Charles Correa was perhaps India’s foremost Modernist. However, he did not simply adapt Western practices to a subcontinental version: he transformed Modernism and owned it.
As a student in the 1980’s I had the benefit of hearing his guest lecture at the UTS International Series. Mr Correa must have been around my age at the time. I was inspired by concepts of community empowerment by involvement and his self determination to make designs local, and paradoxically in the one moment, internationally relevant. I saw India’s struggle to embrace a modern art movement similar to Australia’s struggle to find an artistic expression that is peculiarly Australian, at a time when Glenn Murcutt’s tin roof pavilions were leading the way.
As a student at UTS, our job was to serve the red and white wine which we had especially labelled for each guest speaker. I lament not retaining just one bottle of the Charles Correa labelled Mudgee Shiraz and the fact that those international series talks are rare events.
RIP Mr Correa.
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