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Future Conscious Melbourne
Future Conscious Melbourne

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Joseph Allen Stein

Joseph Allen Stein was born in the city of Omaha in the US state of Nebraska. His career in architecture began at the University of Illinois in the 1930s, although he later also studied in France and elsewhere in America.

His early works in the US included contributions to plans for the Ladera Cooperative in California, an unusual housing area with 400 homes often described as a “utopia”. He then developed a career in India at the Bengal Engineering College from the 1950s until the 1990s.

Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode, the fifth IIM to be established in the prestigious IIM family, started construction of hill top campus in 2001 and was completed by 2003.

In India, he became known as an advocate for “Regional Modern Architecture”, which was widely praised for its neat and symmetrical designs as well as its “prefab” elements and congruity with nearby areas. Areas he worked on include the Lodhi Estate in Delhi, which was nicknamed “Steinabad” after him. It is known for its tiled roof and multi-purpose function.

Lodhi Garden, New Delhi. Image Courtesy Anita Mishra, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Joseph Allen Stein’s pragmatic view of architecture’s purpose is summed up in one of his most famous quotes

I’ve often thought that good architecture is more important than great architecture.

His legacy lives on in the eponymous Joseph Stein Lane located in Delhi.

Check out the India Habitat Centre.