Dismantling Building: A Kit of Parts: Samira Rathod Design Atelier

30 June - 2 August 2022

Samira Rathod’s ‘Dismantling Building = A Kit of Parts’ is an act of excavation. Through processes of distillation that analyse buildings designed in her studio, the attempt is to discover the fundamental unit of architecture, an ’ur’ architecture- the earliest, primitive unit. This is a process to uncover the phoneme of architectural language, the first utterance we make in the world. In the process of excavation, buildings that emerged out of carefully designed affective intentions are reduced to their drawings, which in turn are further distilled into form and then shapes. These shapes have no relationships to the platonic solids that were considered as the units of architecture by the modernists. Samira’s process of excavation dismantles these too, to reveal fragments, shards, splinters and swirls. These shapes have no scale, no dimensions, no materialities. They exist as gestures in space- figures against the ground, solids in the void, forms in space. These fragments float free of gravity in a dance that seems imminent but not yet choreographed. The void between them is charged with erotic possibilities. Sometimes these fragments meet, touch, hold, caress, and wrestle with each other. Every such meeting is painstakingly curated, precisely detailed, and every joint articulated. New affectivities emerge, enigmatic, rich with possibilities. There is always the possibility that the fragments might fall apart again, and wait on the side poised for the next dance. This is to be expected, as Samira Rathod’s ‘Dismantling Building = A Kit of Parts’ is a process of constant discovery and re-discovery, a pursuit towards beauty, which can only have direction but no end.


-Rohan Shivkumar


About Samira Rathod

Samira Rathod is the principal architect and founder of Samira Rathod Design Associates (SRDA). Established in 2000 in Mumbai with a passion for design, SRDA has built an enviable portfolio of a variety of architecture, interior projects, furniture designs and art installations. 


Rathod earned a Master of Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Eight years after beginning her own office, Rathod founded the SPADE India Foundation – a non-profit, discussion forum of architects, designers, photographers, authors, and editors interested in gathering and disseminating unfiltered viewpoints from within the practice of architecture through their critical publication SPADE India of which Rathod serves as an editor. She is also the founding director of SIRCLE (SPADE India Research Cell) as a means to more deeply investigate influential ideas uncovered through their discussion forum. Rathod is a visiting faculty member at the Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture and Environmental Studies (KRVIA) in Mumbai and Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) in Ahemdabad. 


SRDA has won numerous awards over the years including the Elle Decor International Design Award (EDIDA) and A+D, arc Vision Prize- Women and Architecture, Bergamo, Italy and the Spectrum Foundation Architecture Award. Rathod has been invited for lectures in many locations within the country and outside including Cornell in Ithaca, Germany, Mexico, Chicago. After her first solo furniture show in 1999, Rathod also started a furniture design and manufacture wing called The Big Piano. Since its inception Big Piano Furniture has been showcased in many exhibitions and shows across the country. SRDA has found itself in publications from across the world including AD, Monocle and 2 recent publications namely, Raising the roof-women architects who broke through the glass ceiling by Agata Toromanoff and Everything needs to change- Architecture and Climate Emergency to be published by RIBA.

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