Imagination : : Space : : Practice (2022)
How do spatial imaginations shape and are shaped by practices of inhabitation? The stakes in unpacking the many relationships between spatial imaginations and spatial practices, for architectural research and the design field at large, are located in the challenge to articulate spatial arguments.
We pose spatial imaginations as an ideational field based in specific theoretical and methodological ways of observing, recording, analysing and representing spaces. Spatial practices, on the other hand, are not only practices of inhabiting space that generate particular configurations of form and lives but also locations from where to ask questions that generate engaged, longue duree architectural projects.
We pose spatial imaginations as an ideational field based in specific theoretical and methodological ways of observing, recording, analysing and representing spaces. Spatial practices, on the other hand, are not only practices of inhabiting space that generate particular configurations of form and lives but also locations from where to ask questions that generate engaged, longue duree architectural projects.
Imagination :: Space :: Practice, poses its question by drawing together, on the one hand, the research inquiries of the 2022-23 cohort of SEA’s final year students who invite us to engage with the questions that they ask: What space of imagination do toys, fictions and non/visual senses produce? How do practices of regulation and home-making shape the imagination of housing? How do practices of fragmented publics produce public space? How do old and new urban practices produce hybrids / cohabitation? How do practices of class, gendered, religious difference produce space? How do political practices of the everyday transform space and inhabit so-called urban residues? How does type and its transformation shape behaviour and social experience? How does the (re)formation of streets shape corrosions, porosities and permeabilities? On the other hand, it positions these inquiries in a proliferating scholarship on space and society whose cultural, postcolonial and feminist standpoints of analysis have drawn attention to questions of not just whose imagination, practice and expertise produce space, but also with what processes, consequences and implications for diverse lives.
01 / Imagination and spatial practice
> Spatial Nuances of Play - Diwakar Motwani
As architects we engage in the business of thinking space and form. The methods of imagining and crafting spaces are hijacked by the cartographic sense, making it a bland practice of delivering efficient, standard and mass-produced architecture. The research opens up ways to see how toys produce different spatiality from the cartographic method and maps the agencies of toys. The research becomes a dialogue between toys and our ways of imagining space by questioning, How do toys mobilise spatial imaginations?
Various nooks and corners of a crèche in Borivali were identified as samples. These configurations were then investigated on a case-by-case basis via the lens of movements, phonetic/bodily expressions, the kind of toys and personal associations. The operations yielded a series of fragmented spatialities. These particles of imagination were then stitched together to generate multiple meanings and associations. The children played differently based on the furniture setups and room proportions. These diverse configurations impacted the way kids chose the type of toys to play with and the kinds of stories and spatial imaginations they made up in their heads.
Toys as agencies produce space through unconventional sets of logic. As architects imagining space through the agency of toys could be helpful to re-conceptualize what ‘play in architecture’ would entail. Toys also liberate the idea of architecture as a serious practice to a more playful, joyful and fuzzy method of imagining spatialities. The thesis ends with identifying the characteristics of the imagined spatialities as residual, fragmented, constantly in scalar flux, associative, gendered and multi-interpretative.
> Logics of Gamescapes - Preet Waghmare
Games have changed throughout history as a result of visual effects, narrative, movements, and game mechanics. The environments that video games provide influence how players interact with them, changing how they view the world outside of the game. The window to encounter the spatiotemporal component is accelerated by video games. The general consensus is that a space contained within a virtual screen merges with the virtual reality. However, in video games, the spatio-temporal experience takes place in the context of daily life, evoking the creation of a representational space that may be connected "as if" it were real and effecting the disconnection from the actual world. The person can get an immersive experience through visuals and storytelling.
The other world (videogame) is what captures a player's attention first when they play a video game. It correlates with one's imagination in terms of the fantasy it generates. The level of immersion will increase as the environment becomes more detailed. The next element that supports a person after this is representation. The player's space is captured by the visuals, which are a crucial component. Here, the cartographic maps allow to draw out the outlines within which the player may walk while also setting the coordinates. The movement establishes the following coordinates for participants to use as they see fit when moving about the area.It is sometimes required by certain challenges, and other times it is done at the players' request.
The thesis will open up discussions on how the gamespace has changed and how mobility has changed inside it. It will also create a prism through which architects and designers may see the spatio-temporal components of video games in relation to modern theories of space, time, and mobility, where the concepts of daily life and non-spaces are crucial.
> Space and Fiction: Anime/Manga - Paras Burande
Fictional spaces provide architects with opportunities to experiment with space and craft newer experiences. Anime/Manga is a newer, smaller, and more competitive mode of fiction compared to the corporate giants of cinema productions, resulting in exploring newer types of representation. Personally being engaged with a niche and hence experimental fictional medium “anime”, it is evident that liberation from real-world constraints has produced newer possibilities of inhabitation. This thesis aims to explore imaginary space through the medium of “anime” and “manga” of Japanese origin. Further, it aims at exploring obscure spatialities that can be generated through understanding architectural representations in Japanese anime/manga.
The analysis is made through visual and mental observations. Taking a few of the anime as samples- with other-world-settings and experimental architectural representations along with strong personal real-life associations- experiential drawings have emerged. Dissecting the fictional settings created by Manga artists and Anime directors’ styles and themes, it is safe to say that certain spatial elements trigger certain emotions and experiences. Further pointing out the elements that help in crafting new forms and spaces, helped in understanding the common concepts used for articulating a fictional space. And these are often related to “stretching”, “extending” or “exaggerating”.etc the elements in space and creating a sense of other-worldliness or obscureness.
Since we make strong associations while engaged with fiction and create mind spaces, it is interesting to take inspiration from these surreal imagined spaces. This research helps to bridge the gap between imaginary and real and create new possibilities to make real-life spaces more experiential and meaningful. In the stale age of standardised and mass-produced architecture, it is crucial for architects to explore new logics to derive forms and create spaces.
> Dreamscapes - Shreya Mehta
Through our dreams, we experience new and unfamiliar spaces, where the logic of space and reality becomes distorted and amplified. These dream spaces are very unconventional, amorphous, and bizarre than the real world. There are times when the dreamer feels as if they are in limbo, being nowhere or in between both the dream and the reality. The realization is felt through the surroundings and the control that the dreamer has on the space and themselves. As in the dream spaces, one loses all control, one's beliefs about the configurations and behavior of space itself start to fall apart and the whole thing becomes nightmarishly complex and illogical.
The hypothesis began by exploring the different configurations of spaces seen in our dreams through three films. These films are No Smoking, Paprika and The Science of Sleep. The spatial characteristics of dreams in these films reflect the architecture of our minds. Understanding these changes in the characteristics and configurations of space was the aim of this dissertation and also to explore the experiences that emerge through the different phenomena of our dream spaces. Understanding the human psyche and how a body experiences itself in reality and in the space of the dream universally, was done through watching films with dream sequences. This helped establish spatialities which were then doubly abstracted.
All the selected films show these characteristics and spatiality of dreams (nightmarish, labyrinthine, distorted, liminal, amorphous, and infinite) very clearly through experience, configurations of the elements, framing, and light. This study further led to establishing newer spatial configurations through films with the imaginations of their dream sequences and figuring out how to apply these newer spatial combinations, imaginations, and qualities in the real world and architecture to rethink our ideas of space creation. Dream landscapes then have the potential to change the way we design and experience space altogether.
