In 2019, to commemorate Mohit Gujral's 60th year, Mohit returned to his Alma Mater by committing to a five years of programming in conjunction with CEPT University, run under the dynamic Directorship of Dr. Bimal Patel. CEPT emerged from the School of Architecture, founded by B.V. Doshi, one of modern Indian architecture's most celebrated practitioners. CEPT is one of the leading architectural institutions in India.
Each year there are three main events led by the Gujral Foundation - 6 annual excellence awards, a Sculpture Park
which features works by leading contemporary artists and architects, alongside which there will be workshops/talks and finally exciting new courses on the summer and winter school curriculums.
The CEPT Gujral Foundation Excellence Award is a cash award of rupees one lakh each, awarded to six students annually for studio excellence.
On 24th February 2022, we were proud to unveil the first three awardees of the CEPT Gujral Foundation Excellence Award for this year. This is the fourth year since the institution of these awards in 2019, inspiring and encouraging students towards striving for creativity and excellence.
The CEPT Gujral Foundation Excellence Award is a celebration of creativity at its best. And nowhere does that resonate better than with the distinguished jury panel who selected our awardees. Once again this year, our panel consisted of Bobby Desai
(architect and chair of the jury panel); Steven Smith
(architect); Archana Shah
(textile designer and entrepreneur); Dinesh Sharma
(product designer) and Walter de Souza
(artist). Joining the panel for the first time was Suranjana Satwalekar
(exhibit designer and NID faculty member).
For a second time, Almitra R.
has been awarded the CEPT Gujral Foundation Excellence Awards. This year, for her project titled 'Society of Trimtabs'
. Through her project Almitra predicted a shared and empowered future.
The society of trimtabs is made of individuals of heightened awareness as the primary social, economic, and administrative unit with a rationale assisted by artificial intelligence (a mirrored consciousness achieved by heights of surveillance and monitoring). If more decision-making power was given to an individual within limits of common consensus. The individual is not limited by societal conditions but rather enabled by the same.
was given the award for her project titled ‘Diffusing edges: Social and economic restructuring’.
Her project explored the possibilities of life around urban architecture.
In an emerging and developing economy like India, majority of urban workers come from informal sectors. This broad and heterogeneous workforce which includes construction site workers, venders on streets, women workers who work from home, etc. makes up for 80% of our economy, yet they’re not considered while designing our cities and are often pushed to the peripheries that make it even more difficult for them to survive and serve the need. Hence a narrative-based decentralized and distributed infrastructural approach has been employed which makes the cities more inclusive in terms of their accessibility for the informal sector workers and its viability for them to survive without having to constantly move.
This project was one such example of how an urban village like Makarba gaam could be included in city planning without entirely changing and redeveloping the site from scratch but instead recontextualizing them with smaller interventions.
won the award for her project titled ‘Productive commons - DIY urbanism’.
Her project re-imagined city planning ideologies.
The proposal gave a design framework to public spaces to create productive uses linked by a pedestrian network. A typical Gandhinagar sector under residential zone has about 35% land under public domain designated for small and large infrastructural developments for the residents of the sector. Majority of these public lands till date remain unused, unproductive, and barren.
Naphade’s project suggested that developing these lands would create a continuous framework of productive landscapes for communities in the centre of the sector, while also shaping active and accessible zones.
The winners through their award winning projects, collectively showed us that change, for the better, is just within reach.
On 15th March 2021, we were delighted to announce the awardees of the CEPT Gujral Foundation Excellence Awards
for the current semester. The awardees were selected by our illustrious jury panel consisting of Bobby Desai
(architect and chair of the jury panel); Steven Smith
(architect); Archana Shah
(textile designer and entrepreneur) and Dinesh Sharma
The CEPT Gujral Foundation Excellence Award was awarded to Almitra R
for her project Pondy Bazaar
which was developed around the narrative of adaptive inhabitation of any uncanny toy that occupies the belly of a flyover as an entanglement of the stories of multiple people. A place that began as one for social gathering for the immediate residential areas now stands as a nexus of activity only shaped by the act of consumption and transaction was the setting of the project’s narrative.
won the award for her project Hers, His, Theirs
which proposed an ungendered reimagination of the studio site, Katwaria Sarai, Delhi, which stemmed from research, observations and analysis of gendered patterns within the private and the public realms undertaken at various sites such as Auroville, Ahmedabad, Delhi and Shimla over the course of the studio. In the context of India, the right to the city tends to lie with men, reflected strongly in social norms and spatial conditions. The project aimed to extend the right to the city through notions of access, safety and leisure to women and thereby to the diversity of users of the public realm.
