Book release: “Le Corbusier: Ideas and Forms” by William J.R. Curtis, architecture historian

Tuesday, 13.10.2015 – Tuesday, 13.10.2015


"..his classic Le Corbusier Ideas and Forms published in 1986 and, for the quarter century since, the most thoughtful and complete analysis of the architect......There is still no better single source than William Curtis....This edition of Ideas and Forms, though striving for and achieving something like a total understanding of the forces affecting Corbusier's life and work, is at root concerned with exploring one thing: that “rare capacity”—which is to say, the ability to turn life into buildings. And that's why, architects, yes: you'll need to buy this new version..." …Philip Nobel, Architectural Record, NY, June 2015

Lecture and moderated dialogue and open interaction on 'The journey continues from Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh to future smart habitat…'

Panelists: William J R Curtis (UK), Rahul Mehrotra, architect (India), moderated by Prof. Alfredo Brillembourg, Chair of Architecture and Urban design, Federal Institute of Technolgy (ETHZ - Switzerland)

Entry details: 06.00 pm onwards, for registration and e-invite write to; Kindly furnish a photo ID at the entrance.

Event organized by the Embassy of Switzerland in India in collaboration with Architecture + Design

About the panelists

William J.R. Curtis

“Rome was not built in a day' and a city is not the same thing as an 'app' or a website!! There needs to be a debate about the best ways to confront and harness the energies of a rapid and uncontrolled laissez-faire urban development in India. High tech solutions have their place but so do low tech and traditional ones, especially in dealing with climate, social space and the dimensions of meaning and urban form. ....” – William J.R. Curtis

William J R Curtis is an award-winning historian, critic, writer, curator, painter and photographer. Educated at the Courtauld Institute and Harvard University, he has taught the history of architecture and theories of design at many universities around the world including Harvard, the Architectural Association and the University of Cambridge where he was Slade Professor of Fine Art (2003–04). His best known books include Modern Architecture Since 1900 (third edition, Phaidon, 1996) and Le Corbusier: Ideas and Forms (first edition, Phaidon, 1986; seconde edition, Phaidon, 1985), both of which have been widely translated and both of which have been referred to as ‘classics’. His Denys Lasdun: Architecture, City, Landscape (Phaidon, 1994) was also published to critical acclaim. Curtis has written over a dozen monographs on diverse aspects of modern and contemporary architecture as well as numerous studies on Le Corbusier. His prize-winning Balkrishna Doshi: an Architecture for India (Mapin, 1988, 2015) has just been reissued. He has published historical, critical and theoretical texts on subjects as varied as Indian architecture, both ancient and modern, Australian aboriginal spear throwers, the history of everyday objects and the role of abstraction in photographs. He also contributes regularly to international critical journals such as the Architectural Review and El Croquis.

Rahul Mehrotra / India

Rahul Mehrotra is an architect, urbanist and educator who is the Founder Principal of RMA Architects and is Professor of Urban Design and Planning and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Mehrotra has designed projects that range from recycling urban land and master planning in Mumbai to the design of art spaces, boutiques, weekend houses, factories, social institutes and office buildings across India – thereby engaging diverse issues, multiple constituencies and varying scales: from interior design and architecture to urban design, conservation and planning.

Alfredo Brillembourg / Switzerland

Alfredo Brillembourg founded Urban-Think Tank (U-TT) in Venezuela, where he has been a member of the Venezuelan Architects and Engineers Association and a guest professor at numerous Universities. In 2007, Brillembourg co-founded the Sustainable Living Urban Model Laboratory (S.L.U.M. Lab) with Hubert Klumpner, at Columbia University. Along with Hubert Klumpner, Brillembourg holds the chair for Architecture and Urban Design at the Swiss Institute of Technology (Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule, ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland. As co-principle of U-TT, Brillembourg has received the 2010 Ralph Erskine Award, the 2011 Holcim Gold Award for Latin America, the 2012 Holcim Global Silver Award for innovative contributions to ecological design practices and the 2012 Golden Lion Award at the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale.         

Location: Embassy of Switzerland, New Delhi