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Preface

This portfolio is a culmination of almost seven years of projects including my Bachelors of Architecture designs; which I completed from Mumbai, India last year. The idea of this portfolio is not only to showcase the kind of designer I am; but also my sensibilities and ideologies. I believe that an individual’s designs give a glimpse into his/her personality and background. This is also applicable the other way around. Thus, I have included not only projects but quotes from writings, blogs, workshops and sketches so that the viewer has a holistic understanding. While making this portfolio I realized how my ideas have changed, adapted or refined to make me the person I am today. All pages are tabbed and categorized into the four sections mentioned alongside. A timeline on the right gives an approximate chronology to highlight my progression as a designer over time. I would like to thank my family, friends, professors, colleagues and employers who have helped me through the years. They deserve to be a part of this portfolio, since they are a vital part of me and the way I think. I appreciate your time and I hope you enjoy viewing the portfolio as much as I did making it. I look forward to adding many more finer pages after entering graduate school!

M I S C E L L A N E O U S P R O F E S S I O N A L

2008

2007

2006

W O R K D E S I G N D I S S E R T A T I O N

A C A D E M I C

2005

2004

2003

P R O J E C T S

Portfolio - Prerna Chawla

M.F.A. | Design and Production | Scene design

2002


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LIVING SPACE FOR THUMBELINA Our first project of first year Architecture, was to create a living space for the fictional character of Thumbelina. The challenge was to break away from our pre-conceived notions of how a “house” should be. This was the reason for the term “living space” for the project, so that we re-interpret and re-imagine spaces. Each of us selected a material which we would make spaces out of. We were encouraged to explore the potential of our material to the fullest.

DESIGN I selected a leaf bowl as my material after careful thought. Thumbelina as an individual loves nature and is always outdoors. This would be easily available to her and she would be able to relate to it. I went about exploring this material- deforming it. I bent different bowls, turn them inside out, cut and stitched them together. I experimented with a variety of models till I finally settled on one.

7

6 VIEW OF 5)& MODEL

CUT PLAN

5

4

PLAN OF THE MODEL

SECTIONS

FINAL MODEL

3 PROCESS MODELS

M.F.A. | Design and Production | Scene design

2


SECTIONS

Light entering the space goes on decreasing as one travels through it. The entry is through human height planes with ample daylight. The curved and the folded plane together form crevices for light to filter through sufficiently lighting the space below. The end of the circulation path has only a small skylight washing the high walls.

AXONOMETRIC PLAN

SECTIONS ELEVATION

model chosen for deformation

EIGHT PLANES With a limitation on the number of orthogonal flat planes/surfaces, we were asked to create volumes which interacted with light filtering through. Light became an important element of the exercise. At a later stage we were allowed to deform any two planes of an earlier exploratory model and give the space a program. DESIGN: Dimensions of the planes were manipulated in the process models to achieve different light conditions and circulation paths. The planes led the person through the space and the modulation of light entering created different conditions. The model was supposed to be a part of a public park where gatherings, movie screenings, et cetera would take place. Diffused north light was given importance as the curved plane protected from the harsh sunlight of the south.

Portfolio | Prerna Chawla


FRANCIS ROAD

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7

BEACH ROAD

SITE PLAN

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6 9

7 8

VIEW OF THE MAIN ENTRANCE

LEGEND: 1 ENTRY 2 LIVING / DINING 3 GRANDMOTHER’S ROOM 4 DOMESTIC WORKERS 5 KITCHEN 6 CAR PARK 7 GUEST ROOM 8 MASTER BEDROOM 9 DAUGHTER’S ROOM 10 SON’S ROOM TERRACE / VERANDAH COMMON SPACES SERVICE AREAS

5 6 4 3 1

5

2

AXONOMETRIC

4

VIEW OF THE LIVING ROOM VERANDAH

PROCESS SKETCHES

PROCESS MODELS EXPLORED WAYS TO MAXIMISE THE SOUTH-WEST SEA WIND. THE CURVATURE AND ANGLE OF THE BUILDING TOOK SHAPE ACCORDINGLY.

common areas private spaces

HOUSE FOR MR. RANGANATHAN, CALICUT The project was to make a “dream house” for a rich family in Calicut in South India. The site was a corner plot at the beach separated from it by a road. Besides this nuclear family of four, the house would include space for their grandmother and domestic help too. DESIGN: The design started with process models looking at the basic form of the house. The south-west wind direction and beach view determined the angle and curvature of the building, such that each room could enjoy the beach front. Served and service spaces, common and private spaces were clearly demarcated. The building was grounded by slightly sunking it, compelete with a sunken verandah; where one could feel the breeze but not necessarily see the beach. The roof was a sloping garden. Cables at regular intervals from the first floor to the ground would grow creepers. The roof as well as these creepers would help camauflage the building which would be viewed as a green “blob” from the road.

M.F.A. | Design and Production | Scene design

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PROCESS MODELS:

PARKING

+10m

JACKWELLS 0m

SITE PLAN

Initially process models dealt with different materials and circulation patterns to explore the idea of “illusion”. Combination of periscopes formed a later part of these models . It ultimately led to the final design which consisted of a series of inter connected bent tubes.

+10 m

+7.5 m +7.5 m +3.5 m 3 MAIN ENTRY

3

1 +4 m

0m

+1.5 m

3

2 +0.5 m

LEGEND: 1 ADMINISTRATION 2 CAFETERIA 3 WORKSHOPS 4 DORMITORY 5 LIBRARY 6 EXPERIENTIAL SPACE

SECTIONS

7 SEMINAR ROOMS 8 AUDIO-VISUAL ROOM 9 LOUNGE / WAITING AREA 10 CONFERENCE ROOMS 11 HELP DESK 12 BALCONY

GROUND FLOOR PLAN

WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT CELL, VAJRESHWARI Starting with the word 'water' we were asked to interpret various properties of water at the conceptual stage. The properties could be physical, emotional, chemical, et cetera. The terminology thus generated, served as a metaphor for the design development. The project aimed at designing an integrated system of research and educational facilities combined with recreation. Major purpose being generation of awareness of water resources to the local community; programs like library, laboratories, workshops, exhibition space and a research cell were appropriate for the site. ILLUSIONS AND DECEPTION OF WATER: He is omnipresent- he walks the contours and the plains, making people believe that he is calm, serene incapable of harming anyone. On his journey he adapts to his surroundings- so is compared and called the chameleon. He moulds his nature and the depth of his thoughts according to the people he encounters. His destination is not fixed and differs according to the people/ places he meets, assimilating everything good/bad on his way. With no apparent biases he moves forward. He is omnipresent- that is what the world seems to think… He deceives all and still remains innocent. He disguises himself as friend or foe on his journey. He prides himself

Portfolio | Prerna Chawla


8 5 9 4 1 12

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11 10 10

LEGEND: 1 ADMINISTRATION 2 CAFETERIA 3 WORKSHOPS 4 DORMITORY 5 LIBRARY 6 EXPERIENTIAL SPACE 7 SEMINAR ROOMS 8 AUDIO-VISUAL ROOM 9 LOUNGE / WAITING AREA 10 CONFERENCE ROOMS 11 HELP DESK 12 BALCONY

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7

12

8

FIRST FLOOR PLAN

6 “EXPERIENTIAL” SPACE

Inter-connected bent tubes framing different views of the contoured site. Contours and various views of the site determined placement and angle of the tubes.

