Balkrishna Doshi
Architecture for the People

Exhibition programme


Exhibition tour »Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People«

Regular tours in German on Saturdays, Sundays and National Holidays
11.30 am, Vitra Design Museum
Tours in English upon request, inquiries and bookings:

Children's tour »Architecture for everyone!«

Tours in German on the following Sundays:
14 April, 5 May, 2 June, 7 July, 1 September 2019
2:30 pm, Vitra Design Museum
Tours in English upon request, inquiries and bookings:


Balkrishna Doshi
OPENING TALK (EN) | 29 March 2019
6 pm, meeting point: Vitra Schaudepot

Balkrishna Doshi is regarded as India’s most important architect and was distinguished with the renowned Pritzker Prize in 2018. In conjunction with the opening of the Vitra Design Museum exhibition »Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People«, Doshi will discuss his work and ideals. His talk focuses on the connection between modern architecture and Indian building traditions as well as sustainability and the aim to conceive architectural structures that are adapted to the desires and needs of their inhabitants. The discussion will also offer insights into the fascinating career of this nonagenarian – from the beginning of his studies at Sir J.J. College of Architecture in Mumbai in 1947, to his years in the Paris studio of Le Corbusier, to the activities of Doshi’s own architectural firm Vastushilpa, which he still runs today. The event will be moderated by Swiss art historian Philip Ursprung.

Free admission, registration:

Ahmedabad and Chandigarh: India between heteronomy and self-determination
TALK (DE) | 25 April 2019
6:30 pm, Vitra Schaudepot

Between the 1950s and 1970s, after the end of British colonial rule, both Louis I. Kahn and Le Corbusier completed major architectural projects in India. Le Corbusier created an urban plan for Chandigarh, the new capital city in the state of Punjab, while Kahn built the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad. How did the design of such important buildings come to be entrusted to Western architects in a nation that had just gained its independence? Ita Heinze-Greenberg, Professor of Modern Architectural History at ETH Zurich, examines the activities of Le Corbusier and Louis I. Kahn in India from the perspective of constructing a national identity.
Free admission

Mario Botta – Expanding on Modernism
TALK (FR/DE) | 9 May 2019
6:30 pm, Zaha Hadid Fire Station

Swiss architect Mario Botta is regarded as one of the most important exponents of postmodern architecture. He is known for such prominent buildings as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1995) and the Museum Jean Tinguely in Basel (1993–96). As co-founder of the Academy of Architecture at the Università della Svizzera italiana in Mendrisio, he has taught and influenced generations of students. Geometric shapes and sculptural compositions, which emphasize the sensuous qualities of space and materials, are intrinsic characteristics of Botta’s architecture.

Free admission, registration:

Julia King – The Promise of Infrastructure
TALK (EN) | 6 June 2019
6:30 pm, Vitra Schaudepot

The architect and urban researcher Julia King conceived the »Potty Project« as an infrastructure initiative in India’s Savda Ghevra community. This project shows how practice-based research can contribute to marked improvements in hygienic conditions in India’s slums, thereby improving the inhabitants’ quality of life. The »Potty Project« unites various elements of the sanitation value chain: from toilets in private homes to waste water systems to recycling facilities. King was recognised as »Emerging Woman Architect of the Year« by the »Architects’ Journal« and »The Architectural Review« for this exemplary project.
Free admission

Thomas Kröger – Urbanity and Emptiness
TALK (DE) | 27 June 2019
6:30 pm, Vitra Schaudepot

German architect Thomas Kröger is one of the most interesting proponents of a freshly provocative counterposition to the quest for greater urbanity. In the regions of Uckermark and East Frisia, he remodels farmhouses, renovates old structures, and erects new buildings to create places where people can find rest and shelter from the hectic pace of city life. Kröger describes his work and presents his best projects. He also explains how his designs for urban sites differ from those in rural areas. This event is part of the series »archithese kontext«, a cooperative project.
Free admission

Wednesday Matinee
CURATOR’S TOUR (DE) | 10 July 2019
10 am, Vitra Design Museum

Jolanthe Kugler, curator at the Vitra Design Museum, guides visitors through the exhibition »Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People«, giving background information on the preparations, development and main ideas of the exhibition.
€ 10.00 per person

Farshid Moussavi – Architecture and Micropolitics
TALK (EN) | 11 July 2019
6:30 pm, Vitra Schaudepot

Farshid Moussavi is an architect, principal of Farshid Moussavi Architecture, and Professor in Practice of Architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Previously, she was co-founder of the Londonbased »Foreign Office Architects«. In 2011 Moussavi established her own architectural practice, with which she has completed important international projects, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland (2012) as well as residential complexes in Nanterre and Montpellier. Moussavi’s approach is characterized by openness to change and commitment to the intellectual and cultural life of architecture.
Free admission

Andres Lepik – Social Architecture
TALK (DE) | 29 August 2019
6:30 pm, Vitra Schaudepot

Architecture shapes the society in which it emerges. Its social relevance is especially evident in the responses to such problems as political or ecological migration, overpopulation,marginalization, and slum formation. Andres Lepik, Director of the Architekturmuseum München, was a curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where he realised the influential exhibition »Small Scale, Big Change« in 2010. In this lecture, Lepik presents building projects in the Global South that improve the living conditions of local populations – requiring minimal financial investment, but all the more personal initiative and creativity.
Free admission

Inspiring India – Guided Tour and Dinner
SPECIAL (DE) | 30 August 2019
6 pm, Vitra Design Museum

A special evening accompanies the exhibition »Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People«. Participants will gain exclusive insights into the background and main themes of the exhibition on an exclusive guided tour. The tour is followed by a dinner with Euro-Indian fusion food and musical accompaniment in the Depot Deli. An evening for the senses!

€ 58.00 per person, incl. dinner

You can find all information on the exhibition here.