Inside Design Journal 2 - Architecture BRIO This issue is the second in a series of the bi-annual design journal. It is published by Matter on Contemporary Architecture and Design in India. It chronicles and document ideas and works of some of the most innovative designers from India.

Design as a function of Context

Matter has been discussing the role of critical thinking in the design process. Why does one make a design decision in the face of many other equally valid alternatives? What guides these decisions and why do they serve the central purpose of design? Does it look for eloquence in problem-solving? Or is design art? Perhaps it is philosophy? Or is it technology? Matter wants to run an enquiry into the process of design. It is important to understand the generalities of large ideas and specific issues that a project deals with. Therefore, in this endeavour, the second issue in the series of professional journals intends to add to the insight on contemporary architecture and design practice in India.  

Idea-Led, Process-Driven

Critical tools of the practice of Architecture BRIO  
Architecture BRIO is one of the most versatile amongst emerging practices in India. Working from Mumbai, their studio has been able to create works of finesse with a refreshing sense of newness and surprise. This piece is an attempt to understand the key ingredients of their design process with an emphasis on the act of drawing as a negotiator of ideas.
The works of Architecture BRIO hinge on design development in the studio. This method appears non-negotiable and renders much clarity to the sophisticated buildings that they make. Shefali Balwani and Robert Verrijt acknowledge the potential of working in the tropics. In a landscape like India where skill and construction knowledge are both accessible. By keeping a certain distance from the processes on the site, the architects are able to articulate a certain formality and direction to the design process that is not interrupted. For BRIO, collaborations are “only potentially as successful as the geographic location of a project (that allows one to work with these skilled craftpersons), and the budgets and time to do so” – a luxury seldom accessible in mainstream practice.
The ‘Studio’ editorial tries to decipher the three key domains of exploration in the works of Architecture BRIO - drawing, model-making and the site.