The “experiential space” consists of a series of ramps inside the tube, hiding and disclosing different views of the site as one travels through the space. This disorients and “decieves” a person till he reaches the end of the tube looking out onto the water and its edge.

5

4

on his greatness and misleads people by his modest front. When people look at things from his perspective, their thoughts seem so shallow and small compared to his. He does not dismiss anyone on his journey – he is sly enough to trick them into believing so. This proud, cunning person knows of his importance to people and takes advantage on this never-ending journey of his through every nook, corner and crevice of the world…. DESIGN: The process involved exploratory models dealing with the idea of “deception”. The earlier models made use of circulation paths to enforce “deception”, whereas the later models involved using combination of periscopes to elude the viewer. Using this exploration as a starting point for the design, circulation paths became important. The building sits on the contoured site in the form of three major tubes framing different views of the site. The fenestrations are designed in such a way that as a person walks through the circulation space of the building he views different aspects of the untouched site. The height, angle and size of each fenestration is modified to achieve this. Skylights were provided above the corridors. Besides the programs mentioned in the brief for the Research Centre, there was an experiential space created which looked out onto the reservoir. This experiential space consisted of a series of ramps eluding the person from actually looking out onto the water till he reaches the end of the tube.

M.F.A. | Design and Production | Scene design

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ROOF PLAN

SECTIONS

SITE -intermediary between housing, ship breaking edge, outsiders & villagers. -the nature of the siteis result of the main street outside, reinforcing its importance

STREET mesh with creepers mounds Worker “street” maybe covered at places with a pergola or elevated walkways forming the programs

Common

-The “street” is the most imp. part along which every activity in Alang takes place.

PAVILION -A place of refuge 0r retreat for people involved

Owner The program talks of two things

-INSTITUTION PROMOTIONAL CELL FOR SHIP BREAKING INDUSTRIES IN ALANG, GUJARAT -PUBLIC SPACES/ FUNCTIONS The project was a part of our study tour to Alang. The study comprised of analyzing the heirarchies and poor conditions of the ship breaking industries, the main occupation of the town. The manpower was migrants from the poorer states of India coming to Alang for a few months every year. They were given daily wages higher than what they would earn farming in their hometown. Thus the workers kept coming back and made peace with the hazardous work environment, where everyday one person lost his life. As a result of these work conditions and the interference of international NGOs, business had been declining and Alang was suffering. Imparting awareness about safety and also other facilities to this migrant population could change the conditions of the workers and the businesses in these industries. Hence, a promotional cell was designed with programs that served both the workers as well as the owners. The stakeholders included the owners, middlemen, the villagers nearby, scrap yards selling parts and even furniture of the ships and the workers. A means of communication between all the stake holders was necessary and this promotional cell would act as a catalyst for a greener, safer Alang.

Portfolio | Prerna Chawla


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7

SECTIONS

6

LEGEND: 1 “STREET” (MAIN CIRCULATION) AT -0.45M 2 CANTEEN/ SPILL OUT 3 AUCTION AUDITORIUM AT -3M 4 EXHIBITION SPACE 5 AUDIO VISUAL ROOM 6 ADMINISTRATION AT -1.5M 7 CONFERENCE AT -1.5M 8 ORIENTATION CELL AT -1.5M 9 N.G.O. OFFICES AT -1.5M 10 CAFETERIA 11 BANK 12 ATM 13 LOCKER AREA 14 INTERNET CAFE 15 MULTIMEDIA 16 PUBLIC RELATIONS 17 MULTI - PURPOSE HALL 18 DORMITORY 19 GUEST ROOMS 20 LIBRARY

5 12 13

3

11

16 14

8

9

19

2

15 20

1 JACKWELLS

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17

4

18

6 5

4

7

GROUND FLOOR PLAN

DESIGN The ship breaking yards were located along a main street. The intersection of this street and the road leading to the town were the busiest. The site chosen was located at this T junction as it was an intermediary between the yards, villagers, scrap yards and the workers’ quarters. Thus the design included a “street” which divided the site in half, along which the different programs were situated. The street was defined by a pergola and was the main artery of the cell. The programs were designed such that there was a strong visual connection from this “street”. Visual connection is the first step to communication. The levels of the administration and NGOs were kept lower to achieve this. Worker related and common functions were higher up overlooking the other stakeholders, reversing the hierarchy. Sloping roofs were designed for light and ventilation and served as a roof garden/recreation area. To the outsider it would look like floating green strips. The placement of the functions was decided as a result of the already existing movement patterns and levels of privacy.

M.F.A. | Design and Production | Scene design

3

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ENTRY level +4m TRUCK PARKING +0M

LINK ROAD

CAR EXIT

INORBIT MALL

SERVICE ENTRY AND EXIT

SHREDDING ENTRY FOR TRUCK CHECK POINT (3.5x3M) WEIGH BRIDGE

NAALA

J.W. MARRIOT

SITE PLAN CAR ENTRY

level +4m

TRUCK PARKING +0M SHREDDING, WASHING, DRYING, COMPACTING

PLASTIC PLASTIC SORTING

LEGEND: ADMINISTRATION PLASTIC RECYCLING PAPER RECYCLING ORGANIC FARMING GREEN HOUSE VERMICOMPOSTING WATER BODY PEDESTRIAN PATHWAYS SHREDDING OF VERMICOMPOST JOGGING TRACK SERVICE AREA “GARBAGE” WALL

PAPER RECYCLING SORTING AND

EDUCATION FACILITIES

DROP-OFF LD MOUG CUTTING NDER CYLI COUCHIN AND SING PRES N NG R LIFTI SEPARATIO PAPE ANDNG DRYI ING AND ING AND BEAT ING SORT NING AGE DUST CLEA G STOR SIZIN ING GLUE G AND NDER AGIN CALE PACK ING SORT ING CUTT

VERMICOMPOSTING +2.5 M

CAR EXIT

GREEN HO (35x15 M) USE 2

CAR EXIT

STORAGE OF +3 M CULTURES VERMICOMPOSTING +2.5 M

SHR EDD STO PAC RAGE ING ARE A 1 (52 (50 KAGINGAND SQ SQ M) CHE M) CK POI (3.5 NT x3M )

GREEN HO USE 3 (35x15M) GREEN HO USE 1 (35x15M) DOWN

TRUCK PARKING +0 M

SHREDDING AREA 2 (180 SQ M)

UP (RAMP 1:8)

ROAD LEVEL +0 M

VERMICOMPOSTING +2.5 M

LANDSCAPED EDGE

SCHEMATIC PROCESS PLAN

SHREDDING SERVICE ENTRY AND EXIT

CHECK POINT (3.5x3M) WEIGH BRIDGE

PLAN SHOWING ZONING

WASTE MANAGEMENT CELL AT GOREGAON, MUMBAI Looking at the current scenario of dumping grounds located at the periphery of the city, the class studied the P ward in Mumbai in terms of the landuse, water supply, drainage system, surface drainage, density and solid waste generated. The solid waste generated was categorized as plastic, paper and organic waste. Various methods to reuse and recycle this waste were studied and the programme was formulated for the site selected. The main aim of the project was to spread awareness about recycling in the community. The total amount of waste collected from the ward was to be recycled without causing any form of pollution. Public space integrated with non-polluting recycling industries was to be designed, thus educating the public about this serious issue. The site selected was behind a popular shopping mall called Inorbit. Inorbit and the site both were used as dumping grounds previously which made the site even more appropriate. This waste management cell would serve as a prototype in the future, for all the wards in the city.

