Megha Chand Inglis joined the Welsh School of Architecture in October 2011 as a full time PhD research student. Her project is funded by Cardiff University under the theme "Reconstructing Multiculturalism" and won a President's Scholarship. Her research interest is primarily on the intersection of contemporary Indian architecture and cultural theory. She has taught history and theory in Schools of Architecture at UCL (2010 onwards) and UEL (2003-2007). In 1999 her final year dissertation titled: Interrogating the Indian Condition: some problems with the frameworks of architect Charles Correa, won the RIBA President's Medal. She is a registered architect with over ten years' experience of full-time practice in various award-winning offices in London.
The principal aim of the research is to analyse the global production of a regional Indian temple lineage from North West India through the shifting working patterns of the Sompuras of Gujarat - a group of temple makers based in Ahmedabad who have been operating in the region since antiquity. In this transnational phenomena, Megha is particularly interested in the notion of practice as a framework to analyse how architectural traditions are reconstituted and translated within new cultural, economic and political landscapes; consequently her research is focussed on the network of processes and people leading up to the materialisation of the buildings under study, rather than the finished product itself.
Embedded within a politics of representation and identity, four new stone temples of 'traditional' design in the UK will be analysed. These are the BAPS Swaminarayn temple and the Sanatan Hindu temple in North West London, the Oshwal Jain temple in Hertfordshire and the Shri Krishna temple in West Bromwich.
Some of the key areas that the thesis interrogates are the production and use of modern day shilpa shastras from the 1930s, including the colonial modern contexts of their emergence, the design processes leading up to new temple forms specific to the diaspora, the shifts in material production in terms of conceptualising, drawing and crafting processes. Finally the research brings to the fore the governmental production of traditional temples through UK and Europe wide planning and building control legislation. The research deploys a combination of ethnographic, historical, archival and visual data for analysis.