The Charles Correa International lecture series in honor of renowned Indian architect and University of Michigan alumnus Charles Correa hosted its first speaker on Sept. 18, at Stamps Auditorium in University of Michigan’s Walgreen Drama Center.
The inaugural lecture was given by influential Mexican architect Tatiana Bilbao whose work centers on developing architectural projects that respond to the social climate, and promote the discipline as a tool for the betterment of society and the environment.
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, a press release from UMich said.
Born in Secunderabad, India, in 1930, Correa completed his undergraduate degree from University of Michigan and his Master’s degree in architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1955 and then returned to India to start his own practice.
Correa’s works, rooted both in modernism and the rich traditions, have played a vital role in the creation of an architecture and urbanism for post-war India. Correa’s notable building projects include the Gandhi Memorial Museum in Ahmedabad; the State Assembly building for Madhya Pradesh; the Kanchanjunga Apartments in Mumbai; the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown in Lisbon, Portugal.
“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,”Jonathan Massey, dean of the Taubman College, is quoted saying in the press release. “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 added.
“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,” Nondita Correa Mehrotra, Correa’s daughter who is also a U-M alumna, is quoted saying in the press release. Before his death in June 2015, Correa expressed a desire to honor and celebrate U-M and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, institutions responsible for his early training. Correa received many honors including being 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.