Portfolio | Prerna Chawla


TOWARDS LINK ROAD

CAR ENTRY +OM

CAR ENTRY +OM

PEDESTRIAN PATHWAY

8

TOWARDS LINK ROAD

UP

TRUCK PARKING +0M

TRUCK PARKING +0M

RAMP UP

SERVICE ENTRY +4M STORAGE MESS STORAGE

AUDITORIUM

GREEN ROOM GREEN ROOM

PLASTIC SORTING +1M

KITCHEN

DOWN

ADMINISTRATION

UP

LEVEL RAMP UP +3M

EXHIBITION

LEVEL +1M

RAMP DOWN

RAMP UP

LOBBY AREA +4M

CAFE +0.5M

UP

PLAZA LEVEL +3M

SHREDDING WAITING

UP UP

WORKSHOP SEMINAR

CAR EXIT

LEVEL WASHING +2M DRYING

LAB

KITCHEN

SERVICE ENTRY FOR CAFE

DOWN

STORAGE

WATER BODY

RAMPDOWN

COMPACTING UP

INORBIT MALL

DOWN

LEVEL +1M LIBRARY UP

LOADING UNLOADING PLINTH +2M LEVEL +3M SORTING CUTTING PAPER +2M BEATING DOWN

7

PAPER LIFTING CYLINDER STORAGE SORTING PACKAGING MOULD PRESSING CALENDERING CUTTING LOADING SEPARATION UNLOADING AND DRYING PLINTH +2M DOWN SEPARATION AND DRYING SHOP

CAR EXIT +0M

RAMP DOWN

LOADING UP UNLOADING PLINTH +1M STORAGE AND PACKAGING +1M UP

LOADING UNLOADING PLINTH +1M UP

ORGANIC SIT OUT DOWN UP

LOADING UNLOADING PLINTH +2M

WEIGH BRIDGE

NAALA

PLAN AT BASEMENT LEVEL INORBIT MALL

STORAGE FOR CULTURES LEVEL +2M

VERMICOMPOSTING + 0M

ENTRY FOR TRUCK SHREDDING SERVICE ENTRY AND EXIT CHECK POINT (3.5x3M)

RAMP DOWN SERVICE ENTRY FOR CAFE

WATER BODY

EXIT OF TRUCK

TOWARDS LINK ROAD

SHOP DOWN

level +4m FOOD COUNTERS A.H.U. CONFERENCE PROJECTOR ROOM AUDITORIUM ROOM

TRUCK PARKING +0M

6

EXHIBITION AREA

RAMP DOWN

GREEN HOUSE +2M AMPHITHEATRE

LOBBY AREA

STORAGE AND PACKAGING +1M UP

EXHIBITION

LOADING UNLOADING PLINTH +1M UP CAR EXIT

WATER BODY

VERMICOMPOSTING + 1M

SERVICE ENTRY AND EXIT WEIGH BRIDGE

INORBIT MALL

ROAD LEVEL +OM

EXIT OF TRUCK

VERMICOMPOSTING + 0M

ENTRY FOR TRUCK

WEIGH BRIDGE

NAALA

SERVICE ENTRY AND EXIT

GROUND FLOOR PLAN

5

SHREDDING ENTRY FOR TRUCK

CHECK POINT (3.5x3M) WEIGH BRIDGE NAALA

PLAN AT FIRST FLOOR

4

DESIGN The design strategy dealt with changing the idea of “garbage” and had a strong visual connection between the public spaces and the industry. A wall made of reused materials such as computer junk, soda cans, et cetera; would encompass all the buildings and would build over time by locals itself. This interaction with the building of the public would make neglected waste a public installation of sorts and change the way we look at garbage. A jogging track which surrounded a sunken water body and the café also looked onto the industries around. The screen and the jogging track were concentric with the buildings sandwiched in between. A circulation path was also designed for the public through the industries and the site itself which would serve as an education trail and ensure good working conditions for the industry workers. Open green space greeted the pedestrian on entering the site as all the industries were on one side of the site.

M.F.A. | Design and Production | Scene design

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2


8 S E T T I N G O U T O F

7

T H E E L L I P S E

D E T I A L O F

6

5

T H E G A R B A G E

4

W A L L WORKING DRAWINGS OF WASTE MANAGEMENT PROJECT The Waste Manangement Cell we had designed in fourth year. In the fifth year, we had to make worknig drawings of the same. This helped us understand the importance of detials and how practically things are laid out. Working drawings are simply put final drawings which the different contractors would get to physically build. Thus, these have to be as precise and detialed as possible. These are pictures of three of the sheets from the entire Worknig Drawing set.

3

SECTION

Portfolio | Prerna Chawla

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9 S T U D Y O F P O P U L A R

8

C U L T U R E

7 P L A N N I N G

A

P O P U L A R

R E B I RT H

O F

A

C U LT U R A L

I C O N

S T U D Y O F P O P A R T

6 EVOLUTION OVER THE YEARS TIMELINE

REPETITION OF THE IMAGE OF THE ICON MAKES IT IDENTIFIABLE

IMAGE OF AN ICON IS OVERLAPPED WITH A NEW IMAGE AND OVER THE YEARS THE IMAGE KEEPS CHANGING

ENLARGEMENT AND REPETITION

FUSING DIFFERENT DISCIPLINES/PRODUCTIONS TO FORM NEW MEANINGS

OPERATIONS TO THE SAME IMAGE

Meaning simply put "culture of the masses" which is 'popular'. Anyone can consume or experience it in some way. Popular culture is generated by: Producers of 'high'culture brought to the masses by reproducing, remixing,et cetera. Common man (with maybe an economic incentive) who sees everyday or popular icons and transforms them. Familiar things are seen as an unfamiliar context. Propagation of most popular culture is through the media industry.

5

Popular culture engulfs other forms making it a part of it. (thus local identites become less important) Popular cultural productions consumed by the mass, grow more complex over the years. Death of any popular production is by saturation and the arrival of something "different" which feeds human appetite for more. Cultural productions -Part of consumer culture which is marketed to make it 'popular'. -Individual expression, entertainment. -Linking of productions to modify into new forms (mixing) Popular culture -Production of culture which became popular and aspired, not totally fluff/consumerist, changes idea of society's lifestyle. -Makes it more appreciated by knowing limitations and effects.

