and an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. He served on the Pritzker Prize Jury from 2005–2007, and on selection committees for the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts and the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
About the BAC
Founded in 1889, The Boston Architectural College (BAC) is a recognized institution with a diverse student population representing 35 countries. Providing excellence in practice-integrated design education, the BAC was Ranked #1 for Best Graduate School and #4 for Best Architecture School Offering Bachelor's Degrees in the U.S. in 2020 by GradReports.
The BAC offers bachelor and graduate degrees in architecture, interior architecture, landscape architecture, design studies as well as offering continuing education certificates and courses. In 2005, the BAC became the first institution in the U.S. to offer an accredited online degree in architecture. The BAC upholds the importance of inclusive admission, diversity, innovation, dedicated faculty, and the intrinsic value of both academic and experiential education.