Deco in Delhi is a self-led initiative by Geetanjali Sayal in collaboration with Prashansa Sachdeva (Architectural Researcher) to research and document Delhi’s undervalued Art Deco heritage supported by the India Foundation for the Arts Research Grant.


The grant has enabled Geetanjali and her team to study the contribution of Art Deco as a modernist movement in India with a focus on the architecture of Delhi. Exploring the intersections of arts and architecture, they will examine the role of Art Deco in shaping the cultural identity of Delhi under the British rule. The project aims to build appreciation for this ignored and disappearing style, along with the narratives of lesser-known artists, patrons, architects, artisans and local people associated with its propagation in Delhi. With regard to Delhi, the emphasis of understanding built heritage has always been on ancient, medieval and colonial architecture. Art Deco, which once significantly contributed to the cultural landscape of the city, has often been neglected by the chroniclers who are focused on politically driven architectural styles. During the colonial times, alongside Bombay, Art Deco became a popular architectural style for bungalows, palatial houses, hotels and cinema halls, and vast expanses of middle-class houses in Delhi.