Balkrishna Doshi : Guru Ratna Award

Balkrishna Doshi nurtured a profound affinity for students and as an ardent learner throughout his life. He consistently ascribed the laurels of his achievements to his venerable mentors, whom he reverentially addressed as gurus. The years spent in the apprenticeship of Le Corbusier and in association with Louis Kahn became Doshi's life-school. In both these gurus, Doshi found distinct characteristics and essential qualities, akin to an acrobat and a yogi. The acrobat symbolizes curiosity and the audacity to explore beyond conventional limits, while the yogi embodies introspection and inner unity. Doshi believed that a well-rounded education requires both aspects - the daring to venture into the unknown and the introspection to find inner equilibrium.

Doshi's vision advocated for a limitless “school without doors” , where learning knows no boundaries. He emphasized the importance of opening not just one door, but many, to diverse avenues of knowledge. For Doshi,learning was always like osmosis, a lifelong activity that can happen if one is open and receptive to the signals of the guru, yet guided by one's own intuition. In his life, 'education implied exposure, assimilation, dialogue, and exploration' - made better when nurtured and shaped by a guru, beyond formal constraints and regimental thinking.

Today in observance of his birth anniversary, we at the Vastu Shilpa Foundation , deem it befitting to inaugurate an initiative that harmoniously echoes his intrinsic values and passions.

In a humble endeavor, we are establishing the 'Balkrishna Doshi : Guru Ratna Award' in his cherished memory- with the intent of bestowing it upon educators who diligently nurture an innate inquisitiveness and intuitive insight in the students within the realm of art, design and architecture, within the Indian subcontinent.

The inaugural honoree of this distinction shall be unveiled on the 27th August 2023, at 10:30 am. Click Here

Vision and Values

The complex and exploratory scape of architecture and design education often demands unconventional and fresh approaches in pedagogy and practice, in order to create well-rounded individuals. Many educationists have made significant contributions and left indelible impressions on generations of built-environment practitioners through their unconditional guidance and innovative teaching methods. With every turn in technology and shifts in workings of the world, the role of the educator remains increasingly significant as a foundation for society's progress. For the Guru, notions and approaches to teaching and learning may be varied, but the intentions of creating amiable environments to foster questioning, criticality and experimentation are immutable. In the context of the art, architecture and design education in India, the Award seeks out committed and transformative educators who have ignited several minds. The Award celebrates educators who have nurtured aspirants on their search for meaning, constantly inculcating in them values of service, humanity and progress.

Excellence in Education

The Award honours and cherishes commitment to education and demonstrates excellence in educational service, leadership, or scholarship. In places of learning, the educator can become the centrepoint from and towards whom a web of connections and relationships flourish. In today's world, the educator's views on changing societal contexts, as well as outlooks towards diversity of tools, techniques and working methods are most pertinent. Therefore, the process of 'learning how to learn' is a constant and continuous endeavour, with the educator at the helm. The Guru Ratna Award encourages and champions the values of learning without borders, collaboration and collective sensibility amongst the educator community.