02 / Senses and spatial practice
> Non-ocular spaces - Charmi Mehta
We perceive and experience the world through our senses. Our sensory receptors located in various parts of our body, respond to the stimuli present in the environment, to construct an overall experience of the space. Although, we tend to have an ocular centric view in the way we experience and imagine spaces. That means, our sense of vision dominates the other senses in the perception and imagination of space. The other senses than sight are very important to study as they can help to experience the world through different sensoriums that further aid in adding layers, depth, and character to a space and enhance the overall experience of the space for oneself.
This thesis aims at understanding and drawing space that is sensed through senses other than that of sight. It does so by studying the spatiality of people with loss of vision through detailed interviews and observations. Redrawing their journey through the different areas in the city to analyse their active senses and sensorium in each space. And also how they use different senses to measure distance, and time and recognize spaces through peculiar sensoriums as landmarks. This thesis tries to open out the need for different ways to imagine and draw out spaces through a non-ocular centric view to enhance associations and engagement between the space and the user.
> Drawing from Other Senses - Gauri Sonar
Hearing people always assume that there is only one way to understand sound: by hearing/ listening to it. The thesis studies how space is perceived in the absence of a particular sense and how other senses compensate to understand and construct a spatiality through various interviews, articles, research papers, and discussions.
The idea of space was explored by understanding the routines of the interviewers. They travel through various spaces, from public to private, from being in the house to the market, as well as the school premises. The thesis uses the interviews to see how sound is experienced in various ways such as sound as flashing lights, sound as vibrations, among others. This sensual experience starts changing from place to place; when one walks through the chaos of the market, the variations in the smell and its intensity give an idea to a person with hearing loss to understand visually and olfactorily the intensity of the sound. The thesis also studies how other senses get activated to create the coordinates of perception in the case of a person with hearing loss.
> Mechanics of Memory - Pratik Bharati
Memories possess strong imaginational potential. They can make you travel through time and leave a mark on you through a series of events in time. Memories can be used to manifest a space through associations, sensorial experiences and material properties. For the scope of the thesis, I've considered sensorial memories as events which come together and construct spaces from the past. These non oculocentric memories become a threshold for spatial thinking for this thesis. I will explore and investigate my memories of nine houses that I have lived in till now and dissect their qualitative aspects. These sensory memories of touch, smell, taste and vision become a memory map of information to produce spaces. The analytical study of these houses from my memories tries to recollect all the sensorial aspects of the spaces to reconstruct an atmosphere or a setting from the past.
The method of research involves detailed anecdotes of specific events (or non events / instances) from the nine houses and will study these experiences through an analytical framework of sensorial, atmospheric and typological studies. The study proposes a process of atmospheric drawings and detailed writings from the memories of these nine houses. This atmospheric thinking allows one to look at the qualitative aspects of spaces. Further typological studies help to decode behavioural logics that the spatial configurations produce. This thesis proposes an alternative way to consider design processes through mobilising memory by way of sensorial writing, atmospheric drawing and typological studies.
03 / Hybrids / Cohabitation - I
> Performing Life: Theatre and its Spatial Configurations - Netra Khodke
The thesis establishes a relationship between the spatiality of theatre and the form of life and living it affords. It argues that earlier forms of theatres, through their spatial configuration, allowed a diversity of life and living as opposed to the fixed idea of the modern theatre that is restricted to the idea of the proscenium and the audience. The research is constructed through the stories of the artists. This relationship is built by observing and collecting information and accounts through interviews, discussion, literature reviews and case studies.
Pune exemplifies an indigenous Marathi culture. The city’s Lavani scene over the past two and half centuries has demonstrated that Pune has always held a space for the art form. There are some historical theatres in Pune that specifically produce a kind of living for the artists and the spatiality of such theatres has changed the life of the artists. Here, artists live together leaving their families behind while they pursue their art through the performance of Lavani. Looking at these spaces through the lens of the artists working there draws out very specifically how spatiality creates a form of living. The everyday activities of the artists make them inhabit spaces according to their needs and desires. However, as modern theatres started coming up, the form of living for the artists changed. Living in these modern theatres has become restricted with a “tight-fit functionalism” and a lack of flexibility restricting living, and creating inhibition in interaction. There are dedicated spaces for every activity and artists can only inhabit spaces with given frameworks.
This thesis will help us understand how spatiality helps to produce a kind of living. It will set up a lens for architects to understand the relationship between spatial configuration and an affordance of life.
> Deconstructing Hybrid - Kartiki Mahadik
What is the spatiality of hybrid inhabitation? At stake in deconstructing built-forms with hybrid programmes lies the opportunity to understand the role of spatial affordances in shaping their hybrid nature. The neighbourhood of Malad railway station in Mumbai’s western suburbs, a typical station area with intense vehicular and pedestrian circulation that houses buildings with disjunct hybrid programmes, forms the precinct for my inquiry. In this precinct, my study examines five buildings with hybrid programmes through visual and participant observation.
Apart from high densities and real estate values in cities such as Mumbai which have created a context for buildings with hybrid programmes to emerge, I argue that the mediation between building typology, circulation, building skins, signages create the architecture and spatial affordances of buildings with hybrid programmes. The courtyard type and the chawl type building typologies were mediated by elements of circulation in different ways to absorb hybrid programmes. The diverse hybrid programmes in the building are opened out to the crowd through different circulation paths with billboards, advertisements, signages and flyers stuck alongside the building facade facilitate the structuring of hybrid conditions in the building. At least three of the cases presented courtyards or terraces that acted as pause or relief points within the intensity of diverse activities in the buildings with hybrid programmes, and pedestrian and vehicular movements in the neighbourhood. The thesis nudges spatial practitioners to think about common spaces beyond elements of circulation.
> Living with Animals - Shivani Patil
This thesis tells us about the transforming relationship between humans and animals that shaped the spatiality of Saphale, Palghar over the last 50 years. What was once a forest has turned into agricultural land and now morphed into modern infrastructure.
There is an inside-outside relationship between those people and animals. Modernity has brought sharp segregation between humans and other species that once co-inhabited space. Now, they share the same space but with a wall in between. However, this affects not only human-animal relations but also human-human relations, and human-space relations. How do we create environments that are empathetic to the needs of animals in a rapidly urbanizing economy?
There's a strong relationship between the humans and animals of Saphale. Seven cases in Saphale with the relationship between humans and non-humans have been studied. These seven cases/stories are further classified into three analyses. The first is the expansion of houses/sheds/businesses. The people of Saphale have developed their houses based on this animal income. The second is the type of animals. Doing business with only one type of animal does not give them good income, so they started introducing new animals. There is a wide range of animals which is a source of income. Cows and buffaloes for milk, Hens for chicken, goats for meat, horses on rent, etc. The third is adding new business. Along with the milk, chicken, and meat shops, some started selling eggs, masalas, dairy products, cooked chicken food, etc. All these shifts from an agrarian economy into a pastoral economy and then from a pastoral economy to a mercantile economy.
