Book Talk > Spade


Spade is a biannual journal dedicated to Indian Architecural Design. My first reaction when I opened the large courier Editor Samira Rathod mailed across was to its generous proportions. It was beautifully typeset, had great photography, no ads and ample words which promised heavy reading (and sitting in shifting positions having its large pages curl over my hands).

The theme of the first issue was Politics and Architecture, clarified as ‘the interrelationships between people and buildings’. Contributors included Ashish Ganju and Nemish Shah, Suhasini Aiyer (who wrote of Auroville and the idea of Utopia in today’s context), Aniket Bhagwat (who inroduces us to mesmerising Golconde), Rohan Shivkumar (very interesting article on displaced domesticities), Quaid Doongerwala (enlightening bit on street architecture), Dr Neelkanth Chhaya, and a very engaging exercise of eliciting diverse opinions on a single project, Jariwala House, by Mustansir Dalvi and Anupam Poddar. Rohan Rathod, Zubin Pastakia and Ayesha Broacha’s pictures made the book an instant pick-up wherever I let it lie for a few seconds.

The journal exists because there was felt a lack of a serious platform for discussion and to create space for true design criticism. The first issue received a lot of feedback, some good, some bad. Samira shared some that she got from the fraternity. It ranged from ‘Delightful! And schlick!’ to ‘excellent photo material’ to ‘elitist’ to ‘calling a spade a spade is one thing, and poetry and artful design quite another’ to ‘Did they really have to show their own project? That’s a complete faux-paus!’

Personally, I found it enlightening, insightful and full of possibility and I will definitely get myself the second issue. A lot of the feedback will reflect in the second issue which is out next month. It should be interesting to see how this journal evolves and whether it goes beyond the four experimental issues planned.

To get your copy of Spade, call 022 24310395 or send a mail request to samira_rathod(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)in

4 Responses to “Book Talk > Spade”

  1. 1 Shalini

    had the chance to get a copy of the first one and it sure was a glad, you brought this out in your blog..its easy to forget to pick up the second if not for this recall especially since SPADE issue release is yet to get regular..wish Samira would get it on shelves though than just allow mail on order!

  2. 2 kunal gajbar

    I have got the first issue .. have went through almost all of it… indeed there r some issues and topics that need much discussion and concern which have been started in the journal… Congratulations to Samira Mam on starting a daring endevour..

    I had the opportunty to work at SRDA for a year and closely work with Samira Mam and rest of the design team. I am highly influenced by her thinking on Architecture, design and conceptualisation on it. I have very high regard for Samira Mam and SRDA… I would not refrain from saying that she is one of my role models and a great exemplars…
    Hoping to get hold of the other issues soon…
    cheers. 🙂
    Kunal Gajbar
    M.Design. Interior Architecture,

  3. 3 Vin

    great blog…you really have a passion for this!
    keep it up… i plan to come back for more 🙂

  4. I love the black & white play!:)

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