Culture clash

Thursday 17 Jan 2008

Mumbai creates unique challenge for western architects

Mumbai is a now a magnet for many of the world’s leading practices wishing to expand overseas, however there are some concerns about the impact of large international firms on the local architecture scene. Indian architects are accusing the mega US firms of paying more than the going rate for staff and draining talent from local practices. The city (as well as India in general) is already suffering from a huge migration of talent to nearby Dubai.

Another unfair advantage they say is that most industry wide software is priced in US dollars and prohibitively expensive when purchased in Rupees. Mohandas Kalipurayath, Council Member, Indian Institute of Architects, is more positive, “I, for one – at the expense of the pleasure of my colleagues – have always looked upon the proposed opening out as an opportunity to at last gear up to the new techno-challenge. Of course, the fear that clients feel elevated in associating with ‘foreign’ firms are by and large real, but that fear has to be eliminated by dedicated and elevated standards of professional services to be delivered by the current players of the Indian industry.”

Listen to Peter Weingarten and Sudhir Jambhekar of New York based FX Fowle discuss these and other issues affecting Mumbai’s growth.

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Urban design

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