Spade is a periodic journal deliberating design and architecture in India. Spade aims to invoke introspection and provoke thought, explore ideas and inspire aspirations towards a fine architecture, especially at a time when we must shoulder the huge responsibility of nation building.

The articles, essays, projects are all of academic significance and will then remain as key markers for ideas to follow, question or denounce by fellow designers. Spade may be a great source for reading and understanding for students and the upcoming generations of designers in the country and is one forum that will discuss openly and unabashedly.

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architect's retreat

The Architects’ Retreat was held on February 22, 2014 at the Yacht Club, Mumbai. It started at 9.30 am in the morning and ended in the evening at 6.00 pm. Through the day the assembled architects made short presentations on:

  • Practice
  • Practice & Patronage
  • Practice & Structure
  • Practice & Technology
  • Practice & Communication
  • Practice & Academia
  • Academics
  • Academics & Pedagogy
  • Academics & Teaching
  • Academics & Learning

These were debated and recorded. This book and movie, ‘Behind Closed Doors’, is an account of that day.


With the overwhelming response from the fraternity and the stake holders of the country, Spade India has now spread its umbrella to undertaking research based projects, under its subset, SIRCLE : Spade India research cell. SIRCLE is committed to excellence and enquiry, dissemination of education in the field of design, architecture, and urban design.

SRDA undertakes and promotes research in design at urban and rural scales. From documentation of heritage and monumental Indian structures to daring new ways of thinking about space making, SRDA believes that only through a strong culture of investigation, inventorying and inspecting can the discipline be enhanced to the benefit of all.

1. A Dark Rhapsody:

Our journey through South India introduced us to a language of building that is completely characteristic of its people, their nature of living and the environment. The tectonics of the architecture was inextricable from culture, narratives, life and living.

This book on Traditional Architecture of South Indian focuses on the rationale, the proportions, the light, the shade, the texture and experience of materiality rather than the details of embellishments measured to the exactitude of construction. The method of study, documentation and representation allows one to sensually experience the craft and skill at use and learn from it without needing to replicate it.

Research Team:

Nikhil Sriram Periaswamy, Rhea Shah, Sunain S Dalwani

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Rs 3000

Subsidised Price for Students: Rs 2000

2. Project Boject:

The research aims to study the idea of dismantling a building with a view to recycle all its materials in a newer manifestation, so as to retain a sense of its memory. The premise of the project lies in challenging the explosive trend of wiping away buildings along with the collective memories of generations of inhabitants in various areas across the city, only to be replaced by orthogonal projections derived from mere administrative regulations.

Looking at these precincts with an introspective lens and suggesting the preservation of not just the building but a sense of place; thus aiming to reinvent our methods of construction and build with the existing material palette. Buildings thus reincarnate themselves to fit within the context of changing times, yet retain the soul and spirit of the building that was.

Research Team:

Pratyusha Suryakant, Jinal Shah, Sarah Drouet, Sahil Shah, Akshara Verma, Pushkraj Tambdey, Dushyant Asher, Nidhi Mistry, Kamakshi Ganesh, Nikita John

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Rs 400

3. Nari gandhi Documentation:

Nari Gandhi constantly tried to achieve integrity between composition of spaces and material tectonics. He could envision his designs without the aid of drawings. His designs evolved as the work progressed on the site. Despite his unconventional methods, his clients trusted him and gave him freedom to experiment.

This is the documentation project of The Kishore Bajaj Farmhouse in Karjat, designed by Nari Gandhi. The scope of documentation work is limited to the habitable spaces and does not include the work done post Nari Gandhi’s demise.The documentation was carried out using on-site measurements and photographs and has been presented in the form of computer aided two dimensional and three dimensional drawings.

Research Team:

Ashwin Chari and Pawan Rao, Sachin Talekar.

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out of stock

4. Visions and Divisions- The Banganga Experiments:

Banganga is sacred tank surrounded by 100 year old temples and modern skyscrapers, a place in which activities change throughout the day and a range of people from the homeless to Brahmins visit on a daily basis.

This study does not aim to be an all-encompassing archive of the various elements of Banganga, however it does attempt to tap into the experiential value of Indian urban design to understand and reveal how spaces, at times seemingly undesigned, render a place in which an experience can be used to script architecture; an architecture driven by sensations, sights, and sounds.

Research Team:

Kristen Teutonico

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Rs 250

5. Train Corridor:

Some people study others by decrypting their reaction in extreme situations. The train is the extreme space - minimal, standardized, and in motion. An empty shell of steel as the perfect sample for architecture, why not? Bodies interpret the volume in an unconscious act that does not need analysis.

Transit is ignored in India, and its space-time utilized for what it is, for what it can give for the time being. The focus is here on passenger trains, as a direct feature of the relation between cities and people. On space constraint and its impact, the illustrations given here – documented from observations in situ - are a reference given to understand more about those samples of encapsulated spaces.

Research Team:

Sarah Drouet

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Rs 250

SIRCLE: proposes to invite professionals and experts to conduct, guide and direct research projects, programmes, not merely of archival significance alone, but even that which maybe of direct relevance to the practise itself; an inter-practise research, post-operative studies and impacts of design interventions and ideas.

These could be in the areas of product and material studies, design, architectural theory, landscape and urban design, both as new theories and proposal or experiments.

To further understand opportunities towards the research program please visit Spade India website.


A Difficult Antacids

Case of the Copy Cat

Collage and Archite

Creative Curbs

Design Rules

In the battle beteween

Joys of Discomfort

Opium and Architecture

Paradox Imprints

Personal Investigations

Poetic Construct

Politics and Architecture

Reincarnation and Architecture


Towards an Aesthetic