S T U D Y O F C U L T U R A L P R O D U C T I O N S

4

POPULAR CULTURE ANALYSED THROUGH CULTURAL PRODUCTIONS:

ektara (lower pitch) ektara (higher pitch) dhol drum clappers synthesizer background male chorus background male chorus (2) female vocalist main male vocalist

F

I

L

M

POP ART

MUSIC

· MODES OF ENTERTAINMENT BECOMES A PART · IT MAY BE BASED ON A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE CONSUMERISM EXPRESSION OF A COMPLEX PRODUCTION OF EITHER NARRATIVE THROUGH LYRICS INDUSTRY/CONSUMER COMMODITY IMAGERY. OR MUSIC. · HOWEVER FICTIONAL YET IDENTIFIABLE · BOUNDARIES OF MUSIC FROM VARIOUS FORMS IDOLS/ ICONS AND VICE VERSA CULTURES ARE BLURRING INCLUDING FOLK · NARRATIVES TOLD BECOME MORE COMPLEX AND HIGH CULTURE WITH THE YEARS BY EXPERIMENTATION

· INSPIRED BY IMAGES FROM POPULAR URBAN CULTURAL PRODUCTS OF ADVERTISING, COMICS, PHOTOGRAPHY, DESIGN, ETC. · EVERYDAY POPULAR CULTURE WAS QUESTIONED FROM CONSUMER CULTURE TO PHENOMENON OF WAR · THE FORM & APPEARENCE OF THE SUBJECT WAS RETAINED TO A RECOGNISABLE EXTENT FOR THE LAYMAN

ADVERTISEMENT · THEY TRY TO ADDRESS CURRENT AFFAIRS OR EMOTIONS TO BE IDENTIFIABLE BY USING DIFFERENT TACTICS. · HIGHLY SYMBOLIC- EVEN THE CELEBRITY IS USED TO MAKE AN IMPRESSION THROUGH HIS PUBLIC IMAGE. HE IS ALSO REDUCED TO A SYMBOL. · THE PRODUCT IS NOT IMPORTANT ANYMORE. IT IS THE PACKAGE IT COMES IN. PRIMARY FUNTION IS MARKETING OF PRODUCT

PRIMARY FUNCTION IS ENTERTAINMENT ABOUT INDIVIDUAL EXPRESSIONS/ PERSONAL EXPERIENCES TRYING TO IDENTIFY WITH THE MASSES CREATION OF IDEAL CULTURAL "CROSS-OVERS”

EXPRESSION MAY NOT BE AN INDIVIDUAL BUT A GROUP AND IS BASED ON A FACTUAL INFORMATION USAGE OF IDOLS FROM FILM AND MUSIC

Different “popular” cultural productions were chosen and deconstructed. The semiotics and meaning of each production, whether it was a movie, a song, art or advertising was disected. The conclusions were drawn by the means of various network diagrams. Studying “popular everyday culture” in the city, led to the design dissertation in form of a public building. Words like “image”, “iconography” and “hybridization” of different ideas to form new meanings became important clues for selecting a suitable site and program which would reflect the ideas studied in the initial research of “popular culture”.

M.F.A. | Design and Production | Scene design

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SITE

SELECTION

STUDY OF INSTITUTIONS AND ICONS IN THE CITY HISTORY:COMMEMORATE VISIT OF KING GEORGE AND QUEEN MARY LOCATION:TIP OF COLABA ARCHITECT:GEORGE WITTET FEATURES: INSPIRED BY GUJARATI ARCHITECTURE OF THE 18TH CENTURY YELLOW BASALT CLADDING R.C. GALLERIES & DOMES IMPORTANCE: IMPORTANT ICON OF THE CITY/TOURIST ATTRACTION WAS THE FIRST BUILT FORM FOREIGNERS ENCOUNTERED AS THEY ARRIVED BY SEA. THE GARDEN IN FRONT OF THE GATEWAY AND THE GATEWAY ITSELF IS FENCED. ISLANDS OF ELEPHANTA AND TOURIST BOAT RIDES AT GATEWAY

The site to be chosen should be an icon of Mumbai, and in its glory days, one of the most "popular" spaces in the city. The aim was to infuse new life into an almost dead space, which right now only serves the purpose of an ‘image’. The city is seeing haphazard insensitive development and new infrastructure for our highly consumerist society in the form of shopping malls, multiplexes, etc. which have become popular among the masses. Is it not better to already use the existing icons of the city and give them new meaning? Essentially that’s what popular culture does. Finally, give the icon and popular culture a new meaning. Asiatic library as a site was selected, since this library is a significant part of Mumbai’s history. It was the town hall of the city, where people came to discuss matters of the city and generated public opinions. Now it has been converted into a library and office space housing five different departments working in isolation. With its classical façade and colonial monumentality it talks of this by gone era and an important slice of history. This institution was also chosen, because it not only talks about history but being a public library has the potential to spread knowledge and help the future- of the city and the citizen. S I T E

I N F O R M A T I O N

A N D

S I T E

H A L L/ASIATIC

A N D

O F

I N D I A

CHOWPATTY

BEACH

STRETCH

LOCATION:KALAGHODA ARCHITECTURE: GOTHIC AND DOORISH STYLES WITH A WHITE DOME THE PRINCE OF WALES LAID THE FOUNDATION STONE THE COLLECTION OF THE MUSEUM HAS NOT CHANGED OVER THE YEARS. IMPORTANCE: AS A REPOSITORY OF KNOWLEDGE THAT SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN LOST TO THE PUBLIC, THE MUSEUM WAS A GOOD SITE. BUT THE PROGRAMMATIC ADDITIONS TO IT WOULD HAVE REQUIRED A LEVEL OF SECURITY THAT WOULD HAVE CUT OFF THE PUBLIC FROM IT.

PRINCE

OF

WALES MUSEUM

A N A L Y S I S

leading up to the library. The attachment of the image in popular culture to an institution of knowledge and learning could probably be used to the benefit of reviving its functions. The transformation of the building from an institution that moulded popular culture to a defunct institution of high culture could then be reversed. The existing site combines two plots, one for the post office and parking lot and the other a Recreation Ground. Both are currently located on collector's land. The RG is fenced off as of now. The recreation ground could be merged with other programs. The Asiatic library building has currently five disjoint functions operating independently: Directorate of libraries, Central Library, Stamp Office, Asiatic Library and Women's Council Library. The presence of a large number of heritage buildings and a large public garden makes the area a tourist hotspot. The Asiatic library is a popular institution for citizens and its steps have become legendary. The area around the Horniman Circle incredibly shows the presence of practically every single banking institution in the country. The sheer number of people entering and leaving the area every day makes it a lively part of the city. The Horniman Circle is an active public place with various activities happening at times of the year. Regular children's workshops occur in the park along with special events like performances, readings etc. NGMA extends some of its art exhibitions into the park to make it more accessible to the public. Similarly a public space next to the Asiatic Library could help in making its work more accessible to the public.

