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Soumyen Bandyopadhyay

Professor

Staff Group(s)
Architecture

Role

Visiting Professor in Architecture and Design; School of Architecture, Design and Built Environment

Professor Bandyopadhyay has now taken on the role of Visiting Professor, previously Professor Bandyopadhyay contributed towards the academic leadership of the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment. He played a leading role in the development of the School's research culture by undertaking and supporting research, seeking research funding and supervising research students. Professor Bandyopadhyay was also the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment's PGR Tutor.

Professor Bandyopadhyay contributed to the teaching of architectural design and the history and theory of architecture, and was also responsible for the development of the Master of Architecture (March with RIBA Part 2) course.

Professor Bandyopadhyay's teaching and research interests are focused on the historical, theoretical and contextual approaches to architectural design and the art and architecture of India and the Middle East. He undertakes advisory and consultancy work in urban development, regeneration, architectural and urban design and conservation.

Projects

  • 2005 - 2007 United States Ambassador's Fund for Cultural Preservation: US $28,600. Principal Investigator (with Historical Association of Oman). Towards fieldwork on the settlement of Bowsher, Oman
  • 2005 – 2007 United States Ambassador's Fund for Cultural Preservation: US $20,000. Principal investigator (with Historical Association of Oman). Towards preparation of publication on the settlement of Manah
  • 2004 - 2008 Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC): £83,170. Assessing the Contribution of Neck Chand's Rock Garden in (re)defining the popular identity of Chandigarh, India. Award period until March 2008
  • 2003 Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC): £5,000. The decorated mihrab-s (prayer niches) of central Oman: documenting and tracing their origin and influences
  • 2001 - 2002 Exhibition Grant (c. £15,000), The British Council, American University of Sharjah, Bait Al Zubair Museum, Emirates Airlines & University of Liverpool. Towards curating exhibition on the traditional architecture of Manah (Oman), held in Muscat, Manah and Sharjah between 2001 and 2002 and included publication of exhibition catalogue.

Career overview

  • the dwelling in Islam and notions of the sacred
  • conservation in Malaysia
  • conservation in Middle Eastern cities
  • Nek Chand's Rock Garden
  • public participation issues in conservation and regeneration
  • early-Buddhist architecture in Bengal
  • site and composition, inside-outside and materiality
  • globalisation and identity in South Asia, Latin America and the Middle East
  • recent urban development in the Middle East
  • content in architecture
  • the architecture of Islam and India

Research areas

  • Designed environment
  • Architectural design and global difference

Traditional settlement, architecture, and culture of Oman and the Middle East
The initial thrust was provided by the field study of Manah, a settlement in central Oman. Subsequently, Professor Bandyopadhyay's work has expanded into the study of aspects and components of the traditional architecture and the analysis of morphological, typological and environmental characteristics.

The work has been supported by successful grant applications to the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the US Ambassador's Fund. A curated exhibition on the architecture of Manah has toured venues in the Middle East and a new exhibition is currently being planned.

Key areas of interest:

  • oasis settlements of Oman and the Middle East: urban structure, morphology, typology
  • Arab-Omani social history; tribal organisation; Islamic and pre-Islamic cultural and social ideas
  • modern Arab and Omani built environments
  • conservation and development within historical context.

Trajectories of Modernity in Indian architecture and artThe AHRC-funded project on the nature of Modernity in Indian architecture has produced important directions in the study of post-Independence Indian culture, architecture and art. The project has completed a detailed documentation of the Rock Garden created by Nek Chand in Chandigarh, which was exhibited at the RIBA gallery in Liverpool in April 2007.

Professor Bandyopadhyay is currently working on a major monograph on the Rock Garden and its relationship with the Modernist city of Chandigarh.

Key areas of interest:

  • modernism and modernity since the early-19th century
  • colonial architecture/minor colonial presences
  • India's post-Independence architecture.

Architectural design and design theoryThis area of Professor Bandyopadhyay's academic interest revolves around the process and the making of architecture and its pedagogy. Professor Bandyopadhyay is interested in exploring the complexity of the site; topography; context; notions of situatedness; and the role of history. A co-authored book on site and composition is currently in preparation.

  • urban planning and design in the Middle East
  • heritage site management and development plans
  • urban renewal and regeneration
  • designing within historical contexts