The conclusion of the thesis is that because of those animals the village has been urbanised. From the green patch, i.e green land has been converted into a new housing area with respect to animals. Space has been transferred because of this coexistence as the humans and animals were initially living together under one roof and now the humans and animals are segregated. There is a clear distinction between living and animal space.
> Tracing urban metropolises - Smit Lakkad
04 / Regulation of housing; practices of home-making
The city of Mumbai is on the verge of another paradigmatic shift in the ways its urban form will be produced and negotiated. that will have serious implications on livability and the working of the city. One of the key actors in this shift will be the development control regulations(DCR) and the town planning schemes. This study intends to offer key insights into the history of development plans and regulations in the city, and their impact on the built form of the city and thus affecting the life living in the city. From a historical perspective the study intends to point to some of the key concerns for the consideration for Mumbai's DCR in the future.
The study is structured majorly in broad chronological phrases between the emergence of the modern ideas of town planning as a result of the plague of 1886, the period of the first development plan of 1964, the second development plan of 1991, and the third one of 2014 and our notes on pointing towards the emerging tendencies in the development of the city. Each section is further organised with the analytical illustrations of respective case studies. The concluding section offers projections and learnings of all these phases of building regulation in the city and points toward the lurking challenges shortly for the architects, planners, and citizens of the city.
> Co-Operative Metamorphosis - Pooja Dalal
My thesis aims to understand the changing socio-spatial relationships of everyday life generated by the redevelopment of co-operative housing societies in Mumbai’s suburbs through the current Development Control Regulations that provide generous incentive FSI to private developers for the redevelopment of old housing stock.
The precinct of Dahanukar Wadi in Mumbai’s western suburbs, which is recently undergoing rapid redevelopment of apartment buildings due to the construction of a metro railway station adjacent to it, forms the case study for this thesis. I have chosen three apartment buildings to study within this precinct. Two of these three apartment buildings have undergone redevelopment. These samples were chosen on the basis of different edge conditions, age of the buildings, and the public programmes at the ground level. In each of these samples, I analysed how the building sits in the urban context, the spatiality of its housing units, the profile, routines and everyday life of residents, and the form of life that these aspects generate. Building plans, sections, axonometrics and narratives that generate a thick description of the spatiality and form of life are used as a strategy to represent my analysis. .
Through the analysis, I observed that in the older apartment building, the presence of a non monetized public programme in the ground acted as a pause point for people since neighbouring buildings have ground floors as commercial shops. The edge allowed social transactions and allowed for a flow of the public within the building and animals alongside the building edges. In redeveloped buildings, although the ground space is converted into high end commercial programmes or stacked parking, they do not lend themselves to a wider public for a pause. The edges usually have high compound walls which segregate and mark territories. Furthermore, the older apartment building presents a scale that offers visual connectivity for the upper floors with the street as well as neighbouring buildings, which is lost in redeveloped apartments.
> Hybrid Housing - Neha Nanwani
How do houses in Amravati accommodate work? New housing projects publicised through brochures largely advance the apartment typology, segregation of living and work, and a focus on luxury amenities within the building. However, emerging contexts of urbanization in Amravati draw attention to new hybrid spatial conditions of living and work that remain unaddressed by the much publicised brochures of mass housing schemes.
To research I identified nine contemporary housing cases that accommodate living and working conditions. These cases present a housing condition where the house as a living space was transformed and adapted to accommodate work. The forces of industrial restructuring, communal violence and even the Covid pandemic have shaped the hybrid living and work conditions in these cases. I analysed each case and its spatial transformation through visual observation and interviews that mapped how the introduction of a work space emerged out of emerging contexts of urbanization, and how it has transformed routines, spatialities and the form of life of its residents.
My thesis advances three arguments. First, while current mass housing projects find form in the separation of living and work, my study identifies that there are emerging contexts of changes in the economy and social conditions that have generated hybrid conditions of living and working in Amravati's housing. Second, the programmatic changes in these instances cause changes in their routines, circulation, and the spaces in the houses. As a result, there is a blur in the private and public spaces of the house, which is negotiated temporally. Third, each of the cases of hybrid living and work conditions in my study demonstrates an incremental transformation of builtform. The flexibility, incrementality and relationships with the ground and the surrounding urban context that the living and work conditions demand a low-rise built form that remains absent in the emerging apartment housing typologies.
> Practice of Repair - Dhruv Sachala
The thesis looks at the practices of repair in different contexts in Mumbai. Repair means the nudges made to the inhabitation over time. These transformations are brought about by the social and political forces at work on them.
Architects build only for 5% of the population. The remaining 95% of people live in homegrown neighbourhoods, co-operative housing societies and cessed buildings, which follow a very nuanced and intermittent way of transforming their built form and work spaces through small acts of repair. This seemingly irrational growth is an incremental process in which new layers are added to spaces with the intention of continuously changing the space based on the needs of people who inhabit it. The change in the habitation occurs in a very sporadic manner, in contrast to the linear set of parameters set up by modern design processes.
In order to investigate these processes, three sets of case studies from different contexts in the suburbs of Mumbai have been documented to help understand the process of making a habitation. This includes an analysis of the political economy of the neighbourhoods, kinship networks, solidarities involved and the material practices mobilised in the making of these three inhabitations.
> Crowds and Publics - Gunjan Shah
05 / Of publics and public spaces
When we think about cities we think of buildings, skyscrapers, or traffic, but cities are about people. Cities are about where people go and where they meet. It is what makes the city work. People make spaces, as well as spaces shape people. The way people adapt, move, and manage the spaces around the city will determine the meaning of space. Even more important than buildings in the city are the public spaces in-between them. The patterns of the in-between spaces and the public spaces in the city create opportunities for encounters and coexistence across diverse social and ethnic divides. The daily encounters because of these patterns create familiarity between individuals. This familiarity leads to forming a public.
The daily encounters give opportunities to the crowd to create public. The potential for interaction and meetings between people from different areas, ages, and different social backgrounds in a public realm is crucial for creating an integrated society and creating tolerance and a sense of belonging. Activities happening in a public space constantly generate disorder and change. Successful public spaces offer different experiences and possibilities. Spaces that can create public or the ability to create social spaces. It should allow the transition between the crowd and the public and creates opportunities for the crowd to become public. The spatial conditions of these spaces shape the experience of people.
The objective of this study is to look at how the public is constituted in different kinds of public spaces and thereby how people move and occupy spaces. This hypothesis alludes to rethinking the idea of public and crowd and what kind of spatiality makes public and crowd that makes an active public space and hence rethink the idea of how do we manage the crowd such that it does not disrupt the formation of public.
> Changing Publics and the Making / Emergence of New Cultural Spaces - Neel Shah
How does a public shape and reshape new cultural spaces?
How has the idea of the public changed over the years?
Mumbai has been a major cultural hub for a long time. Since the 1800s it is known for hosting spaces for traders and merchants and later for the British to set up their colonies, institutions and infrastructures.
