2012 7.11-2012 9.22
Studio Mumbai, headed by Bijoy Jain, one of India’s foremost architects. In this exhibition, we introduce a group of works that have emerged from a workshop composed of a diverse range of artisans to bring the indigenous Indian landscape to life.


“Praxis is the process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted, practiced, embodied or realized. It may also refer to the act of engaging, applying, exercising, realizing or practicing ideas.”

All encompassing, the practice of the architect, whether tangible, ambiguous or theoretical, is primarily concerned with the nature of being. This ontological understanding in ‘Praxis’ may begin to express how the work at Studio Mumbai is created from an iterative process, where ideas are explored through the production of large-scale mock-ups, material studies, sketches and drawings to form an intrinsic part of our thought and body.

Projects are developed through careful consideration of place and a practice that engages intently in an environment and culture, the physical and emotional engagement of the people involved; where building techniques and materials draw from an ingenuity arising from limited resources.  

Bijoy Jain

In the next event at TOTO GALLERY・MA, the specialty architecture and design gallery operated by the TOTO Ltd. , we present STUDIO MUMBAI: PRAXIS, an exhibition which focuses on STUDIO MUMBAI, the firm overseen by one of India’s foremost contemporary architects, Bijoy Jain.

After studying architecture at university in India using the traditional educational technique centering on the teachings of a single professor (or “guru”), Jain moved to the U.S. to study Western architectural theory. Then, after getting practical experience in firms in both the U.S. and the U.K., he established STUDIO MUMBAI in his hometown of Mumbai, and began his career as a full-fledged architect. Making use of traditional techniques that have been handed down from generation to generation in India, and incorporating the cultural climate of the area, Jain has continued to make works that are notable for their rich qualities and spatiality.

The work of STUDIO MUMBAI is distinguished by the fact that the entire process from preparing the lot to the design and construction of the building are carried out manually by a network of architects and skilled craftsmen. The studio’s workshop is staffed by approximately 120 highly capable, resident artisans (carpenters, stone-masons, ironsmiths, metal workers, and well-sinkers among them) from various regions of India who, under Jain’s direction, analyze topographic and climatic conditions, dig wells to ensure a source of water, and create architecture using locally-derived materials and construction methods.

The reliable technical prowess of these artisans, who possess a variety of traditional knowhow passed down to them orally from their ancestors, is indispensable in building structures that can withstand the relentless conditions of violent heat in the dry season and monsoons in the rainy season. Based on their wisdom and skill, the architecture that emerges under Jain’s deeply considered direction promises its users a comfortable life in the area and at the same time contains an abundance of poetic sentiment that harmonizes with the landscape.

Moreover, Jain furnishes the artisans with sketchbooks and provides them with drawing lessons. In effect, the workers who, never having received a formal education are fundamentally illiterate, study how to “design” a building as they continue their work every day. While serving as the architectural head of STUDIO MUMBAI, Jain is also the leader of an extraordinarily skilled group of people, and is both a noted director who drives their talents, and an educator who teaches through his buildings.

Through his relationships with researchers and architects throughout the world, Jain assimilates the latest knowledge and ideas. And by staying abreast of the current conditions in India through his research in various Indian cities, and continually engaging in dialogues with his craftsmen and partners, he maneuvers a diverse range of skills and techniques in the right direction in order to realize a genuine work of architecture backed by a clear philosophy.

According to Jain, the title of this exhibition, PRAXIS, signifies a human approach to a specific practice, nature or society, and as a word that corresponds to the abstract notion of “theory,” suggests the process that stretches from “idea” to “practice.” In light of the fact that STUDIO MUMBAI is an open-door community populated by those with a desire to creature architecture as they move back and forth between a variety of ideas and practices to attain the optimal goal, the word is also suggestive of the firm’s work and existence as a whole.

In this exhibition, materials, models, sketches, and mockups that were actually used at STUDIO MUMBAI will be transported from India and reconstructed in Japan’s capital in a presentation called “STUDIO MUMBAI in Tokyo.” Visitors will have an opportunity to experience the air, light, and sound of STUDIO MUMBAI with all of their senses, and experience the world that Jain has realized while enjoying documentary information on the entire journey of Praxis.


Supported by
Tokyo Society of Architects and Building Engineers
Tokyo Association of Architectural Firms
The Japan Institute of Architects Kanto-Koshinetsu Chapter
Kanto Chapter, Architectural Institute of Japan

With Special Support from
Embassy of INDIA

Jun Itami  Vestigial Impressions
Thurs., Jul. 12 to
Sat., Sep. 22, 2012

(-19:00 on Fri.)

Closed on Sun., Mon. and National Holidays, and 12th-20th Aug.
except 22nd, Sep., 2012
Admission: FREE

“MOMAT Pavilion,”
designed and built by Studio Mumbai, will be launched in August 2012, in the courtyard of The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.

Tara House
(Kashid, Maharshtra, India/2005)
©Hélène Binet

Utsav House
(Satirje, Maharashtra, India/2008)
©Hélène Binet

Palmyra House
(Nandgaon, Maharashtra, India/2007)
©Hélène Binet

Copper House II
(Chondi, Maharashtra, India/2011)
©Hélène Binet

Studio Mumbai workshop
(Nagaon, Maharashtra, India/2005)
©Studio Mumbai
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