External activity

  • 2009 - 2011, External Examiner, MA (Thinking Building), University of Kingston
  • 2008 - date, Advisor, Conservation and Interpretation of Qasr Al Husn Palace, Abu Dhabi. Government of Abu Dhabi (with Austin Smith Lord, UK)
  • 2007 - 2008, Director, India in the World Research Centre (IWRC), University of Liverpool
  • 2007- 2010, External Examiner, Graduate Diploma in Architecture, University of Kingston
  • 2006 - 2008, External Assessor, Bachelor of Architecture Programme, University of Lincoln
  • 2005 - date, Advisor and contributor, Muscat Urban Renewal, Muscat Municipality and The Palace Office, Government of the Sultanate of Oman
  • 2004 Advisor, Ceremonial Route, The Palace Office, Government of the Sultanate of Oman
  • 2004 Advisor and contributor, Development and Conservation of Harat al Aqr (Nizwa), Ministry of Regional Municipalities, Government of the Sultanate of Oman
  • 2003 Advisor and contributor, Management Plan for Bahla Fort and Oasis World Heritage Site (UNESCO inscription 1987 C-iv), UNESCO and Ministry of Heritage and Culture, Government of the Sultanate of Oman
  • 2003, Advisor and contributor, Conservation of the National Heritage Site of Harat al Bilad (Manah), Ministry of Heritage and Culture, Government of the Sultanate of Oman
  • 2000 - present, Member of review panel, Global Built Environment Review (GBER)
  • 2000 - present, Member of review panel, International Development Planning Review (IDPR)
  • 1998 - date, Listed as an expert on Omani traditional architecture and settlements, International Oman Studies Centre, Germany
  • 1996 - date, Visiting Design Critic in graduate and undergraduate design program. Institutions include, Nottingham University, Kingston University, Manchester Metropolitan University, Leeds Metropolitan University, University of Washington: Seattle
  • 1996, Member of review panel, Hong Kong Papers in Design and Development (University of Hong Kong)
  • Invited Member, Projects Committee, Merseyside Civic Society, Liverpool

Keynote and invited lecture contributions

  • 2008 (forthcoming) Keynote speaker at international conference, City Identity: An Architectural Dialogue, Muscat, Government of the Sultanate of Oman. 11-13 January, 2008
  • 2007 Invited session chair at international conference, The Role of the Humanities in Design Creativity, University of Lincoln, 15 -16 November
  • 2006 Invited lecture, Architecture of Interior Oman, Arabian Arts Festival, Liverpool, July
  • Invited lecture, Traditional Architecture of a'Dakhliyah region of Oman, Institute of Sharia Sciences, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, February
  • 2005 Keynote speaker and member of Scientific Committee at international conference, Built Environments for Sustainable Tourism (BEST): Enhancing the Environment, Cultural Diversity, and Destination Image, UNESCO/ WTO/ Government of Oman, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, February
  • 2003 Invited speaker and session chair: Regional Conference on the Conservation of Earthen Structures in Arab Countries; lecture: “Conservation of an Oasis Settlement: The Case of Manah”, UNESCO/ Government of Oman, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, December
  • 2002 Invited lecture, An Archaeology of Ideas: Towards the Development of a Historical Theory of Arabian Architecture, American University of Sharjah, April
  • 1999 Invited lecture, "The Work of Charles Correa", Technical University of Berlin, Germany, July
  • Invited Lecture Series in India on aspects of recent Indian architecture. Institutions included, Center for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT): Ahmedabad, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT): Kharagpur, Manipal Institute of Technology: Manipal, August-September
  • Invited lecture, The Architecture of Defence and Surveillance in Central Oman, International Conference on Oman, Bonn, June
  • 1998 Invited lecture, Characteristics of Mosques in Central Oman, International Conference on Oman, Bonn, June

Sponsors and collaborators

  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), UK
  • Nek Chand Foundation, UK
  • Office of the Ambassador of the United States of America (in Oman)
  • Historical Association of Oman
  • Ministry of Heritage and Culture, Oman
  • Diwan of Royal Court, The Palace Office, Oman
  • Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs, Oman
  • Bait Al Zubair Museum, Oman
  • The British Council
  • Muscat Municipality, Oman
  • Consulting Engineering Services (CES), Oman
  • WS Atkins Global, UK

Publications

Full list of publications can be found by clicking on 'go to publications' link above.

Selected publications:

BANDYOPADHYAY, S., 2011. Manah: Omani Oasis, Arabian legacy; architecture and social history of an Omani Oasis settlement. Liverpool & Muscat : Liverpool University Press & Historical Association of Oman, pp.311, ISBN 978-1-84631-121-5

JACKSON, I. and BANDYOPADHYAY, S., 2009. Authorship and modernity in Chandigarh: Gandhi Bhavan and Kiran Cinema by Pierre Jeanneret and Edwin Maxwell Fry. The Journal of Architecture, Vol. 4 (6), pp.687-713 (DOI: 10.1080/13602360903358011) ISSN 1466-4410

JACKSON, I. and BANDYOPADHYAY, S., 2008. Nek Chand's rock garden and Le Corbusier in Chandigarh: reconsidering the primitive. South African Journal of Art History, Vol. 22 (2), pp. 115-126, ISSN 0258-3542

BANDYOPADHYAY, S., 2011. Spatial implications of Omani tribal dynamics: Hatat al-Bilad in Manah Oasis. Orient, Vol. 52 (1), pp. 67-73, ISSN 0030-5227

See all of Soumyen Bandyopadhyay's publications...

Press expertise

  • Modern architecture
  • Architectural design and theory
  • Architecture (vernacular architecture of Oman - Arabia/Middle East)
  • Architecture (developments in Middle Eastern architecture)
  • Modernity and modernism / India
  • Architecture (modernism in Indian architecture)
  • Architecture (Nek Chand's Rock Garden, Chandigarh)
  • Architecture (Le Corbusier's work in India)
  • Art (modernism in Indian art)