Maṇḍala in Architecture: Symbolism and Significance for Contemporary Design Education in India

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Authors:
Navin Piplani, Ansal University, India
Tejwant Singh Brar, Ansal University, India
Email: [email protected]
Published: November 27, 2020
https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.8.4.10

Citation: Piplani, N., & Brar, T. S. (2020). Maṇḍala in Architecture: Symbolism and Significance for Contemporary Design Education in India. IAFOR Journal of Education: Studies in Education, 8(4). https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.8.4.10


Abstract

This paper builds upon the understanding that the knowledge of traditional design concepts, particularly the maṇḍala, is relevant for contemporary design education. The significance of traditional principles and practices of design has been undermined by contemporary systems of education. The theory and practice of the philosophy of design are explained using textual references from the ancient treatises on architecture, and analysing buildings and sites of traditional and contemporary approaches to design. A specially devised framework of analytical indicators helps establish the relevance of traditional design concepts and processes for use in contemporary architecture education. An exploration into the current architecture pedagogy identifies the components of teaching structure where potential confluence zones are marked for the inclusion of traditional knowledge content. It is argued that the vāstu purush maṇdala is a philosophical vision and practical tool, which is readily applicable to design education because of its multi-dimensional qualities. A full and in-depth knowledge of the maṇdala will provide value-addition to the critical history-theory and essential context-relevance strands of design education.

Keywords

architecture education, design concept, design philosophy, Indian architecture theory, vāstu purush maṇḍala