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DECEMBER 2001 Contents

 Architecture

 Joseph Allen Stein
 A tribute by Ram Rahman


 
Art
 
A Spiritual Activist
 Rozalia Radhika Priya


 
Music

 Ghulam Ali

 Prem Joshua
 (Listen to the track
 'Lahore Connection')

 Maharaja
 (Listen to the track
 'Moria Badnawa')


 
Technology

 Telecoms & Software
 - Trends in south Asia

 Value/Wealth Creators

 Narayana Murthy - Infosys

 Sam Pitroda - C-DOT

 Aziz Premji - Wipro

 Sunil Mittal - Bharti Mittal

 Ambanis - Reliance

 Safi Qureshi

 Hassan Ahmed - Sonus

 Atiq Raza - Raza Foundries

 

 Literature/Books

 'It was five past midnight
 in Bhopal' - Lapierre

 
 
Performing Arts

 Simplifying Ramayana
 - Bharatiya Kala Kendra

 
 Viewpoint

 Islam's middle-path


 Mythology

 Sakti - Mother Goddess


 Films

 Nandita Das


Events

 Wharton India Economic
 Forum Conference


 Editor's Note

 

 
the craft shop

the print gallery

Books

Silk Road on Wheels

The Road to Freedom

Enduring Spirit

Parsis-Zoroastrians of
India

The Moonlight Garden

Contemporary Art in Bangladesh

 

Page  2  of  3

 

An urban legacy

(cntd.)

Joseph Allen Stein, 1912-2001

A Tribute

by

Ram Rahman

Joseph_Allen_Stein_1986.JPG (40312 bytes) 
Joseph Stein, 1912 - 2001

 

Stein arrived in India already formed as a mature and self-assured
designer and planner and immediately plunged into the major project being
undertaken in West Bengal - the Durgapur township, designed with Benjamin
Polk, an American architect living in Calcutta. (It was also there that he
became a close friend and colleague of my father Habib Rahman, who had
also returned from the U.S. with an American architectural degree, an
association which makes this tribute a personal one.)

Joe (and my father) moved to Delhi in the 1950s, Joe to set up private
practice and my father to join the Central public works department. After
Independence, both worked in that magic moment literally building the new
India right at its heart, New Delhi. 

Both Joe and Margaret were very quiet people, yet they held very strong and idealistic beliefs. Few people know that they had left California after the War, disillusioned by the new McCarthy era. In a way, the India that the Steins found themselves in held all the positive hope for a great new society - socialist, pacifist and egalitarian, ideals that were dear to both and lay at the core of both their design philosophy and their vision of their own life's journey.
Ideal as companions to each other, my memory of them as a little child is
of a couple of such grace and gentility, they were calming like yogic
gurus. 

The full glow of the 'Nehruvian enlightenment' was influencing the
emergence of an entire new, modern India. While other famous architects
were coming and working in the country then - Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn,
Charles and Ray Eames, Edward Durrel Stone, Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew,
Stein differed from them in that he had made India his home and sought to
be actively involved in the making of the new society. In Delhi, our two
families would spend every weekend exploring every ruin and village. This
was a living discovery of the great Sultanate architecture of Delhi, in
the days when all the sites were still near little villages surrounded by
blazing yellow mustard fields in winter. Both Joe and my father developed
a fascination for the traditions of Delhi building and its effect on Joe
could not be clearer than in the India International Centre (IIC). The
surfaces and materials Stein used: local stone, cast concrete jalis, blue
and green ceramic tiles as highlights, were an updating of the Sultanate
architecture of Delhi, which Stein had learned to love and admire through
weekly exploration.

It was in his New Delhi buildings - notably the Triveni Kala Sangam arts
complex (1957-77) and the ICC (1959-62) - that his full design personality
emerged. Both were immediately distinguished by their elegant formal
spaces, beautifully muted by covered walkways, extensive planting and
landscaping and their meticulous detailing.

"Two things have essentially guided my work. One is what you might call an
interest in and search for an appropriate modern regionalism. I would put
equal emphasis on both words, 'regional' and 'modern', because regional
without modern is reactionary, and modern without regional is insensitive,
inappropriate. The second one is to seek the character of the solution in
the nature of the problem, as much as one possibly can," Stein had said.

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