History & Theory
The books written by Neeta Das are an outcome of the research work undertaken by her on the 18th and 19th century architecture in India with special reference to Lucknow. Most of the documentation done by her includes measured drawings of over 200 buildings of Lucknow, that were largely un-documented. The attempt of making any sense out of these resulted in the first book, The Architecture of Imambaras. An inquiry in the importance of these buildings to Indian/ world architecture formed the basis of her post graduate degree and finally as the book Indian Architecture. An exotic painting of the non-existent palace of Kaiserbagh palace motivated Das to research its authenticity and publish her findings in Kaiserbagh The Garden Palace of Lucknow. Architecture of Lucknow is a re-print of the first book on Imamabars with some additional text.
Das has also contributed several essays on the theory of architectural history and conservation. Concepts and Relevance of 'History Writing' in the identification of Heritage Properties (Heritage and Development, INTACH, New Delhi) was published in 2008.
Das continued her research on Lucknow that became the basis for her doctoral thesis. Most of her other essays are based on this research and were published in various books like the two books Lucknow City of Illusions and Lucknow then and Now which were edited by Dr. Rosie Llewellyn-Jones which covered various aspects of Lucknow or were monologues of a single building as in Raj Bhawan and La Martiniere. Other essays were also published when presented as lectures as in Heritage and Urban Renewal.
Among recent publication is Architecture and Architectural History: Relationships between the Conception and Perception of Buildings (Architecture, Culture, Interpretation in Honorem John E. Hancock, Romania:2015).
Architecture + Design magazine took out an issue on the historical and contemporary architecture of Lucknow that was guest edited by Das. In 2010 she moved to Kolkata and continued her work on 18th and 19th century architecture in India.
Murshidabad is a city which flourished during the 18th and 19th century India with many commonalities to Lucknow. The beauty of the city and the poignant nature of its architecture captivated her and Dr. Rosie Llewellyn Jones to co-edit a book for Marg on Murshidabad Forgotten Capital of Bengal.