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Introducing | Agency of Architecture

Updated: Jul 4


Shama Patwardhan, Ridhi Jain, Architects, Architecting, Architecture, Architectural, Design, Agency, Profession, Pedagogy, Practice, Education, Professional, Discourse, Contingency, Externality, Educational, School, College, University, Firm, Company, Client, Customer, Zeyka, Zeyka India, Architecture, Interior Design, Home Renovation, Construction, Tech, Design, Project Management Consulting, Architect, Architects, Interior, Interiors, Interior Designer, Interior Designers, Modular Wardrobe, Modular Bathroom, Modular Kitchen, Living Room, Dining Room, Bedroom, Kid's Room, Pooja Room, Garden Design, Landscape Design, False Ceiling, Balcony, New Delhi, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad

Design is a process that runs with uncertainty at its center. At best, we can plan and structure our schedules and operations. We can only minimise uncertainty. However, all architects know the relationship of architecture with contingency. We also know that sometimes the most unpredictable outcomes turn out to be great designs. This means that uncertainties and contingencies are deeply entwined with the design profession.

Agency of Architecture explores how architecture avoids engaging with uncertainties and externalities. Originality and invention are the core of architectural symbolism and practice. Thus, architecture foremost tries to retain its autonomy.


Shama Patwardhan, Ridhi Jain, Architects, Architecting, Architecture, Architectural, Design, Agency, Profession, Pedagogy, Practice, Education, Professional, Discourse, Contingency, Externality, Educational, School, College, University, Firm, Company, Client, Customer, Zeyka, Zeyka India, Architecture, Interior Design, Home Renovation, Construction, Tech, Design, Project Management Consulting, Architect, Architects, Interior, Interiors, Interior Designer, Interior Designers, Modular Wardrobe, Modular Bathroom, Modular Kitchen, Living Room, Dining Room, Bedroom, Kid's Room, Pooja Room, Garden Design, Landscape Design, False Ceiling, Balcony, New Delhi, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad

We will investigate this defensive autonomy of an architect. We will also delve into its sociological and philosophical reasoning. We will explore how contingents and uncertainties can turn into opportunities. Despite the challenges posed by changes in the forces and orders of the world.


Agency of Architecture explores Modernism’s war on these externalities. And how architecture survives this war. We will discover how modernism has imprinted our generation of architects with restraints. And a limited set of principles and fixed notions of aesthetics. The column will then try to invert and challenge this thinking. It will try to reintroduce the transitory and fluidic aspects of a contingent.

We will not look at architecture as merely a finished product. But, we will delve into the processes and operations of the industry. Here, architecture will become an agency of actualizing industry processes. And the architect its agent.


Shama Patwardhan, Ridhi Jain, Architects, Architecting, Architecture, Architectural, Design, Agency, Profession, Pedagogy, Practice, Education, Professional, Discourse, Contingency, Externality, Educational, School, College, University, Firm, Company, Client, Customer, Zeyka, Zeyka India, Architecture, Interior Design, Home Renovation, Construction, Tech, Design, Project Management Consulting, Architect, Architects, Interior, Interiors, Interior Designer, Interior Designers, Modular Wardrobe, Modular Bathroom, Modular Kitchen, Living Room, Dining Room, Bedroom, Kid's Room, Pooja Room, Garden Design, Landscape Design, False Ceiling, Balcony, New Delhi, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad

In this agency, multilevel systems are in place. And each system has political, social, cultural, and ethical dimensions. Professional practice and engagement with other professionals will be brought in. They will shed light on an architect’s responsibility towards end-users. Users of both present and future occupations of their buildings. Along with the uncertainties created by them.

Architectural agency involves shifting the focus from architects as specialists to generalists. It pivots from the popular discourse of portraying an architect as a designer, to an observer. From a problem solver to a mediator. From a controller to a facilitator. From an imaginary to a collaborator. And from eccentric to concentric.


Shama Patwardhan, Ridhi Jain, Architects, Architecting, Architecture, Architectural, Design, Agency, Profession, Pedagogy, Practice, Education, Professional, Discourse, Contingency, Externality, Educational, School, College, University, Firm, Company, Client, Customer, Zeyka, Zeyka India, Architecture, Interior Design, Home Renovation, Construction, Tech, Design, Project Management Consulting, Architect, Architects, Interior, Interiors, Interior Designer, Interior Designers, Modular Wardrobe, Modular Bathroom, Modular Kitchen, Living Room, Dining Room, Bedroom, Kid's Room, Pooja Room, Garden Design, Landscape Design, False Ceiling, Balcony, New Delhi, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad

Finally, the column will arrive at the role of architects as agents of transformation. It will present architecture as a channel of hope. As a mode for betterment by sharing knowledge and imagination.

Agency of Architecture intends to inculcate hope with openness and curiosity. We will do this by deploying new strategies. They will help the readers augment, actualise and create new spatial paradigms. It will create new possibilities for architecture to exist and thrive.

The column envisions meaningful ways for architecture to contribute to society's needs. The needs of the present and of the future time-reality.

Shama Patwardhan, Ridhi Jain, Architects, Architecting, Architecture, Architectural, Design, Agency, Profession, Pedagogy, Practice, Education, Professional, Discourse, Contingency, Externality, Educational, School, College, University, Firm, Company, Client, Customer, Zeyka, Zeyka India, Architecture, Interior Design, Home Renovation, Construction, Tech, Design, Project Management Consulting, Architect, Architects, Interior, Interiors, Interior Designer, Interior Designers, Modular Wardrobe, Modular Bathroom, Modular Kitchen, Living Room, Dining Room, Bedroom, Kid's Room, Pooja Room, Garden Design, Landscape Design, False Ceiling, Balcony, New Delhi, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad


About the Author

Shama Patwardhan is an architect and writer from Mumbai. She is a graduate of the Rachana Sansad's Academy of Architecture (AoA), Mumbai and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Heritage Conservation Society, India. She has experience working with Rethinking The Future (RTF), Abhikalpan Architects and Planners, and Manasaram Architects.


About the Illustrator

Ridhi Jain is a graduate of the Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. She is an experimental spatial and graphic designer, brand identity manager, art director and architect. She has conceptualised various music videos, and theatre. She has worked as a Spatial and Experiential designer at TOD, Delhi handling design and on-site execution for various National and International Exhibitions, including IHGF 2019, Expo Mart, Greater Noida.


About the Publication

Zeyka is a post Covid, tech-enabled Architecture and Interior Design startup. The architecture, interior design and renovation industries are opaque and hard to navigate markets. Zeyka provides knowledge and transparency to homeowners and designers, making their processes more informed and efficient.

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