HISTORY- PROPOSAL FOR A NEW TOWN HALL BY JAMES MACKINTOSH LOCATION - OPPOSITE HORNIMAN (ELPHINSTONE) CIRCLE,WHICH WAS BOMBAY 'GREEN' EARLIER FUNCTIONS 1) PUBLIC MEETINGS AND CIVIC DEBATE 2) ART OFFERED A FOCUS THROUGH PRESENTATION AT NEW TOWN HALL 3) STATUES ERECTED IN TOWN HALL HONOURING CITIZENS 4) TOWN HALL HOUSED UNIVERSITY OFFICES FUNCTION USED AS A LIBRARY NOW AND HOLDS 800,000 VOLUMES ALSO HAS 1000 ANCIENT COINS (PRIVATE) FEATURES NEOCLASSICAL CORINTHIAN INTERIORS 3 PORTICOS WITH FLUTED DORIC COLUMNS STEPS GIVE IT A MONUMENTAL IMPOSING LOOK

T O W N

G A T E W A Y

LOCATION: AREA ADJOINING WESTERN BAY WAS TERMED CHOWPATTY (4 CHANNELS). CHOWPATTY CONNECTED WALKESHWAR BY AN IRREGULAR SIRI ROAD (STEPS) FUNCTION: ONE OF THE FEW BREATHERS FOR THE CONGESTED SOUTH MUMBAI AREA USED FOR GANPATI IMMERSIONS PICNIC & TOURIST SPOT IMPORTANCE:THE CHOWPATTY STRETCH IS AGAIN A POPULAR ICON. HOWEVER, ITS CRITICALITY AS A POPULAR CULTURE PHENOMENON IS RESTRICTED TO BEING AN ENTERTAINMENT SPOT, RATHER THAN HAVING ANY HISTORICAL OR CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE.

LIBRARY

C O N T E X T

The current Asiatic library building has a colourful history from being used as a Town Hall and a place of public debate to its current state of a defunct library. What was of great interest was its association with popular culture being constant through the years, which has suddenly been cut off. Any mention of the history of Mumbai has included the Town Hall building as a footnote at least. The building and its functions have been reduced to simply the image of the grand steps

22.5x EQ2

EQ2

EQ2=7.5x

EQ5=2.25X

EQ1=3x

EQ5=2.25x

STAFF AREA

ASIATIC LIBRARY

EQ3=2.5x

DURBAR HALL LECTURES/ SCREENINGS/ MEETINGS

CENTRAL LIBRARY

EQ1

STUDENTS AND STAFF READING

EQ4 EQ4 MAGAZINE SECTION

EQ1=3x

4x 15x (3 times hgt)

STAMP OFFICE & AMENITIES

EQ1

STAFF AREA & STORAGE

NEWSPAPER READING REFERENCE SECTION BAG CARDS OF BOOKS CHILDREN'S COUNTER SECTION

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OFFICE

EQ3

OFFICE

x

EQ1=3x

x 2x

DIRECTORATE OF LIBRARIES

EQ1=3x

NEWSPAPER READING

EQ1 EQ5 EQ5=2.25x

ZONING OF BUILDING: GROUND FLOOR AND ITS PROPORTIONS

ORGANISATION OF CENTRAL LIBRARY

ZONING OF BUILDING: BASEMENT

ASIATIC LIBRARY FROM ACROSS THE STREET

I N T E R P R E T A T I O N

O F

T H E

P R O G R A M

THE FRONT FAÇADE OF THE BUILDING

exhibition of information

should be user friendly and "public"

upgraded technology

different depts. better unified

recreation

PUBLIC INCENTIVE TO COME

"PUBLIC" INFORMATION LIBRARY

HOW PUBLIC "FREE FOR ALL" WORKS?

WHAT SHOULD THE PUBLIC GET FROM THE LIBRARY?

PUBLIC WRITES/TYPES/UPLOADS LITERATURE, MOVIES, IMAGES ABOUT DIFFERENT TOPICS OF IMPORTANCE TO THEM--

PROFESSIONAL -- A PLATFORM FOR ARTISTS, MUSICIANS, WRITERS AND FILMMAKERS

DATA BANK--

PUBLIC PARK AND CAFE

PUBLIC VOTES FROM THE DATA BANK--

INFORMATION (ACADEMIC, RESEARCH OR CITY QUERIES)

KNOWLEDGE IS MORE ACCESSIBLE

USER FRIENDLY (PROCESS SHORTER)

SPACE TO READ & SPACE TO WRITE UPGRADED TECHNOLOGY (COMPUTER & THE INTERNET) SPACE FOR DISCUSSIONS/DEBATES? AN EXHIBITION AREA(CHANGING)? PROPOSALS OF THE CITY DISPLAYED

LIBRARY (PUBLIC INSTITUTION) SPREADS KNOWLEDGE TO THE PEOPLE

PUBLIC INFORMATION DISPLAYED & UPDATED

A LIBRARY GIVES INFORMATION

EXHIBITION OF THE EXISTING COIN COLLECTION THIS PUBLIC LIBRARY WILL ALSO TAKE INFORMATION FROM THE PEOPLE AND DISPLAY IT

ADMIN & PUBLIC AREAS- SEPERATED BUT VISUALLY CONNECTED-"PUBLIC" IN EVERY SENSE THE NEW LIBRARY EXTENSION

DEPARTMENTS BETTER UNIFIED SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP

MORE OPEN, TRANSPARENT

Portfolio | Prerna Chawla

INVERTING THE IDEA OF THE LIBRARY


9 COMMERCIAL GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS R O A D

R.G. PLACE OF WORSHIP PHEROZE SHAH MEHTA ROAD

S I N G H

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA MINT

R O A D

N A R I M A N

RESERVE BANK OF INDIA

R O A D

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S TR E E T

ROAD

M O D Y

G. V A I DYA

H O M I

B H A G A T

S I N G H

V E E R

B

H O M J I

H

A

G

A

T

S T R E E T

PUBLIC AMENITIES

A L A M B A L

D O S H I

ASIATIC LIBRARY

M A R G

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E T R E S T

L L A D A

OLD CUSTOMS HOUSE

6 ST THOMAS CATHEDRAL

EXISTING

CONDITIONS

HORNIMAN

BOMBAY STOCK EXCHANGE

OF

CIRCLE

DOCKYARDS

APPLYING THE IDEA OF POP CULTURE TO THE NEW BUILDING

SITE

The library even though a heritage monument, has been mistreated with the insertions of water tanks, staircases, enclosing balconies and air conditioning units. Even though the interior is maintained with its more than 150 year old parquet flooring, insensitive additions to the rear destroy it’s classical elegance.

PHYSICAL CONNECTION TO ASIATIC

INVERSION

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UNSIGHTLY INSERTIONS LIKE STAIRCASES AND WATER TANKS DOT THE REAR FAÇADE REPETITION OF AN ICON

ELEMENTS OF ASIATIC FORMING A PART OF THE NEW EXTENSION REMINDING ONE OF THE ICON AND AT THE SAME TIME NOT DIMINISHING THE ICON'S IMPORTANCE IN THE CITY

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ASIATIC IS REDUCED TO A FAÇADE AND INSERTIONS ARE IGNORED.