The idea of public and culture has been constantly evolving leading to the production and dissolution of many cultural spaces. The earlier idea of the public was often related to the ‘subject’ consisting of pre-democratic structures which focused on building iconic monuments and constructing the identity of a society. Later on, the idea of public shifted to that of a ‘mass’ where the public demanded a space for gathering (mass) or a space that was ‘free to access’ and ‘state-sponsored’. It relates to spaces whose function is to host large gatherings, a sense of togetherness, and a space to revolt and celebrate, often related to political affairs.
After the introduction of media, we notice that the idea of the public starts to break down into smaller ‘fragments’. These cultural spaces are no longer ‘state-sponsored’ nor are they ‘free to access’; private organisations have taken up these spaces. Newer functions of these cultural spaces include clubs, rental turfs, and gyms.
This thesis focuses on the idea of the public as fragments and identifies a few sites in the western suburbs of Mumbai. Drawing a matrix helps to locate the shifts happening in the idea of public and cultural spaces in the last decade and to look closely at the factors affecting/ forcing these shifts. The thesis finds that there are certain patterns emerging while looking at these shifts such as privatisation, new solidarities, cellularization, temporal phenomenologies, internet and social-media based communities, hardening of the edges, and legitimization and sanitization as new urban conditions coming up in the city. The thesis helps in establishing this idea of the public for its impact on the design of cultural spaces and vice-versa. This further leads to the question: What will happen to the idea of a public with the increase in fragmentation of cultural spaces? How can one resuture this idea of fragmentation towards a more egalitarian public? What should be the form and nature of these new spaces?
> Aesthetics of Erasure - Sakshi Sawant
How does the imagination of leisure shape its spatiality in low-income, work-based waterfronts? This question is framed in the backdrop of the proliferating leisure and recreation based future visions for waterfronts across several Indian cities which historically present diverse cultural relationships of work, living and religiosity with the water.
I explore this question in Darukhana along Mumbai’s Eastern Waterfront which was constructed as a precinct with three quays that docked small dinghies and barges to supply wood, coal, mangalore tiles and hay to warehouses that traded them with the cotton textile mills in the neighbouring industrial district. Post the closure of the cotton textile mills, small-scale industries structured around the activities of ship-breaking, copper wires, utensils, recycling materials etc. emerged in place of the warehouses. Several small clusters of self-built housing inhabited by low-income households who work in these small enterprises emerged alongside. My research investigates the forms of leisure and recreation that emerge in such conditions through visual observation and semi-structured interviews. I have chosen three sites for this study where leisure and recreation takes place in small nooks and corners between workshops, shops and houses.
I argue that the leisure and recreation for low-income households in Darukhana takes place temporally in the interstices between work, living and commerce amidst paan shops. This imagination poses a question about the need for segregating imaginations of leisure and recreation in well-defined public spaces and through the aesthetics of cement pathways with greenscapes, jogging tracks, special viewing decks to enjoy the scenery, proper and designated seating areas where the waterfront is seen as place to “enjoy nature.”.
06 / Type, behaviour, experience
> Type and Transactions: Body and Behaviour in Market Spaces - Drishti Desai
In cities, markets are one of the essential public gathering spaces through which numerous social networks are formed. Visiting a market is a socio-cultural activity in everyday life, where people come together for a variety of transactions. However, the spatial behaviour of the markets has evolved over the years in response to the ever-changing nature of consumerist society. Traditional markets exist in addition to new forms of marketplaces, ranging from shopping malls to online shopping websites and mobile applications.
The thesis focuses on the architectural type of marketplaces and how transactional relationships are shaped by it. The spatial setting of a market type unconsciously guides an individual's behaviour. With the emergence of newer typologies of markets, the relationship between the human body, commodity and space gets redefined. To delve deeper into this changing relationship and assess what aspects of social life is afforded by a particular type, three different markets are compared. The case studies undertaken for the research are the Dadar market along the Dadar railway station, the Mangaldas market in Kalbadevi, and the Oberoi mall in Goregaon. All these different types of markets have emerged through distinct timeframes and are situated in different contexts. The research methods implemented are visual and participatory observations and semi-structured interviews to engage with the study. Along with that, secondary sources have been used to complement the research.
These cases are analysed for the affordance they provide in terms of movement flows through them, the density of people and goods, the porosity, the edge conditions that lend themselves for claims and negotiations, materiality leading to comfort and discomfort, scales creating intimacies and densities or fragmentation. This analysis points out that the change in type has created a change in transactional relationships and in turn a change in the social behaviour of the public.
> Theatre In The City - Mohini Surve
The theatre is a performance of dramatic actions which narrate different stories and events to give meaning to the audience; whereas theatricality ( नाट्यमयता ) is an emotion and expression which they express by their act while doing movement or performance which calls everyone's attention. There is an entanglement of body and space which co-produces each other. Thus this thesis helps to study how body and space generate theatricality. and how does space become theatre?
The market is the complexity and density of overlapping bodies which create a very exclusive theatrical effect, where everyday action makes the space dynamic and brings vibrant form. That's why the market is observed through the lenses of a script, setting, performing body, and set as these are the components of theatre.
The site selected for this research is Borivali and Byculla BMC mandi (market) . Borivali is the main junction point for all suburbs and their outside stations. This market is surrounded by commercial and residential areas. Throughout the day this Whole area is covered by vendors, retailers, and buyers. Due to this, this market becomes a chaotic place throughout the day. Byculla mandi is one of the oldest markets which is located near Byculla station. This wholesale market is always active during the morning.
These thesis analyses how the BMC market space they have utilised became a set where the people who occupy the space became performers and their activities which come up together create a spectacle of theatre.
Time also plays an important factor in market space. The script of Borivali mandi is bustling which starts from 5 am to 9 pm and throughout the day the script of this space constantly transforms from chaos to repose. Whereas Byculla mandi is mostly active during morning from 4 am to 11 am.
With time, continuous interaction of bodies with space while doing practices, becomes well-practised behaviours and in a constant context, it recurs because the process that initiates and controls their performance becomes automatic. And the decisions they are making consciously while doing practices become unconsciously a well-written script for them. And this script can defer from mandi to mandi due to its Given spaces, its utilisation, and the inner activities.
> The City and it’s Fabric: Maheshwar - Ashwini Borkar
The research establishes an understanding for the Maheshwar city fabric and how its economic and social life is centred around the production or enterprise of Maheshwari fabric.
The textile industry in India is one of the industries that has generated huge employment for skilled and unskilled labourers. Handloom contributes a significant role towards the economy. Maheshwar has been a centre of handloom weaving Since 18th century.This handloom weaving provides gainful employment to thousands of weaver’s. Some organisations in Maheshwar are set up to sustain the traditional handloom weaving and also to provide healthcare shelter and education to the weavers and their families. As a result of this the organisations have started building structures such as housing colonies, hospitals, schools, and training centres to cater the needs of weavers. Through fieldwork and secondary sources, I have mapped out the social and economic networks forming within the city concerning the spatiality of fabric.
The aim is to understand the shifts and spatiality of enterprise as it is identified that the handloom industry is in the phase of downfall. After a period of time it has been identified that the handloom machines are overshadowed by the power looms. The decline in handloom tradition is affecting the economic condition of the weavers in Maheshwar. Many factories are seen to be set up in the city‘s which is affecting the fabric and typology of the city.
