Professor Bharat Dave joined the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne in 1997. He earned his doctorate at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) in 1993, a master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh (USA) in 1986, and undergraduate degree in architecture from the School of Architecture, Ahmedabad (India) in 1980. He held teaching positions in the USA, Switzerland, India, and Australia. Funded by nationally competitive grants, his research revolved around innovative spatial design practices and futures supported by digital technologies. Under the umbrella research group CRIDA (www.crida.net) that he founded, he carried out research and supervised masters and doctoral research students. He served in the Faculty in several leadership roles, including serving terms as Associate Dean in Outreach and in Research.
He was also a leader in the global research community. He was active in establishing Computer Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia (CAADRIA) and ensuring its future success, serving as the fourth President from 2005-08 and remaining a trusted adviser once the term was completed. Through his advice and actions, he helped to shape CAADRIA in many ways as we continue to see in our annual conferences. He was active on the editorial board of the International Journal of Architectural Computing (UK)
Bharat Dave maintained a productive research program until recently, publishing in 2013 one book, a journal article, three conference papers and one working paper. These reflected his breadth of interests and contributions and typically were collaborative efforts, underscoring his generous and inclusive nature. Three of them, including the co-authored book, “Prathaa: Kath-Khuni Architecture of Himachal Pradesh”, derived from his deep knowledge and keen interest in Indian architecture, resulting from extensive field trips to the Himalayan foothills. This latter work was part of a collaborative project between researchers based in DICRC (Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre) in the Faculty of Design, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India, his alma mater with whom he maintained a close link. Other publications in 2013 were outcomes of his research with doctoral students and one with colleagues in the University of Melbourne’s medical research community. In this final year of research output, we can see the breadth of his capacities, the depth of his knowledge and his generosity of spirit.
As friends across the world have reacted to the dreadful news of his death, we hear phrases used to describe this special person. He was known to us as someone special, a person of great intellect, a scholar of depth and warmth. A lovely and gentle man, was a man of great kindness, good natured, with a wicked and wonderful sense of humour. As one message conveyed, “Bharat's eyes twinkled with that suppressed amusement one often saw with him.” To all, he was a dear friend and inspirational mentor from whom we learned so much about ourselves as much as about the technical disciplines to which he was so committed.
He was made aware a year ago of his medical condition but he continued to come to the campus and engage with us and shared our experiences. In the last few weeks he suffered a sharp turn in his condition. I had the privilege of visiting him last Thursday afternoon when we spoke of the 2014 CAADRIA conference from which I had just returned; he was lucidly enquiring after the his friends. As was his character, he was enormously brave in his concern for us all when he was himself facing such a challenge.
Professor Bharat Dave passed away on 5 June 2014 at Melbourne. He is survived by his wife, Mala and his son Avishkar. He is greatly missed by his colleagues and friends across the world.
07 June 2014