THE EXHIBITION SPACE FORMS THE PHYSICAL CONNECTION TO ASIATIC WHERE ASIATIC ITSELF BECOMES THE EXHIBIT

THE RECREATION GROUND IS GIVEN BACK TO THE PEOPLE

3 SERIES OF RAMPS LEADING FROM ASIATIC TO THE EXTENSION

LIBRARY UNDERGROUND

THE MONUMENTAL SCALE OF ASIATIC IS NEGATED IN THE EXTENSION WHERE THE LIBRARY SITS UNDERGROUND

COLUMNS AND PLINTH OF THE ASIATIC SEEM TO CONTINUE

M.F.A. | Design and Production | Scene design

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FORMAL EXPLORATIONS WITH THE HELP OF MODELS

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LEGEND: 1 WAITING AREA @-4.0M 2 CLASSROOM/ WORKSHOP @ -3.0M 3 STORAGE @ -5.0M 4 CONFERENCE ROOM @ -4.0M 5 AUDIO VISUAL ROOM @ -4.0M 6 WARD / TOURIST INFO CELL @ -3.3M 7 RTI INFO CELL/ DATA BANK @ -2.3M 8 POST OFFICE @ -4.OM 9 RAMP DOWN TO CAR PARK 10 LIBRARY @ -4.0M 11 FOYER @ -4.0M 12 SERVICE ENTRY @-4.0M 13 AUDITORIUM 14 LOBBY @ -3.0M 15 SNACK COUNTER 16 TICKETING 17 FIRE EXIT 18 FAN ROOM

9 12

11 5

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7 3 6 2 13 14 8

15 16

1 17

3 18

PLAN AT -2.5M

APPLYING THE IDEA OF POP CULTURE TO THE NEW BUILDING -EVOLUTION OF THE PLAN

x

3x

INSERTION OF ANOTHER ICON

ISOLATION OF A SELECTED PART

CLASSICAL ELEMENT ROTUNDA

DIRECTIONAL FOCUS AT CENTRE

DIRECTIONAL FOCUS AT CENTRE CONTINUOUS

DIRECTIONAL FOCUS AT CENTRE CONTINUOUS INTERESTING INTERSECTIONS FORMED

SAMPLING OF THE ASIATIC CIRCLE

THE CIRCLE AS A MOVEMENT PATTERN RATHER THAN A CLOSED COMPARTMENT CO

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auditorium b a s e m e n t

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back stage

green

audi room basement

cafe

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cafe av room

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foyer

b a s e m e n t

audi

lecture lobby s t o r a g e

class room

b a s e m e n t

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ROOF PLAN

Portfolio | Prerna Chawla


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LEGEND: 1 POST OFFICE @ -1.OM 2 LOADING PLATFORM 3 RTI CELL / DATA BANK @ -2.3M 4 SUPPLEMENTARY KITCHEN 5 CAFE @ 1-.2M 6 AUDIOVISUAL ROOM @ -2.0M 7 LECTURE ROOM @ -2.4M 8 FOYER @ -2.7M 9 LOBBY @ -2.0M 10 BOOK STORE @ -0.25M 11 COMPUTER ROOM @ 0.65M 12 GREEN ROOM 1 @ -2.0M 13 GREEN ROOM 2 @ -2.0M 14 LOBBY @ -3.0M 15 EXHIBITION SECTION @ -0.8M 16 FILM LIBRARY @ 0.0M 17 LIBRARY BELOW 18 SNACK COUNTER 19 TICKETING

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15 16 17

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5

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3

12 7

8

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13 10 14

2 1

18 19

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6 PLAN AT +1.2M

DN.

5

UP

COLUMNS AND PLINTH OF THE ASIATIC SEEM TO CONTINUE

AS OPPOSED TO THE MONUMENTAL STEPS THE STEPS IN THE NEW BUILDING TAKE ONE UNDERGROUND AND ARE DESIGNED TO SUIT THE HUMAN SCALE.

music + film library

cafe educational wing

information public park + auditorium exhibition

post office

computer

bookstore + reading

ADDING RAMPS

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FORMAL AND PROGRAMATIC DIAGRAM

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BASEMENT PLAN

M.F.A. | Design and Production | Scene design

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SECTIONS

LEGEND: 1 WAITING AREA @+2.8M 2 ADMINISTRATION @ +1.4M 3 READING ROOMS @ +1.5M 4 EXHIBITION @ +4.0M 5 MUSIC LIBRARY @ +1.0M 6 RAMP DOWN TO CAR PARK 7 EXTENSION TO THE EXHIBITION SKYLIGHTS

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OPEN COURT BELOW

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PLAN AT +4.5M

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ELEVATION

Portfolio | Prerna Chawla


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JIGNESH DOSHI ARCHITECTS, MUMBAI During my internship of four months in the firm, I worked on a four star hotel, interior details and the designing of two weekend bungalows. Among other things I learnt to pay attention to details and how different materials can be used innovatively. Being a small office, you had to participate in everything. We were given freedom to design the way we wanted to. Every detail was thought of and drawn to the extent of the numbers of nails to be hammered!

FOUR STAR HOTEL, VILE PARLE, MUMBAI This hotel was to be built on a previously existing theatre. The client wanted to make it into a boutique hotel. It was supposed to house two theaters, two shops, gymnasium, banquet hall, restaurant, swimming pool and more than a 100 rooms. The design consisted of overlapping wraps which formed the ground and first floor consisting of the different amenities. A four storey high block rose out of this to form the main room block. The theaters had a separate entry and were a hundred seater each. I was responsible to resolve and make the plans for the hotel. I had to keep in mind government by laws, allowances in terms of FSI (Floor Space Index) and the appropriateness and organisation of the plan. The main room block was curtain glazed and was a displaced block as the walk through images show.

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WALK THROUGH SNAPSHOTS OF THE HOTEL

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FIRST FLOOR

GROUND FLOOR

PROGRAM

AREA IN SQUARE FEET

Reception, Lobby and shops Coffee shop Pre banquet Banquet hall Restaurant/bar Rooms 145 nos. Kitchen Staff areas Theater

4,680 2,797 576 3,835 2,790 48,420 3,819 1,000 11,836

TOTAL

79,780*

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FLOORS SECOND TO SIXTH * Total area is not inclusive of areas for staircases, lift shafts, service ducts, courtyards and basement, since these are free of F.S.I (floor space index)

M.F.A. | Design and Production | Scene design

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WALL COLLAGE FOR AN OFFICE INTERIOR, OFFICE The client was a manufacturer who made chemicals for perfumery. They manufactured everything from food essence to essential oils. I was to design a collage behind the entrance wall to liven it up. The three images above were on the left side of wall measuring 1” X 1” each. On the right, after the entrance door was the long collage which is shown on the right hand side page also measuring 1” in height. The elevation alongside specifies the placement of the collages. These collage pictures were bought online and consisted of images of natural and artificial raw materials of chemical extracts. End products which used their manufactured food essence also formed a part of the collage.

This weekend bungalow was sited away from the city in the town of Pen, with a beautiful view of the western ghats. The client was ophidiophobic (feared snakes) and thus the main living spaces were on the first floor and partly cantilevered. The wind direction was kept in mind while designing the fenestrations and local grey stones quarried near by were to be used. The rooms were interspersed between the three courtyards which were to have fragrant trees planted. Sloping roofs were designed since there was heavy rainfall in this area. The entry to the house was at a mid level through a concrete box plugged onto the front facade. On entering, the first thing one would see is a fragrant tree with white flowers set against the large grey stone wall. The living room was to be a glass box with a deck facing north away from the harsh south light. I was responsible for the designing during my internship. The model and drawings including the bill of quantities was made by me.

