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D E S I G N S n e h a l

W O R K S O s w a l

Urban Designer // Architect Design at any scale, as small as a building on a street to a large city with several streets, creates an impact on the user as well as, is impacted in return by it’s users. Thus a piece of design should be lively and timeless, both at the same time. Life is created in the overlapping, connecting and un-named spaces between private and public around us. Further taking my curiosity to understand architecture and urban designing as a whole.


(My growth as an architect // Urban Designer // Human)

Introduction to architecture

Implementing contextual design for a social cause

Architecture for people, architecture for social eq-

Humans and thus the community they form, are

uity, inclusive architecture and generating respect

subconsciously connected to the surroundings

for all through design are the terms learned in this

they are brought up. Thus the health of human


psyche is directly proportionate to the space they

A sensitive approach to the harsh and practical is-

dwell in.

sues of developing countries. First impression of

Recreating and uplifting the community life for

urban design.

the artisans and thus their lifestyle and economy.

Slum Redevelopment

Vernacular Architecture

Learning contextual design Curiosity of understanding the changing architecture and design with a slight change in physical context, culture and lifestyle is reflected in this study paper. An attempt of combining vernacular principles and modern technology for an improved development.

Community Upliftment

Testing timelessness and flexibility of the duo (city’s identity and city’s context) Forming and testing a frame structure to analyze, and design cities to form healthy identities. Contextual reference or vernacular being the suggested solution for the research.

Place Identity - Mexico

Vernacular Urbanism


Drawing parallels between contextual design and

Understanding impact of development on Human

Place Identity


A practical and global issue of intensification is

The term has been used a several times as an an-

observed in this project. A rapid increase in pop-

alyzing tool for cities across the globe by different

ulation often leads to haphazard growth of a city


thus hampering it’s identity.

This paper proposes the term Psychogeography as

An attempt of introducing vernacular planning in

a designing tool and attempts to draw a rationale

modern vertical growth as a solution is tested.

for the same theory.

Urban Design - Slum Redevelopment Social Equity IV Year - B. Architecture

A project based in the city of Pune, Maharashtra, India. About the Project - This project is based in a highly crowded region of the city, with people dwelling in unhygienic conditions and living an under-privileged lifestyle. A re-organized plan is proposed for this congested area occupied by slum dwellers, in order to better utilize the potential of land than its present day scenario.

Need of the Project - in this project an unorganized but structured space is achieved with an improved sense of :

Living conditions and spaces

Social equity

Hygienic environment

Approach - The proposal focuses on elements of design as well as user psychology; obtaining equal distribution of resources on one hand and, on other hand, a redevelopment proposed without relocating the users thus responding to the user’s sentiments and their attachment to the land and house.

Current development

Design Concept - an Issue-Oriented solution

Inadequate openings to houses

unhygienic common shared areas

uneven distribution of semi-private spaces

unsuitable spaces and lack of

Overall Area considered - Organized organic planning - Improved public life - Improved Hygienic conditions

Road Network and Layout - Improved connectivity-Improvised safety conditions

utility spaces

Green Space distribution - Improved hierarchy -Equal distribution of Open space

Plan showing uneven distribution of green spaces throughout the region. A detailed study and analysis of the above mentioned data was done in group of 2 and can be found here - Factual Data

Proposed development

Design Concept The user type being socially complex, the design concept evolves in two stages. A complex layer of social and communal impact is observed in this area. A social, cultural and functional milieu is achieved in the proposed design. Individual level Common area on terrace Balcony for interaction and future extension Utility area- against open ground

Private utility area for daily chores

Semi public area inviting interaction

Community level Small niches designed to create shaded interaction spaces

Semi public space for residents and utilities like water tap and vendors

public community area with elements like religious structures or a sitting area, forming social and cultural epicenter of the residing community

Dissertation (Research Paper) - Vernacular Architecture IV Year - B. Architecture

A research based in the town of Malwan, Maharashtra, India. About the Paper - A research paper addressing the issue of loss in identity of a region’s architecture and building techniques. This further leads to loss in the connection between the place and its users.

Need of the Paper - A lack of variation in architecture style across places, in respect to its local context, has given rise to the research question addressed in this paper.

Loss in Identity

Approach - A town is studied for its vernacular aspects and current issues. Then the contextual findings from past and present are inferred to propose possible solutions in order to retain the identity of the developing case example considered.

Case Example - Malwan Increased visitors due to historical structure thus leading to tourist boom and evolution of tourism

Street along the outskirts of the market.

as occupation. This also led to haphazard growth of town which inturn affected the growth and progress of comunity.

Spread of community along the major connecting

Street along Beach

roads and further division into internal plots. For-

Tourist Development

mation of machi market (Fish market) along coast.

Major roads to adjoining towns of achre and kasal,

Market Street of Mal-

thus increased communication and formation of


the central node of the town namely pimpal (Peepal tree).

Presence of a historical structure indicated pres-

Internal streets ma-

ence of community or a settlement in this region.

jorly Residential zone

Further evolution of temples along the creek and coastline.

