After everything you hear about it, to actually see Le Corbusier’s Monument of the Open Hand in Chandigarh can be a bit unsettling—it stands alone, marooned in a sea of concrete, turning dismally in the wind, almost like a sharp comment on modern urban planning. Plastic magnets of it made for tourists look far more lively. After you have wandered through his grand and bustling Capitol Complex with its vivid art, massive entryways, sweeping arches, stretches of water and terrace gardens, the monument seems somewhat forlorn.
Also read: Looking at the enduring legacy of Le Corbusier through objects
Whether one likes Le Corbusier’s idea of city planning or not, his work influenced a generation of post-independence architects, helping build the essential infrastructure of a new nation. Today, his pared lines, his design philosophy and his ideas about form meeting function are influencing a new generation of product designers. Lamps, furniture, jewellery, even tiles and switchboards that draw on his unerring sense of proportion and colour, are in the market.
To mark 135 years of Le Corbusier, who was born 6 October 1887, we meet the designers and artists who were born at least two decades after his death in 1965 but continue to draw from his ideas and create contemporary objects for daily life. We also have a rare interview with the legendary architect B.V. Doshi, who worked with Le Corbusier, and his granddaughter, who continues to carry forward the same philosophy.
Another birthday we are observing at Lounge is Amitabh Bachchan’s—the actor turns 80 on 11 October, and a rare retrospective of his films is being organised in 18 cities across the country. Bachchan, of course, is still seen on screen—most recently in Brahmastra—but the films that really sealed his place in Hindi cinema’s hall of fame were made in the 1970s and 1980s. Those haven’t been on the big screen for his huge following of younger fans. That’s one way to spend this weekend—and for everything else you could do, from dining out to shopping, read the rest of our issue.
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Also read: Sketches that reveal master architect Le Corbusier's mind