Page 1

The ATLAS

OF MAPPING METHODS TURNING TABLES

contacts www.krvia.ac.in responsible Jerry George


MAPPING THROUGH THE SELF MAPPING NETWORKS CONSTRUCTING NARRATIVES ARCHIVING TYPOLOGIES CHANCE AS PROCESS


Mapping as Pedagogical Practice Learning from the City at the KRVIA Learning through mapping is a critical part of the KRVIA’S pedagogical practice. The act of mapping does not only extend out to the city as an object that is mapped, but it is always an act of locating the self it sets up a dialectic between the self and the city, between the map and the map-maker-and by extension between the city and the Institute. At a larger level, there is a global discourse of cities and development that places our cities into a structure of hierarchies of third and first world cities, and development and under-development . In the face of this discourse, the practice of mapping the city around us is a critical task in order to put forth alternative ideas of what our cities really are and might be. At another level, there are state planning initiatives and development projects that seem to also deny the very real and complex conditions within which the city actually exists, marginalizing and sometimes erasing the other of planning ideals. The act of mapping is also one that brings this hidden or othered city - the peripheries, the informal settlements, older agrarian villages- into view and into discourse, challenging mainstream definitions of urban development from this perspective. We are at the institute constantly trying to construct new frameworks and knowledge about our urban conditions- through design projects in the studio, through the Research and Design Cell that takes up projects within the city in order to create an archive of knowledge about the city. The institute frames architectural, urban design and conservation practices as cultural practices, deeply embedded and emerging from their engagement with context. The third larger intent of the focus on mapping comes with a more instrumental purpose, or directly instructive intent, in the learning through documentation and drawing, architectural and urban types, and ways of building, This is also to create an archive of typologies, and to create an archive of the regions significant undocumented architectural history. What follows are some experiments with methods of mapping that extend beyond the purely cartographic, or geometric dimensions of space into mapping cultural territories. The maps engage with the narratives, desires, networks, within the city to reimagine space through these lenses.


A critical positioning of the self in a given context, is an important factor in developing modes of engagement and intervention. At the KRVIA, across the five years of curriculum, students are encouraged to develop their own ways of seeing and methods of reading and intervening within the city. The first year concentrates on dismantling preconceived notions of the self , by examining the historical, class and caste structures that construct notions of identity, and also by exposing students to the many others of the city. In the second year, the course aims at is to reconstruct the self in relationship to the other. In the third examinations of regional and national identity are taken up, while in the fourth year a focus on the city and on critical practice is to help students critically locate themselves as practitioners within their context. The school, within its academic boundaries and design cell continuously innovates methods in setting up and locating the self, Interestingly a single context establishes multiple modes of practice and of operation.


MAPPING THROUGH

THE SELF


orking for his dad's company - Laxmi Surya tion, for around five more years, my dad was ed with service for his dad. So finally he to expand his own business in Maharashtra as w that if he continued his service for his dad he ave to leave for Gujarat one day, but after g his childhood in Mumbai, he never wanted to umbai. It was obvious that his uncles would him, because of which we had to shift from where we stayed as a joint family, to Andheri, e had a commercial plot or rather to be frank a e had no accommodation whatsoever. My dad bad financial situation as well. His father had n seen his face after that day when he decided off from the family. We were five of us living in room with a single bed and nothing else but utilities.

having taken a huge loan, my dad still took loan, with which he started his own company oof Crafts in Mumbai. He started of with our s the office and now he has his own office that re his father first presided. Yes, after 10 years gle in our gala house we went back to Bandra d house.

years after my grandfather expired, we ed; every one purchased flats and moved out ra to live their freedom. We shifted to Khar and ed there, since the past ten years.

Fastthe - 17:45' Even my 'Andheri father joined same profession and accompanied myShwetambari grandfatherShinde to Mumbai for the first few times and then started coming "The train Whenever arriving on he platform novisit 5 isMumbai, a fast train independently. used to he to Andheri, passengers are instructed that the train used to see little changes every time in the shops hewill halt onlystoried at Mumbai central, Dadar,double Bandra and visited. Single structures becoming and Andheri". Engrossed in my act of balancing my triple storeyed. Even market areas slowly started portfolio, model and some other stuff, I arrived at my increasing in to suburbs e.g. Malad for imitation senses, due to this announcement. After a lot of jewellery, as suburbs were flourishing at that time. struggle I somehow managed to grab a window seat. Even "Radio Dhule got new M.I.D.C.s built up which brought Mirchi 98.3 FM, Hello Mumbaikars, hope you in a new market for goods in Dhule the are enjoying our song. It's time foritself. a timeNow check now need 5:45 to visit Mumbai for buying2006. goodsAnd reduced andsong my is pm, 26th November our next fatherdedicated then used to come only once The in atrain while to by Pooja to her dadaji". departs Mumbai. from the station. Seated in the direction opposite to Then the I (with a huge gaptrain, between myseemed father'stovisits and motion of the people be running mine)backwards visited Mumbai for me some really different and it made feel as if I was moving backwards, backwards and in my life, my lifemy while being in purpose: for my education for making dreams beforeisbeing Bombay.KA (Silence, song comeBombay, true. Mumbai calledin“SAPANO SHAHER”. "Ruki ruki thi zindagi, jhatseofchal Therestarts) is a sudden change in the scale thepadi…" city. I look meeting of of different of railwaypurposes tracks has at theThe different parts life andlines the different always me.seen It's fun to see how two tracks than what myfascinated parents had in Mumbai.