Sva: A vision of self-sustenance
is the project that awarded Dharan Korduvar
the prize. His project explored the dramatic shift caused due to a large number of people moving from rural to urban areas, which can in turn lead to a great number of environmental and social problems that the world will have to face in the coming decades. By integrating productive landscapes in the everyday life of the people he aimed to design an ideal sector which is totally self-sufficient. His design premises included: Food, Water, Energy, Waste, Bio-Diversity.
project An Interactive Work Station
that fetched her the award, explored the idea of designing a metro station that connected people to people instead of connecting people to places. The project grappled with the idea to stitch the interaction gap that city life has created. With the uprising of boundary walls people have disconnected themselves from social interaction. The project proposed that public infrastructure such as a metro station can be a link to revive this lost communication.
The last student to receive the award for the current academic semester was Dwij Hirpara
for his project Municipal Ward Office And Public Services
. The project evolved from several research and design exercises conducted through the initial half of the semester. The idea of the project was to insert a pacemaker in the ageing heart of the town of Anand in Gujarat. The site selected was an abandoned factory premise which once boasted of a building larger than any other in the vicinity. This project was a manifestation of various ideas of Time, Public and Architecture.
Sharan GS was awarded The CEPT Gujral Foundation Excellence Award for his studio project ‘Rethinking Lost Space’. His project was conceived by articulating the important aspects of a Narrative - Plot, Conflict, Characters, Atmosphere, Climax etc through various tools like the narrative arc and the storyboard.
Through his project Sharan looked at Lost Spaces - spaces which are leftover and unstructured, anti-spaces making no positive contribution to the surroundings. He focused the project on one such lost space located at the centre of Rajkot, Gujarat with two huge overhead water tanks supported by five stories of a regular concrete column beam grid situated in the Jubeli Garden and surrounded by a historically rich and dynamic urban fabric. The intent was to redefine the lost space of the tanks such that it can contribute to the urban setting and become a part of it.
The Jury Panel was impressed with the poetic narrative, threaded through an existing, yet evocative ensemble of urban infrastructure. They felt that Sharan’s intervention created a field of potentiality, of opportunity and the unexpected.
Arsh Kania's was awarded The CEPT Gujral Foundation Excellence Award for his studio project ‘Visitor’s Centre, Jaisalmer’. Through the project, he deciphered the unique architectural vocabulary and grammar of Spanish Architect, Enric Miralles, as well as derived the architectural syntax of a proposed Visitor Centre in Jaisalmer.
His proposal captured the spirit and dynamism of Miralles’ architecture in plan and section, which he skillfully manipulated to generate a building that responded uniquely to the various constraints and opportunities of the site. It had a complexity and scale, which acted as a delicate counterpoint to the brooding mass and bulk of the adjacent fort.
The esteemed Jury particularly commended the skill with which the section of the proposed building developed and responded to program and context.
Hetanshu Pandya was awarded The CEPT Gujral Foundation Excellence Award for his studio project ‘In-between Architecture’.
The project focused on how the present step-well and its architecture has grown to be irrelevant in today’s time and further builds on the dire need of the city to have a public place which is in its true sense, public. Hetanshu proposed a pavilion structure without any program or function which acts like a platform for the city and its everyday life to unfold upon.
The Jury Panel cited that, ‘In-between Architecture’ was a highly relevant and potent project, which was illustrated with elegance and sensitivity.
The jury panel for 2019-2020’s award consisted of eminent industry leaders: Bobby Desai (architect and chair of the jury panel); Walter de Souza (artist); Archana Shah (textile designer and entrepreneur) and Dinesh Sharma (product designer). The first 3 awardees Aashumi Shah, Mayuri Talaviya and Ritika Mittal were announced in the beginning of August 2019. Arsh Kania, Hetanshu Pandya and Sharan GS were awarded the CEPT Gujral Foundation Excellence Award in January 2020.
Our Student awardee of ‘The CEPT- Gujral Foundation Excellence Awards’ : Aashumi Shah's project : ‘‘Wellness, Wellbeing and Mindfulness, Lonavala’ has been detailed to reflect one of the greatest living architects, Richard Rogers’ architectural language and attitude towards a range of aspects.
The jury enjoyed her project for its bold and direct implementation of a pre- existing architectural syntax and principals, creating a surrealistic and extreme design response.
Taking inspiration from the mandala wire toy, Ritika Mittal designed a low heighted reclining chair for her project that undergoes transformation to generate a two dimensional stackable, portable, lightweight element which can also be used as a wall hanging system.
The jury appreciated the economy of means and simplicity of Ritika’s chair design and noted that the design provides a solution with elegant minimalism, eschewing extraneous technical and visual bravado.
Mayuri’s project : ‘Play + Narration- Museum of Mandu’ explores challenges related to adaptive reuse, architectural intervention and materiality, in bringing, back into use, Gada Shah’s shop, a building ruin in Mandu.
In this project, Mayuri designs the ruin as a space for an open theatre and a museum that would cater to both tourists and the locals.