> Typological changes & life: Transformations of Mill lands in Mumbai - Sharvri Raut
Girangaon, an area in central Mumbai once had 130 textile mills. The areas of Tardeo, Mazgaon, Byculla, Parel, Lalbaug, Worli and Prabhadevi housed the mills and also the chawls for mill workers. Lower Parel used to have a large number of textile mills that created a distinct urban life around them. After the economic downturn caused by the labour strike in 1982, mills were shut leaving workers helpless. The mill workers’ strike cost people their lives, their home and their identities. People working in the mills were the sole breadwinners of their families. For several years, they survived by working as labourers, vendors, taking up low-paying part-time jobs, and even started food services. In the last 2 decades, Lower Parel transformed from an industrial area to a commercial and corporate centre and the nearby chawls redeveloped into apartment buildings. The culture, routines, movement, relationships, homes and working conditions of the community of erstwhile mill workers changed entirely. The face of mill lands has completely transformed, affecting the relationship between workspaces, people and their neighbourhood.
The aim of this thesis is to analyse the urban form of mill lands and the everyday practices of its inhabitants. The research looks closely at the ecologies of Dawn Mill, Matulya MIll and Gokuldas Morarjee Mill which have transformed into Peninsula Business Park, Sun Palazzo and Peninsula Corporate Park respectively to study the transforming urban form and house form through the changing economic networks over a period of time and how it shapes social life.
> Spatiality of Festive Economy in Khelarpada village, Dahanu - Tejal Patil
07 / Hybrids / Cohabitation II
This study aims to explore the changing house form and how it is directly connected to the livelihood of the people in the village of khelarpada. This village is near Mahalakshmi temple in Dahanu in Palghar district. Village has huge rice fields. They cultivate rice in the rainy season. This village has a festival of mahalakshmi goddess in the month of march/april for 15 days. Looking at the economical aspect, this is an important period for villagers. There is the main spine (road) which goes through the village and temple which is covered with the shops on both sides.
Temporal changes are happening in this village. In terms of houses that are extending, or temporary shops that are setting up in the house itself during the festival. This study is to understand How does changing house forms support economic activities during different seasons?
I am looking at the three cases of temporary housing, shops and the street which is changing during the festival. These cases are studied to understand the spatial and economic changes happening in the village throughout the year. The method of research is through interviews, photographs of existing built form, streets, shops and sketches in order to map the configuration of spaces and their transformation in different seasons.
The objective of this research is there is a tendency of dynamic built form to get frozen into static form which cannot change. How it will result or impact the livelihood of people in this village. The hypothesis is how this reducing agrarian thing/farming that they are doing is equally important to switch(built form) to happen.
> Rural metamorphosis - Sneha Rathod
Trekking is a sport a person opts not only for the adventure but also to experience the rural culture, the lifestyle of people with a dash of activities along the trail and at the base. Being a part of this industry, I myself have been through alot of trekking spots, but also being an architecture student, I have had a keen observation over the landscape, the builtforms and the inhabitation the base villages hold. Strolling along a few villages I found one thing very similar in all of the spots that made me question about the already existing fabric vs how it has been changing in the past few years.
Things tend to change when there is an external intervention providing opportunities for it to change. And that happened in one of the villages in Panvel. The village prabalmachi is a small settlement on the plateau which stands at the foothills of two peaks, kalavantin durg and prabalgad fort. Tourism industry flourished here somewhere around 2-3 decades back and it has also been proven to be providing economic opportunities here. Thus it brought along major changes in this village such as the shift of economy from agrarian to tourism based, the growth in infrastructure and the change in its spatial nature.
The thesis revolves around how this intervention of the tourism industry into rural settings changed its landscape and its inhabitation. So while addressing this question, I drew a diagrammatic loop or a cycle happening here which has its end broken at a point.
Under the impression of growing economic opportunities and attracting a huge amount of people to visit here, the villagers started to organise various trekking events and activities leaving behind all the practices they used to do for the living. This definitely worked initially the way they aimed it to be, and with time there began an influx of people which gave rise to over tourism and overcrowding. To curb this dilemma, the best solution the villagers could find was to increase the infrastructure and alter its spatiality in order to accommodate the people coming in. This gave rise to the extension of spaces, the change in practices, the vanishing of the landscape and the growth in infrastructure which in whole changed the entire experience one expected to come here for, in the first place. This has largely created a gap between humans and nature. I might ask the question, what do people come to these spots for, apart from adventure? I myself being a part of the industry, expect to go and celebrate nature and experience the rural lifestyle, but what I ended up experiencing was the same thing that I was finding an escape from, the regular monotonous lifestyle inside our small cubicles in this concrete jungle. Their infrastructure has grown to be replicating the spaces we have in our city, which brought along with it the complex spatial nature increasing the discomfort. This has been coming up under the impression that it is what the people coming from the city expect, but I'm afraid that's not the case. The hospitality they are trying to provide is a mere assumption based on our expectations which are not even true.
This held a firm base of my studies wherein I've focused on the urban transition happening here and what might be their repercussions if done in excess. And to address this I have studied various transforming buildforms such as a stall along the route, the entire village and a house turned hotel (the pioneer and the founder) inside the village in terms of its changing landscape, the spatialities and the practices.
Through this study I found various issues and gaps between the perception and experience of the space and what is being offered now. The altering in spatiality, materiality and form has altered the experience of the space and the relationship with the nature which might result into the collapse of the loop or a cycle that once formed due to the tourism intervention and this broken end is exactly what may cause them the irreversible damages proving to be antithetical to the sustenance of their business and the economic source.
This thesis might be helpful in understanding the spatial nature of a rural setting and how it shall be improvised to incorporate an external intervention without causing irreversible damages or losing its spatial relationship with nature and experience.
> Built form and livelihood - Sail Jathar
Urban villages have been undergoing transformation due to the shift in the economic activities of villages. This shift in their livelihood would bring new configuration or transformation in their ecosystem as well as in the built form of the village. Changing occupations changes the spatial configuration of the houses as well as associated public spaces in the urban village.
The city of Mumbai has a set of people and a community, Koli people have a rich history as they are the aboriginal fishing community of the old city. In the communities, the main occupation is fishing. Mumbai has large and diverse availability of fish along the shore which led the community to indulge in fishing and earn profit or surplus, making it their primary source of income.
Urban villages are the result of rapid urbanization. In the context of the urban fishing villages in Mumbai, these changes in livelihood shape the spatiality of the village at the individual as well as community level. The shift in livelihood and the relationship of a people with a community by disrupting to be a forced change in the relationship between the built form and open space along with a new building configuration typology to emerge from the existing one within this settlement, allowing the built form to take over the available common and in between spaces. The common spaces in the fishing villages not only facilitate their everyday activities for livelihood but also become a space for communal relationships to grow.
Through this thesis, I aim to study the factors and agencies responsible for changing livelihood and how it shapes the spatial configuration? My thesis began with the question How does urbanization shape the communities living in fishing villages? Urbanization refers to the population growth shift from rural to urban areas. How do the communities sustain their changing typologies?
