Indigenous Modernities

Negotiating Architecture and Urbanism

By Jyoti Hosagrahar

© 2005 – Routledge

240 pages | 63 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415323765
pub: 2005-05-27
Hardback: 9780415323758
pub: 2005-05-27
Currently out of stock

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

This book examines how a historic and so-called 'traditional' city quietly evolved into one that was modern in its own terms; in form, use and meaning. Through a focused study of Delhi, the author challenges prevalent assumptions in architecture and urbanism to identify an interpretation of modernism that goes beyond conventional understanding.

Part one reflects on transformations and discontinuities in built form and spatial culture and questions accepted notions of the static nature of what is normally referred to as traditional and non-Western architecture.

Part two is a critical discussion of Delhi in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, redefining modernism in a way that separates the city's architecture and society from the objectified realm of the exotic whilst acknowledging non-Western ideas of modernity.

In the final part the author considers 'indigenous modernities': the irregular, the uneven and the unexpected in what uncritical observers might call a coherent 'traditional' society and built environment.


'[An] intelligent, well-organized, and well-illustrated investigation.' – The Architectural Review

'I was immediately captivated … a beautifully written book … and some fine illustrations.' Urban Design

Table of Contents

1. Becoming 'Modern' 2. Fragmenting Domestic Landscapes: From Mansions to Margins 3. Negotiating Streets and Squares: Spatial Culture in the Public Realm 4. Sanitizing Neighborhoods: Geographies of Health 5. Beyond the Walls: Commerce of Urban Expansion 6. Imagining Modernity: Symbolic Terrains of Housing 7. Recovering an Urban Past

About the Series


The Architext series brings together recent debates in social and cultural theory and the study and practice of architecture and urban design. Critical, comparative and interdisciplinary, the books in the series will, by theorizing architecture, bring the space of the built environment centrally into the social sciences and humanities, as well as bringing the theoretical insights of the latter into the discourse of architecture and urban design. Particular attention will be paid to issues of gender, race, sexuality and the body, to questions of identity and place, to cultural politics of representation and language, and to the global and postcolonial contexts in which these are addressed.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Study & Teaching