Between Shadow and Light
Mona Doctor-Pingel is an architect based in Auroville since 1995. She studied architecture at the Center for Environment and Planning (CEPT), Ahmedabad, and has a master’s degree in Appropriate Technology from Flensburg University, Germany (1994).
Her practice, Studio Naqshbandi, experiments with building technologies using local materials and craftsmen with a stress on client interaction. One of the key guiding principles in her work is the creation of buildings which are healthy (sick building syndrome) taking into account factors like electromagnetic fields, use of natural materials and earth energies. The inside-outside relationship forms an important part of the practice. Designing landscapes with indigenous plants which use minimum watering, creating a micro climate with water bodies and vegetation, all of which goes to stimulate the five senses of the human being are then considerations which are integrated from the beginning of a project.
She has been a member of the Planning Team at Auroville’s Town Development Council, which is the official body for guiding the development and planning of Auroville.
She is the author of 2 Monographs on pioneering Auroville architects: Poppo Pingel and Piero & Gloria Cicionesi, published internationally by Mapin Publishing house in 2012 and 2018 respectively. From 2012-17 she has been a part of CBERD ( center for building energy research and development) – a five year joint Indo-US research programme for Energy Efficiency in Buildings. She is actively involved in teaching and conducting workshops in India and abroad.