In order to do so, the study incorporates the comparison of the two fishing villages at different stages of transformation. Versova Koliwada, the large transformation in the built form, and Madh Koliwada, a settlement functional as for the older way of communal living. Through the study of the living pattern in both the settlements, it was clear that its transformation in the livelihood disturbed the everyday ecosystem of the community. The aim of the thesis is to argue for a change in the way the transformation occurs and to rethink the typology of the built form to incorporate in different scales in the neighborhood. In a transferring context the next stage was focused on speculating about the shift in build form in both the context of Versova Koliwada in comparison with Madh Koliwada due to the shift in their livelihood.
> Life and cultural places - Khushi Singla
Culture has always been a very crucial part of our daily life. Be it some festivals , annual events, or routine practices. To accommodate these cultures we require cultural space which need not be the designated spaces for these specific events but can be a part of our living space as well, such as extended plinths, verandas, street edges etc. People of different regions have different living practices which when brought together becomes the culture of that space.
Cultures are internally affected by both forces encouraging change and forces resisting change. These forces are related to social structures and natural events, Hence over the years those living practices have changed which resulted in the change of the culture and hence change in the cultural spaces. There are different spatial affordances which each space offers.
Hence the major argument of this thesis is “How does new cultural infrastructure and its spatiality shape life? In order to support this argument, this study focuses on a Gaothan named “Chuim” in Bandra which over the years have become very dense as well as gentrified. A lot of people have migrated resulting in the formation of small religious groups. Its context has a lot to do with these changes. People who were living in Chuim have started migrating out resulting in renting out their own spaces in chuim. New people coming to Chuim bring new cultures and practices with them and mainly they commercial cultural spaces that generate a cultural economy. Hence a commercial industry has been set up in the village. Along with cultural spaces, the overall morphology of the village has changed, impacting everyday practices of people. Hence the major findings of this study indicates that these new cultural spaces have changed the spatial affordance of villages and the life they are offering has a wide gap with the life villagers used to live.
08 / Difference and spatial practice
> Gendered spatiality and the factory - Bhoomi Bakrania
How are gendered experiences shaped in a predominant industrial workspace? Although there is a rhetoric of gendered equality in workspaces, their spatiality produces non-neutral or unequal gendered experiences. In this thesis, I define gendered spatial experience as the structure of feelings and behaviour that are produced in a gendered body by the intersection of everyday routine, occupation of space and its spatial configuration. These intersections, in a male dominated work space, often lend themselves to the production of the male gaze, thereby making the occupation of space comfortable or uncomfortable for women. The ways in which women negotiate and claim spaces in such spatial configurations could have significant learnings to offer for the design field.
The interest regarding this thesis comes from my observations during the time I spent working as an architectural intern in an office that was located in an industrial landscape in a second city of an industrialised state in west India. This second city has its primary economy as industries where men and women migrate for jobs and work. In the selected factory, a fordist process of manufacturing with a hierarchy of positions produces goods from paper. A semi-structured interview with eight women and six men that focused on socio-economic profiles, daily routines, opinions and perceptions of the factory space formed the basis to understand the gendered spatial experience of the factory space. Alongside, visual and participant observation helped me map the spatial affordances of each of the factory spaces.
My study advances four arguments. First, the fordist assembly line of the factory lends to a typological spatial organisation of the shed where manufacturing programmes are located at the centre whereas industrial services and packaging programmes are located at the periphery of the factory space. Second, male labour is employed in the production unit and labour intensive activities which are located in the centre of the factory whereas female labour is employed in less labour intensive activities of administration and cleaning such as clerks, receptionists, packing and sanitary work which are located at the periphery of the factory. Third, this division of labour and its location in the factory space sets up the space for men to command the view of open spaces and the hollow shed with their “gaze.” And fourth, women feel uncomfortable in large spaces where they are vulnerable to more gaze. They find comfort in spaces which veil this gaze. They claim spaces in-between large paper rolls in the packaging unit or piles of files in the old office and negotiate by mobilising fraternities of friendships, by moving through gaze together.
> Spatiality of Segregation : Planning of upper class homes - Nitisha Parakh
Architects design and build homes where spaces are segregated for people who co-exist in these spaces. When people have the capital to hire architects and design a space they also have the power to create segregated spaces, not only have these design decisions become a pattern but some architects encourage these segregated spaces. One can implement segregations in large houses.
This thesis aims to analyse the segregations that happen between the two identified sets of people - the serving and the served, in these large houses. Focussing on houses of different sizes with diverse amenities, an attempt is made to establish the relationships between the spaces used by these two sets of people in these large houses. The serving uses the spaces to serve, quickly moving through spaces, they live life in hiding. They remain segregated into the smaller spaces. The served uses the space in some parts, to be able to use and occupy the entire space of the house is absurd. They remain segregated into the larger parts of the house.
Through extensive interviews with family members of these houses, I will look at how the routines and movements of these two sets of people have a pattern and so do the spatial configurations across these houses.
> Spatialities of Jain Religion - Jay Kanti
The thesis aims to identify spatiality of Jain religious institutions that exist in an urban setting. Due to the availability of land in remote areas or at various pilgrim locations there are numerous Jain temples and institutions that are horizontally spread out and exist in a single complex, which adheres to a certain order, symmetry and many other characteristics of sacred spaces that the religious scriptures highlight on. However these characteristics of sacred religious spaces are not necessarily seen in an urban setting like Mumbai. The institutions exist in fragments and in default in-between interstitial spaces, primarily due to the dense conditions of life and living and hence relatively less availability of larger open spaces and hence these institutions merge with the everyday life of the city.
Having been born in a Jain family, growing up with its religious practices triggered my interest in this subject. Over the years I have seen the Jain temples and Upashrays in my neighbourhood emerging and existing in a variety of configurations like where an apartment, garage, retail shops etc were remodelled or refurbished into a monastery and temple.
The thesis primarily focuses on the Derasar (Temple) and Upashray (Monasteries) types. These institutions are essential for a community to strive for, and these institutions become central to the people of the community as the routine of many people revolve around these institutions. It is significant even in today's global society, because its existence has an impact on both the urban environment and the people.
The study tries to analyse spatial, economical, socio-contextual, networks the way in which placemaking happens in three different Jain neighbourhoods in Borivali. It also tries to understand the spaces claimed and shaped by these communities to perform their everyday rituals and practices. It looks at the spatial configuration of these institutions and their relationship with each other, their overall functioning, the individuals involved, and the activities that take place in and around these institutions in an urban setting.
The thesis becomes a collection of spatial diagrams of Jain religious institutions with varied constructed typologies within the city. It necessitates to rethink what sacredness is when interspersed with the urban constructs of life and living.
> Spatiality of Everyday Politics - Rishabh Chhajer
09 / Everyday and the residue
There’s a problem categorising claims outside DP as ‘problematic encroachments’. Master planning should not be the sole defining reference for locating forms of territoriality, demarcating illegal non-conforming development.
What is the spatiality of everyday politics? This research attempts to acknowledge the logics mobilised in near order by the everyday which plays a significant role in building a city and consecutively modifications in the city plan. This near order is the immediate context in which events occur. It is a political term where people have agency/ control over the setting. They claim their agency based on various grounds. There are several claims happening simultaneously in the construction of a neighbourhood in small cities like Pali. In such cities/towns, there is not a singular source of power which controls the order hence the flourishing politics with multiple overlapping claims of space.
