Crowdsourcing a time machine
By Amber LaCroix
“Just as there is writing and then there is literature, there is construction and then there is architecture. Great architecture can change society.” Charles Correa (1930–2015)
University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning announces the Charles Correa International Lecture Fund in honor and memory of renowned Indian architect and activist Charles Correa (B.Arch.’53). The fund endows an annual lecture at Taubman College by an emerging architect engaged with global architecture and activism to promote cultural understanding through design.
Born in India and educated in the U.S., Correa’s work reflects an international perspective by incorporating a range of architectural traditions. He is known for designs that translate the language of modernism into a dialect of the Indian subcontinent with sensitivity and professionalism. Additionally, his body of work reflects a commitment to excellence in design across a spectrum of scale — from museums, government buildings, and universities to walk up apartments for low-income families.
This innovative work established Correa as an internationally acclaimed figure in contemporary architecture. Correa received many honors throughout his career, including the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, The Præmium Imperiale, and from the University of Michigan an honorary doctorate in 1980. He was named a “Michigan Great” in 1998 by the University of Michigan Regents and “India’s Greatest Architect” by Royal Institute of British Architects in 2013.
Notable work includes the Gandhi Memorial Museum in Ahmedabad, India; Kanchanjunga Apartments in Mumbai, the State Assembly building for Madhya Pradesh; National Crafts Museum in New Delhi and the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown in Lisbon, Portugal.
Before his death on June 16, 2015, Correa expressed a desire to honor and celebrate the institutions responsible for his early training–the University of Michigan and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received his M.Arch. degree. Correa taught and lectured at both schools. His spouse, Monika Correa, his daughter Nondita Correa Mehrotra, (B.S.’84), and son Nakul Correa, trustees of the Charles Correa Trust, have generously pledged funds in his memory at both the University of Michigan and MIT. At the University of Michigan, the annual lecture will provide a critical resource for U-M students, encouraging the expansion of cultural understanding through design practice and discourse, drawing upon the legacy of Correa’s architectural work as well as his influence as a global citizen.
“Taubman College has a long tradition of welcoming students from around the world. As Charles did many years ago, these students leave the known and travel to Michigan for a unique and transformative education. We anticipate this annual lecture will not only add a critical resource to bring diverse voices to campus but also celebrate and inspire the many international students and alumni who are an important part of the college community,” said Robert Fishman, Taubman College interim dean and professor of architecture and urban and regional planning. “Charles started his architectural career at the University of Michigan and it is fitting that we preserve and expand upon his legacy. We remain inspired by Charles’ work, as well as his generosity of spirit. His family will always find a home at the University of Michigan.”
The inaugural Charles M. Correa International Lecture will be delivered September 2017, during the University of Michigan Bicentennial Year. An exhibition of Correa’s work will follow, supported by the Herbert W. and Susan Johe Lecture and Exhibition Fund.