Ajay Khare

Professor, Department of Architecture,


Dear Friends,

It is indeed a great honour that I was given the responsibility of heading School of Planning & Architecture Bhopal as its Director in 2009 to 2014 . As per the vision of the founding fathers of this institution, School of Planning & Architecture, Bhopal is being developed as an ‘Institution of National importance’ to follow its six point charter and to take the leading role in the field of architectural and planning education in India.

The craft of architectural education requires critical and imaginative reflection. We not only teach design principles that explore form and compositions through the design of possible buildings, we teach students to ask the right questions, to challenge their assumptions, and to position themselves intellectually in relation to various physical and cultural world context. We are developing School of Planning and Architecture Bhopal as ‘University of Imagination’ where ‘a sense of enquiry’ will always prevail amongst all stakeholders- students, researchers, professors and society at large. Our primary method of enquiry will remain ‘design’: the speculative design of buildings and investigative design of settlements. This attitude would run through our Bachelor of Architecture and Planning programmes and higher professional degrees through a curriculum comprised of specific areas of study supporting the design studio. Together with design, studies in technology, humanities, professional practices and social sciences will form a model for integrated education in architecture and planning. While the School talks about striving for social, cultural and environmental sustenance, we recognize that in India, sustainability is the bedrock of our inclusive development. The School has adopted newer concept of universal design, green design, conservation and will continue to draw inspiration from history.

Our programmes are competitive to enter, challenging to go through and cutting–edge on relevance and rigour. Our responses to changes in the society around us are research and evidence based. We are establishing state of art laboratories and have started an internationally refereed research journal called ‘SPANDREL’ to nurture an environment of research in our institute. The spirit of entire curriculum at SPA Bhopal will suggest that it is possible to affect global architectural culture through local practice. We believe that India is creating its own new grounds of global learning and practice out of its own diversity, complexity and philosophy.

Our school’s location in the heart of India gives us a vantage point to draw from cultural context of Malwa, Mahakaushal, Vidarbha, Gopakshetra & Bundelkhand. The School’s common context is the city of lakes, Bhopal and the myriad of smaller communities and artful practices that abound in the central region of India. These communities provide social opportunities, inspiration and support for the study of urban and human settlement pattern involving real issues that embrace creative tension. All the while, the sublime beauty of Madhya Bharat grounds us in a positive and creative manner.

To establish the institution as per the expressed mission and vision of School of Planning and Architecture Bhopal as ‘Institution of National Importance’, it demands a large sprawling campus within the natural surroundings of flora and fauna. The school is developing an integrated campus in the educational hub of village Bhauri where M.P. Government has earmarked 30 hectares of land. Our two boys hostels and a girls hostel are ready and entire Planning department has moved on to the new campus in 2013. All Post Graduate as well as B. Planning programmes are being offered from the new campus. With the ongoing building and infrastructure development on site, the institute aims to start all its activities in the new campus from July 2014. Our green field campus is located twenty kilometers away from the Bhopal city connected by a regular bus service. The fully residential campus of SPA Bhopal aims to be completely pedestrianised and would not permit students vehicle.

SPA Bhopal was fortunate to have Professor E. F. N. Ribeiro as its Founder-Chairman of the Board of Governors whose constant supervision guided us through initial days of formation. In February 2014, Mrs. Sunita Kohli, a Padmashri recipient and eminent consultant of architecture, restoration and interior design joined the SPA family as Chairperson of Board of Governors to guide the further growth of institution. Our other honourable members of Board provide us their valuable inputs through their vast experience. SPA Bhopal’s dynamic faculty is drawn from both national and international context. They are passionate about architectural education and are recipients of many scholarly awards which show our commitment to subtle relation between theory and practical. Our student body reflects particularly wide diversity of cultural background. Students have come to Bhopal from across the country, from as distant places as Meghalaya, Tripura, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh & Himachal Pradesh. We also travel to study and record various cultures and settlements through studio field trips and annual travel study. How we design for the future depends largely on our understanding of where we have come from. The diversity and talents of students and faculties, the cultural strength of the region and tremendous support of stalwarts of the field will contribute to SPA Bhopal being placed among the leading institutions for the Architectural and Planning education in the world. With this charge before us, we invite you to join in our School’s pursuit of excellence in the natural and built environment.

Institute Responsibilities:
HOD - Conservation.

           -Prof. Ajay Khare, PhD(Leicester, UK), M.Arch.(York, UK), M.Arch.(SPA N. Delhi)