The aim is to develop strategies for an urban form where everyday politics can flourish by establishing the relationship between everyday spatial politics and the urban form through the historical excavation of the sites by delayering past three stages of development by learning stories of the past and places of origin to unfold the accumulation of the existing context and the forms of life that get produced by spatial politics.
> (Re-)Evaluating Residual Spaces - Ria Shah
There are several awkward spaces, non-standard voids, slivers in the city, located in between buildings, occupying edge conditions or just not enough to occupy any form of ‘traditional use’ that are termed ‘residual’. Through a utilitarian framework, terms like “residue” are understood as leftover, forgotten, redundant, useless, unwanted, discarded, something that has to be removed and erased. But in doing that we also erase forms of life and experiences that are contingent on this idea or space. Re-evaluating the idea of residue will help us validate a form of life that otherwise would have been obliterated.
The thesis is an elaboration of a method of recognition, analysis and evaluation of residual spaces, thus emphasising that the spatiality of such spaces affords opportunities for practices of everyday life. In order to support the argument, three sets of case studies of different types of urban voids in a city have been documented to help understand how agencies created by the ‘everyday’ of people employ the spatial affordance of residual spaces and how they lend themselves to so many dimensions of life.
Along with instances of explaining the affordance of such spaces, the thesis includes an analysis of the movement patterns, socio-political economy of their neighbourhoods, coordinates through which claims are made, materials strategies mobilised and space planning standards and scales reimagined to consolidate these spaces.
> Religious festivals, post event spatialities and everyday life: Biography of Simhastha Camp - Shubh Sankhla
What spatial opportunities do intense religious festival event spaces create during non-event times? At stake in this question lies the challenge to interrogate the celebratory narratives of temporal / ephemeral / pop-up architecture / kinetic city that have emerged from architectural research on religious festival event spaces in India, on the one hand, and to articulate conceptual tropes beyond those of “death” and “unproductiveness” to describe their post-event spatialities, on the other hand.
The field for this study is the land reserved in the Development Plan of Nashik city for the Simhastha Camp, literally a space where sadhus camp for six months during the Kumbh mela. It is a designated space for living and celebrating cultural / religious practices that unfold during the Kumbh mela. Much of the land falls under private property ownership but it is regulated by the state through the Development Plan and Development Control Regulations (DCRs) that do not allow for the construction of new permanent structures, and through the provision of infrastructure like water supply, sewerage, roads and other essential infrastructure.
Of the numerous programs that exist within this camp space, I have chosen to study houses, nurseries, scrapyards, suppliers of festival and marriage decorations, and a street. The methods for each case differ as interest is on the transformation of builtform : the scrapyard and decorator supplier have a similar type, hence they are studied through affordance of their type, the house is studied by comparing its form of life during and after the event through a timeline where extensions of the houses create different spatial experiences, the nursery is looked at how the land politics shapes the builtform to hide their house by building a shed over their house, and how the office and shops, operate with the same type of shed, lastly the streets are studied through how the residue of the event produces different spatialities where the city appropriate this residue to create new economies and leisure spaces. My analysis produces a biographic narrative of the Simhastha Camp through thick annotations of the transformations of the urban form and built form by organising them in a linear post-event timeline punctuated by the cosmological cycle of the religious festival event. The thick annotations are meant to develop a narrative of the land politics by focusing on the transformations in property rights (ownership / tenure), activities (post/event), land claims, negotiations with development control regulations, aspirations of the owners, and the spatial opportunities and affordances that these spaces produce.
I advance five arguments through this thesis.
First, since the development control regulations do not allow for any permanent structures to be constructed in the designated Simhastha Camp precinct, owners, who initially were farmers, have been compelled to rent their property for the activities of the new service economy that provides opportunities for income generation. This transformation is also produced due to the fact that projects of infrastructure provisioning for the Kumbh mela on private property often reduce the fertility of the land.
Second, in the change from an agrarian to an urban services based economy, the builtform response to the DCRs has led to a widespread proliferation of ‘the shed’ as a new building typology on the land reserved for Simhastha Camp.
Third, the shed typology tactically responds to the aspects of temporariness and permanence. Its materiality and tectonics make it appear like a temporary structure that follows the DCRs but beneath its skin, it lends to the everyday consolidation of houses, work and life. For instance, the house expands using the shed; the labour house in the nursery hides by building a shed over a pakka house; the office and shop in the nursery also expands using the shed; the streets are claimed by makeshift tapris and mobile shops. This doubleness - the tectonics of the temporary and the consolidation of life - could offer significant learnings for architectural thought as against the celebratory ideas of temporal / ephemeral / pop-up architecture / kinetic city, which picture a builtform that emerges during the event, and then dismantles and vanishes.
Fourth, in moving beyond the concepts of the temporal / ephemeral / pop-up architecture / kinetic city, doubleness draws attention to the analogies of the ‘veil’ and the ‘residue’ as tactics to consolidate builtform and life in the post event spatialities.
And fifth, my research makes a methodological contribution by pointing to the lacunae in studying the architecture and urbanism of religious event spaces in opposition to the everyday. It draws attention to the difference that a long duree, longitudinal study could make in developing thick descriptions of the ways in which the event folds into the everyday.
10 / (Re-)Forming street edges
> Street Affordance: A Case in Amravati - Arnav Mundhada
Streets have been continuously upgraded over the years, it has been holding the culture of the city. The experience of the street changes in different cities, living in my hometown since my childhood, the visualisation of the street is different from that of the metropolitan city. Different types of people, different types of occupations, different ways of presenting their products, and different types of spaces they occupy, generate the spatiality of streets. This thesis aims to look at the transactional capacities of the streets in small cities. My interest was to look into the transactional capacities of Amravati city and how the streets have been upgrading over time. My research question for this study is “What is the spatial economy of Itwara street in Amravati?”
The main bazaar was first located inside the walled city. As the population increased the old city got congested, it moved out near the old city, and in recent periods as the traffic has increased in the bazaar so the proposal for a new road bridge has been proposed. The condition of the bazaar is recently under the phase of construction of the bridge. The objective of this study is to look at the changes in the affordances and transactional capacities in the transition period of the construction of the bridge.
To look at the affordances and transformations, sections of the street have been cut across the streets and shown at different times of the day to look at the affordances. The plans of the cut parts of the sections have been made to observe the movement pattern and the changes in the movement patterns at different times of the day due to street vendors.
The edge of the street which was thick before due to street vendors and the passerby has now been compromised due to the construction. The affordances of the built form have been transforming and the transactional capacities of the street are changing. The emergence of the third edge in the street under the bridge is now taking place. After the construction of the road bridge “How will the transactional capacities of the street be transformed?”. How will the built form respond to the new road infrastructure?
> From the streets: Behavior and Experience - Samruddhi Pawar
Space has the power to affect one’s behaviour and experience. It is influenced by the physical and social factors around it. Streets, a major part of public space, not only allows for transition on an everyday basis but extends itself to become a space for social exchanges. A road allows transport from one place to another, but a street allows public interaction. The physical spatial setting around the street impacts the behaviour and experience.
