Resources Flows and Systems: Artist Residency (Powai)

Course Mentors: Faizan Khatri, Malak Singh Gill, Sabaa Giradkar, Shrikar Bhave

The studio is formulated based on the below discussions of Urban environment and Architecture; today our urban environments are generated by indifferent mega systems. These have become unmanageable by virtue of its centrality and agglomeration. The centrality being a product of the nature of our economic order. In the case of Mumbai, water comes from various locations and some of them are as far as two hundred kilometers. The pipeline rips through several parched areas and the sources are fenced. In the course of its linear flow from source to destination, it moves to hide itself in the ground, disrupting a democratic relationship. It is rather strange that a city that gets 2500 mm of rain has to run a few hundred miles to draw water for itself at the cost of local communities and their rightful dependencies.

A sense of larger common good is receding day by day. Architectural and City level norms and practices are unable to innovate and deal with the emerging situation of the inadequate and skewed distribution of resources. These conflicts have generated discomforting adjacencies creating uncomfortable relationships amongst communities over urban resources. How do we negotiate and navigate this conundrum? Amongst many other related questions of economic and social order with its politics and issues of the urban environment that require repositioning, the question of the nature of the relationship with resources, spatial configurations and built form becomes important. We clearly need new ways of seeing our built environment at a larger scale and the building itself as a principal unit.

The present popular typology in any urban setting speaks of built form that is more resistant to flows resulting in more enclosed and protected built forms and living. The idea of property, density, nuclear living, less resource availability and efficiency have been the factors shaping such language of built. The studio deliberates on asking questions of how we can create architecture that is not resistive but enhances the experiences of flows by building compassion towards flows that allows reinterpretation of resource consumption and management which resultantly demands reimagination of space through systemic spatial logics. Hence, the studio focuses on discussing an environment that is made of constant negotiations between humans and natural flows like air, wind, water, light that crafts the architecture of comfort for any given place. Flows which are not linear but cyclical and that harvests, consumes and manages its resources demands to alter the nature of dependencies and call for new habitation practices and spatial configurations. The studio will set inquiries into creating comfort conditions through analytical understanding for set climatic parameters (temperature, humidity etc), through interrelational logics of space, scale, volume and elements of built forms, and intuitive experiences of natural flows by the users.

This year the project is to design Artists residency addressing the concerns of resource consumption and management within the built form along with the spatial logistics in the urban context of Mumbai. Total built up area of the project will be between 1200-1500sqm for a total number of 30 occupants. Students will choose minimum 2 user groups of their choice (from neighbourhood) and generate comfortable inhabitation conditions in addition to the housekeeping requirements for the project. Activities like work studio, workshop, sleeping spaces, exhibition space, common shared space, discussion space, storage and archives arriving out of the user profiling shall be included in the program and area derivation.