meet at a junction and then move apart. Life is just like that. We meet so many people, at so many different places, have fun and enjoy. And then move ahead in our lives. Well, railway track reminds me of my dadaji, Mankoji Shinde. Long time back, I was very young then. My dad worked in the Indian navy as a Chief engineer. I remember him being out for foreign cruises for 2-3 months. His sea voyages at places like Tanzania, Kenya, Seychel, sea wars always excited me. Once my dadaji decided to come all the way from

WRITING LOCAL HISTORIES The contemporary metropolis is a site of unprecedented changes. The last decade has brought unthinkable shifts in our collective cultural transactions, spaces and imaginations so much so that it is not only the past that is unfamiliar to us, it is also the present. We are paradoxically strangers to ourselves. However the present becomes even more complex as it sits sometimes seamlessly, sometimes awkwardly with earlier historical modes of production and cultural practices. The complexities of the present cannot be understood without excavating the structures of the past. Further, a rigorous study of the operations of the past will show that the way the present operates and is normalised may not be the only logical end. This might open up multiple new ways of thinking about the contemporary metropolis and its functions. The methods of writing such a history however themselves have to go through radical changes. It is the search of this course to come up with new categories of research capable of reflecting on the present: the here and now of the metropolis, through an archaeology of the present. This exercise involved a class of forty-two, third year students of KRVIA, each writing their own local histories. The brief was to write one’s own history as it is embedded in the city of Mumbai over three generations of one’s families. Several history-writing projects have been undertaken in the city. These have been either from official Government archives, trying to represent the state in a particular way or by private

My relation to the city Mumbai! Divya Malu

From my both maternal and paternal side, there is hardly anyone who has traveled to the city Bombay. It may be because of their financial conditions. According to my grandmother, she wanted to visit this city cause it was the only city, which had 'motor cars' running here and there! But today she hates this place cause it's the world's most over populated city and there is no place where one can breathe properly in fresh air. My grandfather and my nanaji, both have struggled a lot in their lives. If we talk about my grandfather, Shri D.N.Malu, he has passed through various facets of life. He was in business for sometime but could not succeed. He had then to join service in 1960s in Assam & Calcutta. He used to live alone since my grandmother was in Jaipur, our hometown with my father, uncle and aunty. He has struggled a lot to up bring his family. He is now leaving a retired life along w i t h m y g ra n d m o t h e r a t My grandfather, my father, my grandmother Jaipur.

individuals and historians trying to represent a certain class of people as the makers of history of the city. While many of these are well written documentations, the emphasis of these as the only possible history of the city, creates a certain skewed identity construction. Many nuances get left out in the processes and so do many people. The attempt here was two fold. The first was to engage in a more nuanced history writing project with research and documentation that built on the rich archives of information located in one’s own family and one’s own everyday environment. The second was to build a certain sense of identity around oneself as both involved in making a more nuanced history of the city and located in it. The contention here is that it is only a closer understanding of the local context and its interpretation in creative ways that will allow us to intervene relevantly in our context.


