Charles Correa International Lecture debuts at U-M
Written by Mandira Banerjee
ANN ARBOR—The Charles Correa International Lecture series in honor and memory of renowned Indian architect, activist and University of Michigan alumnus Charles Correa will host its first speaker at 6 p.m. Sept. 18 at Stamps Auditorium in U-M’s Walgreen Drama Center.
The inaugural lecture will be given by influential Mexican architect Tatiana Bilbao whose work centers on developing architectural projects that respond to the social climate.
The lecture series, which is endowed by the Charles Correa Lecture Fund at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, aims to engage students with global architecture, activism and promote cultural understanding through design.
“We welcome students from around the world and their education at Michigan explores ideas that cross culture and boundaries,” said Jonathan Massey, dean of the Taubman College. “The lecture series keeps an ongoing focus on issues of the changing demands of designing global architecture and the critical role that design plays in both understanding and shaping communities.”
Correa, who received a bachelor’s degree in architecture from U-M in 1953, was one of the pioneers bringing concepts and ideas about modern architecture to India. His body of work, in India, as well as other locations included museums, government buildings, and urban housing for low-income families reflects a commitment to excellence in design across a spectrum of scale.
An accompanying exhibition, “A Place in the Shade: Selected Projects by Charles Correa at the Taubman College Gallery,” runs through Sept. 22. The exhibition is organized by Nondita Correa Mehrotra of the Charles Correa Foundation, and features 13 projects designed by the architect over six decades of practice. The exhibition was designed and built by Taubman College architecture students working with Professor Craig Borum.
“Charles had a very special relationship with Michigan, so it’s a wonderful gesture to have an exhibition of his work at the time of the first lecture,” said Nondita Correa Mehrotra, Correa’s daughter who is also a U-M alumna.
Before his death in June 2015, Correa expressed a desire to honor and celebrate the institutions responsible for his early training—U-M and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received a master’s degree in architecture. Correa also taught and lectured at both schools.
Correa received many honors throughout his career, including the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, The Præmium Imperiale, and an honorary doctorate from U-M in 1980. He was named a “Michigan Great” in 1998 by the U-M Regents and “India’s Greatest Architect” by the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2013.
“We are proud to honor the legacy of this inspiring and creative architect, who began his career at Michigan, and we are grateful to his family for making it possible,” Massey said.