To read entire paper click here - Vernacular Architecture of Malvan

Inappropriate construc-

Current Development

condi- tion using reinforced conHaphazard and un-moni- tions of locals and their crete in coastal regions, a tored growth due to tour- occupation (Fish Mar- result of copy-paste archiDeteriorating




Conclusion It is necessary to understand the importance of local identity and character of a region and breakthrough today’s trend of globalization in construction all over the world which is resulting in the fading away of the Vernacular Architecture of any region. An amalgamation of both, the beneficial aspects of Traditional Vernacular Architecture and the advanced construction techniques with modern technology can prove to be appropriate solutions to retain the identity of the region.

Design Thesis - Cultural Upliftment Of Art Communities Final Year - B. Architecture

A thesis project based in rural area of Kutch, Gujarat, India.

About the Project - Art and it’s required skill sets evolve over a period of time, influenced and inspired from its surrounding materials and context. Any art form is very local and original to the people and region it originates in. Due to the current escalation and prosperity of an urban dweller against almost no growth in the rural art villages, practice of these art forms is wilting with time. The ever successful life in urban cities has enticed the younger generation of artists to abandon their practice and migrate, thus leading to loss of culture, art and tradition. Need of the Project - is two-folded, one being retaining the art of the communities and their linked traditions and culture. Second is the economy and quality of life for the communities residing. Approach - In this thesis, one proposes upliftment and propagation of the art and the community performing it through various modes of design and policies for rural development.

Design Development - Main Centre

Infrastructure for resident artists and other visiting artists, on the rear, away from tourist services

Hierarchy of open space - Study of Ludia Village

In response to the surrounding Residence

Linear Planning Study of Dhordo Village

Entrance responding to Access Point Access to Site from National highway

Final Proposal - Main Centre






7 5





2 1. Entrance


2. Amphitheater 4. Exhibition Area 6. Computer Lab

3. Souvenir Shop

8. Community Space for locals

5. Amphitheater + Periodic (Bazaar) Market

10. Khatri Community (Painter’s)

7. Vocational School For detailed look in Project click here - Cultural upliftment of Kutch

9. Luhar Community (Blacksmith’s)

12. Visitors Stay - Dormitories

11. Jat Community (Wooden artwork)

13. Cafeteria for visitors

Elements Designed along the Spine

Haat - Seasonal Market

Haat - Display and sale of arts from across the region

Exhibition space Amphitheater Exhibition space Amphitheater - Central hub for activities and performing arts - Public Gathering Space Catchment area for rain water harvesting Auditorium Shop


Central path forming the spine of movement in Tourist area.

Truss supporting the roofs - Stained glass and Bamboo work

Auditorium - Mud construction with the mud dug to form steps

Intangible Context in Design

Traditional Construction Styles Before Earthquake in 2001 Art as a hobby - Part of Daily Lifestyle Art as a source of community living

Modernization of Art and Lifestyle After Earthquake in 2001 Commercialization of Art Mode of Economy Art lost to Urbanization and Globalization

Issue - Intensification of Mexico City Place Identity as Design Principle Urban Design - Post-graduation

A project based in La Condesa region of Mexico city. About the Project - Intensification, place identity, migration to urban land, urbanization, exploitation of resources are few of the many problems faced by almost all the urbanized areas across the globe. This shift of humans from rural to urban areas and an ever increasing pressure on comparatively smaller portion of urban land has created an imbalance between the demand-supply ratio of natural resources. Quality of life led by the residents or locals is hugely impacted, which has tangible as well as intangible impacts on the users. Need of the Project - In this project the author throws light on the intangible aspect of place identity which is negatively impacted by the increasing pressure levels on urban land. Land being the most important of all the resources has had major effects on development of a society as well as an individual. Approach - This project deals with the issue of no land and loss in identity. Thus proposing a vertical configuration of street life and bringing life in the vertical developments around the world.

Thesis - Vernacular Urbanism Urban Design - Post-graduation

About the Thesis - This research intends to introduce, explore and derive from the term of vernacular urbanism in context to the issues of globalization and loss in place identity. The aim of the research is to define a frame structure based on the concept of vernacular urbanism, which is further used to analyze a city’s urban fabric. Globalization is promoting homogeneity in identity all over the world, thus making the world feel single entity. The identity of a city generates from human psyche based on tangible and intangible factors forming a city. In order to retain or restructure the unique image of any region or city, the best possible place to find the answer would be its local surrounding. The vernacular of a region gives the area its distinctiveness, thus making each city, town, village or region stand out in its own way. An attempt of deriving vernacular factors affecting a city’s fabric from those affecting the architecture of a city is displayed in the research, in conclusion of which a list of relevant factors have been discussed further in this paper. The research uses a contextually modified version of Sinek’s theory of golden circle in order to evaluate a city against the proposed frame structure of vernacular urbanism. It also discusses and suggests the best possible way of designing with a sensitive outlook towards concepts of place identity, place making and sense of belonging.

For the entire Research Thesis click here - Vernacular Urbanism

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Snehal Oswal_Urban Design Portfolio  
Snehal Oswal_Urban Design Portfolio