Bombay - The Cosmopolitan It was the first day of our examinations and City due to the Gurkar by a week. After incident the examinationAmay got delayed my S.S.C, I joined S.I.E.S College in Sion for my H.S.C. After S.S.C., the school had conducted an aptitude test, the counselors had then suggested to Bombay has its own way of bringing people together, me either go forboth engineering or architecture. From my parents; from different states, and different that time, I had decided to go for architecture as I castes met, fell in love and got married in Mumbai. foundNow engineering boring. Thewe admission at presenttoo I can say that are likelyprocess to be the after most H.S.C. for architecture not spoken about. cosmopolitan familyisinbest Mumbai. My dad's from a For me, whoByandoor stays in (Karnataka), Thane, Juhu Moms was a from picnicValsad spot. ( village But, IGujarat did not ), know had in storestudying for me. Iin my what sisterdestiny born in Mumbai, was Boston allotted( USA Kamla Raheja Collegein of ) and finallyVidyanidhi me the youngest the family born in Mumbai spent my lifebeen in a boarding Architecture, and since then lifehalf has not same school College ( Ajmer four ). Ancient again. DailyMayo routine includes hoursyet ofmodern, train rich Some yet wonder achinglyhow poor, overcrowded journey. I docongested, it? Well, I say its in my streets, apartments, bumper blood. I was born with a firsthighways class freewith railway pass into bumper traffic. The city by the bay, the city that rocks, my mouth (my dad works in railways) and since then the city that never sleeps, Mumbai. my love affair with the local train has started. No matter how much any My mom is from a Christian family one cribs about the local train, I can never hate it as of 3 brothers and 3 sisters, came to it has played a big partMumbai in my upbringing. Well all these in 1972 from Valsad for her years, being brought up in asheMalayalee graduation, studied incum Kirti Maharashtrian environment. have my lunch College,( I Prabhadevi. In and the dinner from aaji's house) I have been fightingteach for theat mornings she would keralites with the 'marathi manoos' vice versa.during Convent Girls and High School, Mybrother mother has now My a Bengali; well this themarried afternoons she would beis a typist typing the papers and official work at not something new toquestion the family. Three of my thehave samegot school. Then college would start 6 to 9 cousins married toher a Maharashtrian, a pm. Strolling through So, the it's beach she would go Kannadite and a Gujarati. quite amazing to to her room at the around 11pm everyday. observe how oneconvent personat migrated to a different land and the scenario changed from a deep-rooted Malayalee family to a multi-lingual family.

Traveling by the B.E.S.T. buses, watching english movies at the theatres, shopping at Crawford Avanti Anopchand Laxmichand Mody, marketno-78, was all3rdfun but working and Room floor, studying at the same time, she still Hararewala chawl no 10-11, feels that those days were much Golpita, better. Life was very busy. But Mumbai-400004 Bombay at that time had quite an easy life. She met dad in 1978, they Jeenal Sawla both met while working in Crompton Our builder, after earning a fortune in Harare, Africa, Greaves Ltd. She was working in the returned to Mumbai and ONM department while my dad built was a chawl named Hararewala in 1919. He also changed his name to the in the Audits department. Dad, parents same. the building served as aMyguesthouse for from aInitially Hindu family of 2 brothers his clients and relatives, but in 1924 he began renting and 2 sisters from a village Byandoor in Karnataka, flats cameout. to Bombay; the land of opportunities, the My father was a second-generation resident of theat commercial capital of India in 1973. He was working a firmBeing as wella aswell-established preparing for his merchant, C.A. exams he at the city. knew same was time.noComing Bombay changed his1948 life in there "going to back”. We moved in in (the manywhen ways; he born) startedwith eating non-vegetarian year I was my parents, three food and evenHararewala had his first beer. brothers and three sisters. chawl, Wo r kmain i n g tVP o g e troad, h e r alinks t 34mlong, situated on the Crompton Greaves, mom Islampura and the Ardshankar Dadi street. and dad went for a lot of Our five storey chawl had the “Jai Bharat” hotel (of the office picnics together. famous Rambharose hotel owner) on the ground floor Soon my dad asked my and godowns within the compound, which were mom to marry him and on rented out to Marwari seths. two entrances had a 13thThe September 1981 they staircase block for each. But after the Hindu Muslim My mother’s side of the family got married. They soon riots in 1948, onMy thesister Islampura sideinwas shifted into a the flat entrance in Borivali. was born closed with a huge iron door. This typical tenement 1983 and I was born in 1986. She studied in Bombay had a common double loaded with an 18'*12' till her H.Sc. She moved to corridor the United States of living cum-bed-cum-all purpose room on one side and America to pursue her further studies.

a 12'*12' kitchen that served as the dining room, doubling at night as a bedroom, on the other.


MUMBAI-SHANGHAI SAMESAME: A STUDY OF HOUSE AND HOUSING IN SHANGHAI EXCHANGE PROGRAMME IN C O L L A B O R AT I O N W I T H T O N G J I U N I V E R S I T Y A N D W E S T H E AV E N S

On a study trip to Shanghai, we were interested in mapping the large scale redevelopments on the idea of ‘home’. The family history of a few Chinese students was studied over the past generations through the houses and neighbourhoods that they had lived in over 50 years. These narratives were then followed across the landscape of the city, going to places where these homes still exist or the new neighbourhoods that have replaced them. When it came to representing the stories, the idea of a scroll painting emerged. A series of drawings that opened up to reveal different arts of the story with the same character appearing in more than one space. Each fold in the drawing became a way to cut between space and time. One was able to juxtapose different geographies and time zones in a direct connection with each other.


M A P P I N G T H E N E I G H B O U R H O OD FIRST YEAR VISUAL STUDIES STUDIO An exercise of Mapping the home and neighbourhood, gets students to look at their immediate environments with greater attention. The techniques of miniature paintings allow them to reconstruct onto the two dimensional plane of paper a narrative space to tell the story of the neighborhood.


