We have all doodled in school textbooks, but for Himanshu Agrawal, a 30-year-old Hyderabad-based architect and illustrator, sketching over images of historical monuments is more than a cure for boredom. His “Archi-Fracture series”, published on his Behance page, playfully reimagines architectural wonders from the Taj Mahal to the Colosseum.
There’s a boy playing lagori (a game that involves throwing a ball to break a stack of seven stones) with Stonehenge, and chicks roosting in the Beijing National Stadium, whose structure has earned it the nickname, Bird’s Nest. Over a year ago, Agrawal started out with the aim of working on all Seven Wonders of the World, but he soon saw the potential for a larger series. He wrote to us, saying, “I deviated to choose more marvels as and when a story passed through my mind.” Expect Puducherry’s Matrimandir and the Lotus Temple to share space with the Great Wall of China and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
An illustrator by hobby, an architect by education and a user experience designer by profession, Agrawal finds it only natural to revisit structures from a different perspective. “I am fond of mixed media which can create some real humour by presenting reality with a pinch of imagination,” he wrote, adding that he chose these world-renowned buildings “so that everyone can see them in an absolutely new way.” The series gets its title “from the good old days of my student life,” Agrawal wrote, “when we used to refer our course as ‘Archi-Fracture’ instead of ‘Architecture’, because of the donkey labour involved and the spine-fracturing assignments.”
Fabiola Monteiro was formerly a member of National Geographic Traveller India's digital team. Since then, her words have featured in The Hindu, Mint Lounge, Roads & Kingdoms, The Goya Journal, and Condé Nast Traveller India. She tweets as @thefabmonteiro and is on Instagram @fabiolamonteiro.