DESIGN OF AMIT JASANI BUNGALOW, PEN

Portfolio | Prerna Chawla


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This bungalow was next to the Jasani bungalow. The house was essentially two bars perpendicular to each other, the living room jutting out to get maximum view. The design was determined by the contours- there was a patch of flat land on the site on which the ground floor bar rested, while the living room was cantilevered. The entrance was from one side of the bungalow abutting the retaining wall which appeared floating, since it did not touch the floor slab above directly. This entrance led to the double-heighted living room area. The living room on the ground floor had an open deck with a paranomic view of the mountains.The private spaces were on the first floor along with another semi-open deck. This deck was shielded from the sun by an outer vertical barrier partly of wooden battens, continuing as the roof forming an “L”. This “L” canopy was supported on one side by slender stainless steel columns. The master bedroom had a open to sky shower area which was detached from the main house so that one could bring the outside inside. In this project too, I was involved in designing, making the basic drawings, model and other documents.

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DESIGN OF BIJAL BAKHAI BUNGALOW, PEN

M.F.A. | Design and Production | Scene design

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PITCH BLACK DESIGNS, MUMBAI After my Bachelors of Architecture I joined Pitch Black Designs, headed by Art Director Rahul Kurup. I started off as a trainee and now I am a full fledged designer . Since the strength of the office is small, I handled some of the accounting too. We work on a variety of projects. There have been wedding backdrops, setups for corporate events, exhibition stalls and even television shows. Rahul and me co-design the sets. We did two residential apartment layouts as well. I am also responsible for the execution of the projects. Handling contractors and to make sure the set is finished well and on time is my responsibility. We work as designers and mediators between the client and the contractors. My sketching improved drastically, but there’s still a long way to go, in terms of perspectives. I have been in charge of propping and supervision of flex prints which we have used in our backdrops. Thus I have got some hands-on experience and have learnt a lot practically.

CINNAMON DESIGN STUDIO, MUMBAI While I was working at Pitch black Designs, I started free lancing for Cinnamon design studio. I worked on two exhibiton stalls for them- designing and execution. From time to time, I am called in to help in to assist them with projects. Certain projects needed ACAD layouts to be drawn, which I have made for them.

EXHIBITION STALL FOR KSHITIJ INVESTMENTS Pitch black designs was responsible for the execution and supervision of this stall. We made changes to the drawings and detials according to the site, budget and availability.

DESIGN OF CORPORATE EVENT FOR BT COLLABORATION (Logo launch)

Portfolio | Prerna Chawla


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DESIGN FOR THE ENTRY AND WINE BAR (BELOW), TWO OPTIONS EACH

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This corporate event was for SD Coporation’s new venture “The Imperial”. The Imperial are two skyscapers being built in the heart of Mumbai which when finished would be the tallest in the city. The party was for their clients and architects of the building. We designed a main stage area, a wine bar and entries, keepnig in mind the logo which was represnted by three triangular summits.

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DESIGN OF CORPORATE EVENT FOR SD CORPORATION (for their new venture “THE IMPERIAL”)

M.F.A. | Design and Production | Scene design

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The launch was for Globus shopping mall signing on a new brand ambassador, a popular bollywood actress. The design was to be simple, economic and minimal. Three lit circles formed the design of the stage and the central circle was used as the entry for the brand ambassador.

NDTV PROFIT BUSINESS LEADERSHIP AWARDS ‘08

DESIGN OF EVENT FOR GLOBUS SHOPPING MALL

Portfolio | Prerna Chawla


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EXHIBITION STALL DESIGN FOR KALPATARU BUILDERS EXECUTION OF THE TELEVISION SHOW -”KRAZY KIYA RE”

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DESIGN FOR A TALK SHOW CALLED “B-BIZ”

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DESIGN FOR A TALK SHOW, CINEMASCOPE

M.F.A. | Design and Production | Scene design

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DESIGN FOR SOCIETY AWARDS ADVERTISEMENT FOR “ROGAN BADAMSHRI” ALMOND OIL I had free lanced for this advertisement and had helped in the set up of the ad which was done by Art Director Khyatee Kanchan.

DESIGN FOR GLADRAGS MEGA MODEL This set was for a model hunt. I was clearly thinking of Oldenburg’s installations and pop art when I came up with this design! I decided to make a larger than life high heeled shoe as the core element.

Portfolio | Prerna Chawla


Architecture college did not just pertain to acquiring technical skills to build, it also focused on an overall personality to build. Every year there were various workshops we could participate in, design competitions, discussions, lectures, by not only architects but professionals from every field. We as groups, worked projects ranging from re-imagining and designing Slum Rehabilitation Schemes in association with SPARK (a non-government organization) to designing a set for the tragedy of King Lear. There were urban design workshops with exchange students, theatre workshops and college exhibitions. Building workshops formed a part of these, where we would put up installations working with bamboos, jute ropes, et cetera after working on ideas and concepts. Besides workshops, there were study trips to different parts in the country exposing us to many different experiences in rural India. When not in college, I participated in workshops conducted by PUKAR (Partners for Urban Knowledge, Action and Research) focused on the city, culture, language and gender. vThe next few pages deal with these workshops and the ideas behind them. These are indispersed with extracts from writings throughout the years which are an indespensible part of my life and ideologies. EXPERIMENTS WITH LIGHT The project entailed using light to define or change space. The site chosen was one of the main circulation paths near the different studios. Screens of different thicknesses and materials were used to create patterns on different surfaces as well as the circulation. As one travels through this triangular area, he meanders his way through these screens which allow a degree of translucency. People become part of the installation as they move the screens and create new circulation patterns everytime they use the space. During the day, sunlight coming in through the windows created patterns and in the night halogens of different intensities were used.

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M.F.A. | Design and Production | Scene design

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Composing everything from a building to a work of art, to an essay, requires the individual’s intuition more than anything else. Personal ideas and priorities play an important part of a person’s perception and conception of his/ her work. A composition is successful, according to me, when the objective/ idea the person tries to portray comes through to the public, not only to his/ her colleagues- basically it should serve its purpose and people.

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-Extract from the essay titled “Architecture of composition” September 2003 Why didn’t so many rallies and media coverage happen during the train blasts? (I’m not including the 1993 riots coz the media then was not as equipped and large as a industry as it is now....) is it because these hotels were symbolic of Mumbai, or because of economics? More people died in the train blasts, more people use the train than these hotels put together... Just another thought, but its great to see so much citizen involvement and awakening, even if its not in 2006.

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-Extract from the blog titled “Better late than never” December 2008 BEACH CLEANING MACHINE ‘02

WOODEN BRIDGE ‘03

This was a part of our building technology studio. We worked as groups on different cleaning machines. It consisted of a PVC pipe will spikes. The machine would be pushed ahead on the sand with the handle and the PVC pipe would rotate. The nails would then pick up waste left behind on the beach and collect in the mesh basket ahead. The end of the wire mesh basket had teethso as to facilitate better collection of waste.

This was also a group project where we were supposed to design and build a bridge to span six feet. Wood was the material assigned to us. This exercise helped us to understand how and why a structure is stable. We used triangular geometries to constuct the bridge as it proved to be the strongest. The triangles were then braced and battens put for people to walk on and test its load bearing capacity.