This dissertation is a study to decode the relationship between the spatiality of streets with the behaviour and experience of people. Three streets in Nashik were examined for the same, one market street, a commercial street and a residential street. These streets were selected based on their proportions (width/length/volume of traffic etc.) with specific programmatic conditions of the street and built form to understand relationships that emerge on the edges. The extent of the street was selected also based upon the activities unfolding during different times of the day. The functional adjacencies at the street edge played a major role in impacting the behaviour and experience. People to people, people to elements, people to builtform and people to threshold are the spatial categories through which the behaviour and experience is influenced.
> Highway Urbanization in Chiplun - Ninad Thatte
The highways connecting the two cities have always helped to upgrade the towns and villages. Over time the type and amount of traffic using it changed and the need to upgrade these highways came up. So the project for widening the Mumbai-Goa highway started in 2011. The whole 2-lane highway from Panvel (Mumbai) to Goa is supposed to be expanded to 6-lanes. This project aims for better roads, safe travel, and less travel time. Most of the work in the Raigad and Sindhudurg districts is done and work in the Ratnagiri district is in progress. Around early 2019, work for the same project on the highway’s section in the town of Chiplun started.
The dissertation is a study to understand how the upgradation of the highway changes the life of people along its edge. The thesis also tries to locate the affordances this upgradation offers. After doing photo documentation and interviews with the locals, it was observed that there are mainly 4 types of landscape changes across the highway. So to study 3 different types of cases of different programmatic conditions were selected. One is where an old residential structure is reconfigured, the second is of a new builtform coming up and the third is of a public institute. These cases were analyzed by before and after conditions of the highway edge of the project. The categories for analyzing were program, activity and behavior, and topography.
> Upgrading roads; Transforming edge affordances - Bharvi Shetye
How does the upgradation of road transport infrastructure change the spatiality of habitation and the form of life along its edges? My research explores this question against the backdrop of numerous layers of road upgradation projects that have been underway in Mumbai since the 1990s. While news reports largely focus on the real estate impacts of the transformation produced by road infrastructure upgradation, I choose to focus on the changes in spatiality that they bring about and the implications on the lives of those who live on their edges.
My site is Jogeshwari Vikhroli Link Road, which connects the city’s major north-south arteries, that is the Western and Eastern Express Highways. My focus is on a length of three kilometres of this artery abutting the Western Express Highway.
Methodologically, my study focused on two scales. I first analysed the spatial transformations resulting from road infrastructure upgradation through a historical analysis of land use and Google Maps. This study helped me identify four critical edge sections to study the spatial transformations through time. And second, I analyzed the spatial transformations in these four edge sections.
My thesis argues that the spatial transformations resulting from infrastructural upgradation of roads create mass displacements and relocations of low-income households and enterprise, on the one hand, and opportunities for spatial readjustments, on the other hand. Both affect the everyday life of the people whose builtform transforms due to infrastructural upgradation. Low income households who are displaced and relocated in slum rehabilitation schemes find themselves inhabiting a builtform that is not conducive to their everyday life.
11 / Corrosions, Porosity, Permeability
> Spatiality of “roughness” on streets - Yash Bhandari
Streets are and have been for most of us places of varied activities, they consist of an array of events which blur its identity altogether, especially streets in India. Uneven street edges, Construction in between streets, dug up sewers, potholes, garbage dump, collision of various activities and events and overall rigidity of emotions of oneself is what sums up understanding of this thesis and this phenomenon could be termed as “Roughness.”
Roughness could be perceived through various modes and at various places. In order to understand this phenomenon if the reader would situate themselves in the given space.
Throughout the thesis while analysing rough edges/spaces, one comes across few nodes where halting, stopping, diverting allows newer possibilities, the experience enhances one’s behaviour this could be termed as’ Slowness is defined as ‘The quality or state of being slow - roughness appears to induce slowness.
In the context of public spaces/streets slowness could be, while defining roughness we come across specific terms such as ‘halts, obstructions, diversions, blurry edges, events etc’. These instances may stand out as interruptions to the user but they become these spots of commerce, leisure where varied transactions take place. These spots/nodes allow newer possibilities, newer forms of architecture to evolve, sustain into narrow, crooked, limited spaces.
In this study the spatiality of the street appears to be that of a sponge - being able to absorb activities and lives through its corrosions. In many ways this is the softness of the street.
> Suburban Streets: Claims and Affordances - Riddhi Shah
Streets in India have traditionally been the public spaces around which social life has revolved. They constitute the urban public realm where people congregate, celebrate and interact. However, the social and physical imagination of the modern street has transformed in response to the new forms of efficiency and control. Urban planners and designers desire for a clean and clear sanitised street with segregated paths for pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and vehicles, which has changed the experience of the street.
This thesis looks at how the spatiality of the street gets transformed when it lends itself to claims, negotiations and expression. It further analyses how these claims are formed and what these claims allow. To achieve this, three streets are compared for their affordances by way of studying their edge conditions and further, the negotiations, sense of security, livelihood, activities, diversity and the networks they facilitate. The cases chosen for research are the streets of V.S. Khandekar Road and Gujarat Society Road, located at Vile Parle, and the Old Kabrastan Road located at Jogeshwari. These are representative of three types of streets in the suburbs of Mumbai. The first is a commercial street along the railway station and the residential area around, the second is a completely residential street and the third is a street along a self built neighbourhood. The study shows that while streets are considered as planned transit corridors they hold networks of care, kinship relationships, generate livelihood, become temporary homes, thus acting as public spaces, holding social life. Particular urban forms create affordances for these. The thesis shows that urban form with hard edges tends to have less affordances in comparison to edges that are blurred and corroded, that have the ability to hold multiple claims.
>Spatial Learnings from Cellular Phenomenon - Dhanvi Shah
For the longest time, the microbial world has been considered unknown. Introduction of the microscope gave humanity a new vision of the world which allowed for models of imagining ways in which we put things together. We often think of cellular microorganisms, their logics and processes as complicated, biological and beyond comprehension as they are difficult to perceive by the visible eye. Through an inquiry into the analysis and comparing ten biological processes at the cellular level, this thesis argues that we, all beings are the same. The difference is in the scale and complexity of design.
The thesis distils this argument through concepts such as genetic will, movements created through disbalances towards reaching equilibrium and the evolution of nature and culture. There exists a force beyond the physical and chemical properties of the membrane of the cell, the genetic will that is encoded into the dna. Inherent intelligence of the organism operates at that level. The second thing to have emerged is the concept of fluids and movements which force and shape the cell and metaphorically speaking the edges of the street. There is a constant push towards reaching equilibrium. The term edge or a boundary is crucial. And lastly the intersection and evolution of nature and culture through mimicry.
The thesis undertakes an exploratory method drawing from secondary scientific knowledge systems by which we understand the microbial world. The drawings of these processes are an intervention in the market space building upon my own associations, analogies and experiences of the cellular processes and the space. The intention of these drawings is to break our current logics of space and to rethink ways of representation and their politics in defining the human (and the morality of space). With this, the thesis becomes a tool to operate and generate new imaginations of inhabitation and coexistence through the overlap of space, form and biology. The research ends with epistemological questions on how to reimagine space from the spatial logics of microorganisms?