Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People

Wednesday, Sep 9 – Dec 12, 2020

659 W. Wrightwood
Chicago, IL 60614

Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People is the first international retrospective outside of Asia devoted to the work of Indian architect, urbanist, and 2018 Pritzker Prize laureate Balkrishna Doshi. Born in Pune, India, in 1927, Doshi—who was profoundly inspired by Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn—was a pioneer of modernist architecture in India. Yet he also developed a unique architectural vocabulary derived from his deep respect for Eastern culture, thereby humanizing modernism as he redefined Indian architecture. With over a half a century of practice, research, and teaching, he has been acclaimed for his visionary work in low-cost housing and city planning, as well as for his strong commitment to education. As the Pritzker Prize announcement stated, Doshi’s “work in architecture to affect humanity is deeply personal, responsive, and meaningful.”

With a focus on some 20 of Doshi’s most significant projects dating from 1958 to 2014, the exhibition demonstrates his lifelong dedication to architecture as a civic practice devoted to improving lives. Building types on view range from entire cities and townships to academic campuses, cultural institutions, private residences, interiors, and social and experimental housing. The exhibition includes several full-scale installations that bring to life the physical experience of Doshi’s buildings, as well as a wealth of material from the architect’s archive and studio, including drawings and models, artworks, sketches, films, photography, and more.



Tickets are available online only. Walk-ins are not accommodated. For information on admission, visit


For the presentation of Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People, Wrightwood 659 will adopt the universally recommended practices of required face masks and 6-foot social distancing. Among other precautions, public spaces will be sanitized regularly and hand sanitizer will be readily available. Admissions will be limited to ensure visitor and staff safety.


The exhibition is a project of the Vitra Design Museum and the Wüstenrot Foundation in cooperation with the Vastu Shilpa Foundation.


The exhibition is curated by Khushnu Panthaki Hoof, Director, Vastu Shilpa Foundation, and Jolanthe Kugler, Curator, Vitra Design Museum.


The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue (cited by The New York Times as one of the best art books of 2019), edited by Mateo Kries, Director, Vitra Design Museum; Khushnu Panthaki Hoof; and Jolanthe Kugler.


To date, the international exhibition tour comprises Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany, March 30 – September 9, 2019; Architekturmuseum der TU, Munich, Germany, October 17, 2019 – January 20, 2020; Architekturzentrum, Vienna, Austria, May 29 – June 29, 2020; and Wrightwood 659, Chicago, Illinois, USA, September 9 – December 12, 2020.


The Wrightwood 659 showing of Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People is made possible by the Alphawood Foundation Chicago.