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Portfolio | Prerna Chawla

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“The passion of creating something is immeasurable. It is how a mother feels when she gives birth to her child, or when god created life.”

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“I hope we become the next generation of abstract thinkers who translate all their emotions, ideas and visions successfully into three-dimensional spaces.“ “I expect this expedition leads me to a sense of an individual and collective well being. All of this comes from a starry-eyed architecture student who has immense to learn about life, the built form and its life. Hopefully, this (architectural) journey would be satisfying even if difficult. It would never end and be passed on to generations to come who will make their own mark in the landscapes of tomorrow.”

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-Extracts from the essay titled “Laymen, Architecture and Me” July 2003 SET DESIGN WORKSHOP - KING LEAR ‘02 This workshop certainly played an important part in laying the foundation of my interest in set design. The workshop started of by showing us films on the Shakespearean tragedy of King Lear. The variety of films ranging from directors like Robert Miller, Akira Kurosawa and Kirsten Levring gave us an idea how different people adapted the same story and contextualised it to fit their imagination. The workshop was split into four groups each with their own consultant theater directors. We interacted with our group’s theater director and were supposed to come up with miniature set designs of King Lear based on his vision and realistic expectations. Our director was Mr. Rahul Da Cunha, an adman, writer and director of many contemporary plays in India. His plays deal with the problems of urban life and social isssues surrounding us; such as the lack of communication between different classes, neglect of the elderly, to mention a few. He has adapted and contextualised successful international plays and musicals, like Jesus Christ- Superstar and Love letters. For him, the most important aspect of the play is the screenplay. We sat for the technical rehearsal of his play Class of ‘84. This helped us understand the coming together of sound, music, actors, correct lighting and their handling of props. We saw how actors try and interact with a new set. This tragedy, like all of Shakespeare’s other plays deals with conflicts in human emotions and situations which emerge from this. The play King Lear shows how a king, a father, who falls into a trap of his own making by disregarding human values. Rahul Da Cunha imagined the play to be set up in a large open space like an amphitheater. The idea was to create a lavish set wherein the process of erecting it becomes a spectacle. A vast space enclosed within a trap was seen as the main idea of the design, with props exhibiting charecteristics such as extremity, impulse, claustrophobia, hierarchy and transition. The set was thought of as a huge disc that was larger than life enclosed by scaffoldings and suspended platforms. Each platform was meant to be used for different acts of the play as one moved upwards. There were many elements used which signified different characteristics, like the nails at the bottom of the set would signify the death of each character.

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BUILDING WORKSHOP ‘04 The workshop began with the introduction of the college building as a monster that devours time, energy. We were encouraged to design an installation as a warning! The facades of the building were used for the installation and various interesting forms and spaces were created. We worked with triangular geometry so that the spikes can twist and turn over windows and adapt better to the concept. The split bamboo mesh shown below was created as a web which the monster uses to engulf prey.

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M.F.A. | Design and Production | Scene design

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“There’s nothing much to say, other than the fact that there are too many directions n diversions to choose from. Nothing is absolutely right, but you always want to take the better road, or at least the better destination.... Shouldn’t you take the better road; because in the end, the destination doesn’t make much of a difference. The pursuit is always more satisfying than the attainment rite? Well here's to another ‘pursuit of happiness’... Yes, the phrase is borrowed!”

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-Extract from the blog titled “The pursuit of another 2am blog” September 2006 “Social importance is in terms of architecture being used as advertising its location nowadays. Every city, town or country boasts of some kind of tourist attraction in the form of architecture. In the medieval times, the churches were about power, now buildings are about getting wealth to show the world their power.”

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-Extract from the essay titled “Architecture as social practice”. October 2006

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QUICK SKETCH OUTSIDE BELUR TEMPLE IN SOUTH INDIA ‘03 The temple at Belur is a fine example of Hoysala architecture, built before 1000CE. It took more than a 100 years to build; patronised by the Hoysala dynasty . It is highly ornate and has beautifully carved stone pillars, each having different motifs on it. We visited these temples on our study trip, and the sketch above is of a dancer carved on the side of the high plinth of the temple.

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PHOTOGRAPHY ELECTIVE In the photography elective, every week we were given themes to work on. Armed with an SLR camera each of us went about the city clicking and composing b/w pictures with topics such as leisure, contradictions, et cetera. We learnt techniques of developing the negative, and developed each contact sheet and picture ourselves.

Portfolio | Prerna Chawla

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“Loads of rickshaw rides where I caught up on my random thoughts. People think travelling in Mumbai is hell. Look on the bright side. You get time to literally "stand/sit and stare" It’s the only time in your day that you are not necessarily bound by consequential thinking. The mind wanders where it wants to. Your thoughts go from one place to another weaving a blanket so intricate that patchwork of different thoughts looks like embroidery.” -Extracts from the blog titled “Travel thoughts”

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July 2008 Overall an interesting two weeks.... I went from hating the city to liking it a little to hating and then liking it again. Cities within the city make it unique... Then there’s my version of the city, just like there’s yours. -Extracts from the blog titled “City within”

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July 2008 AUDIO NOVEL ‘04 “PUKAR (Partners for Urban Knowledge, Action and Research) is an innovative and experimental initiative that aims to contribute to a global debate about urbanization and globalization. It takes Mumbai as its conceptual base and laboratory for cross-disciplinary research projects which can create new urban knowledge, thus enhancing circulation of ideas and concepts between the local and the global.” PUKAR conducts workshops every May where any person can participate. The theme for the 2004 workshop was Language and the City. We explored everthing from slangs in the city to language as a divider. We made an audio novel of various soundscapes peculiar to Mumbai. One of them was a four minute track which captured the sounds of a local train. Local trains are the so called life-lines of the city. In a city of 18 million, the fastest way to travel is the train. There are people of every class, caste, creed and religion sharing the same cramped space where everyone is literally stuck to one another. We recreated this unique experience adding our own voices and editing the audio novel at a studio.

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MUSIC MURAL ‘03 Pencil sketch for a wall mural consisting of different musical instruments. Overlapping forms interesting patterns in the design.

M.F.A. | Design and Production | Scene design

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“One should choose the middle path- not an extremist utopian and not a pessimistic dystopian. One should be a visionary (like Corbusier) and stick to his/ her own ideas but not reject the possibility of other theories and ideas. The utopians even if unsuccessful in many ways, have taught us to dream, and dream big. Even if our dreams do not come true at least there can be a practical compromised version of it, which can exist. However much one soars the skies in his/her dreams, remembering to touch the ground is vital for survival (which is what the utopians did not realize in their days). In all walks of life, there are utopians, not only in the architectural field. One has to be privileged to know onebecause inspite of being surrounded by pessimists and non-opinionated people they have the courage to live on believing in their principles. Any form of architecture has an element of utopia, because without a dream and a vision there would be no built form. Subconsciously, we all try and make our conceptions perfect in our opinions. Thus, in conclusion I would like to say that sieve the ideas of the past and present and decide on a future better than the present – if not the brightest.”

-Extract from the essay titled “Architecture and Utopia” January 2004

Portfolio | Prerna Chawla


Portfolio 2009