Beyond the stable boundaries of cartographic maps that merely describe the city as locations, and maybe relationships of distance and size, are the relations and networks that connect spaces and people , collapsing distance and size in hierarchies of relationships, of economies. These maps are often deployed to understand what lies beyond the cartographic maps, and plans- mapping cultural territories, and their invisible relationships into view,


MAPPING

NETWORKS


THE DHARAVI NAGARS MAP R E S E A R C H

SMALL -SCALE INDUSTRIES D H A R AV I H O U S I N G F O U R T H Y E A R D E S I G N S T U D I O .

Students of the Fourth Year mapped the typologies within Dharavi through the configurations of work-living patterns to create a catalogue of these typological conditions. These were used to develop housing typologies for the slum.

A N D

D E S I G N

C E L L

In the mapping of Dharavi, the large informal settlement in the centre of Mumbai, KRVIA’s Research and Design Cell traced the territories that were formed by local community groups in their efforts to organise themselves. These are not officially recognised - but exist in the real lived space of the slum, formed by patterns of settlement and community. The government plan for urban renewal divided Dharavi into sectors that were to be auctioned off to developers to be redeveloped, in complete denial of existing communities and their livelihoods and without their consent. The nagars map served as a counter map to the map allowing for a recasting of the notion of the planning unit from the sector to the nagar . This opened up avenues for mobilizing community based planning methods.


F O O D S C A P E S O F M U M B A I U R B A N D E S I G N T H E S I S , O W E N O U YA N G

If the city is a network of relationships, then how is one to represent it. Space within the inner city of Mumbai is re-read as one that provides for food to be produced, distributed and consumed. It traces the people and spaces involved in the process, their associations, and the rules and regulations (official and unofficial) within which this foodscape exists. Using the device of a narrative birds-eye view reminiscent of a Breughel painting one is able to follow the story of food within the city. A second representation of this food-scape is the Mandala. As a geometric device the mandala is a map of the world. not with the scaled cartographic idea but more as a set of relationships clarified within a geometry. The geometry of the Mandala clarifies the complexity of the foodscape of the city. If one looks closely, within the four quadrants, the spaces and people catering to different food groups are located , allowing one to read the spatial relationships of the foodscape within the city- what holds them together and what separates them.


B. A RC H T H E SI S , KA L PI T A SHA R Kalpit mapped the Red light are in the inner city of Mumbai through its codes of conduct set up by chemistries of programme and power .

MAPPING CODES OF CONDUCT


MAPPING THE HIDDEN B.ARCH

THESIS,

ARIJIT

SEN

As part of his research, Arijit studied the interwoven networks of waste management and everyday lives in the city. Sewerage system plans are drawn up as abstract machines of efficiency, but find themselves manifested in real spaces and with notions of dirty and clean that extend into the perceptions of space, of work and of communities.


AMRITSAR GOLDEN TEMPLE FOURTH YEAR URBAN DESIGN STUDIO

The fourth year study of Amritsar, looked at the relationship of the city to the Golden Temple. It mapped the web of relationships that tied the institution to the city through narratives of individuals across sites. This act of mapping dismantled the notion of the institution as a monolith or hermetic entity, and instead constructed it as a web of relations.


FISH AUCTION, HARNAI FIRST YEAR STUDY TOUR

The first year study tour every year is an introduction to understanding the relationship between space and socio-economic structures. Students map smaller settlements outside the city- mapping space through economic networks. On the previous page is stills from stop motion animation of a large fish auction that took place every morning on the beach at Harnai, a fishing village on the Western coast.

PA R S U R A M V I L L A G E FIRST YEAR STUDY TOUR

During the first year study tour the method of hand drawing and measuring with the body, using the body as scale, the eye and hand as recording instruments entails an immersed involvement with the site. Each student makes a drawing that adds into the study, every detail, tree, object, the entire visual world is recorder, nothing is inessential as every fragment and trace tells the story of how social status class, caste, economies and culture form spatial systems.


PROJECT CINEMA CITY RESEARCH AND DESIGN CELL IN COLLABORATION WITH MAJLIS CULTURE.

The project looked at the relationship between cinema and the city. Mumbai is the archetypal cinema city. It produces images of itself through cinema, and at the same time cinema projects images over its terrain that reshape the real city. These spectral images also find their very real sites of production in sites that intersect formal/informal networks of materials, goods and labour. How does one map this cinema city? Through images and sites, through narratives, through histories and everyday life? The Research and Design Cell created methods for mapping both the city within and the city through the space of the cinema. It also traced the making of images through the networks and processes of production and all the individuals and spaces in the pre-production, production, post-production and display of cinema.


THE KRVIA,

FOOD

MUMBAI

with

STUDIO

IN:CH,

BERNE

The exchange studio involved students from KRVIA and Bern University, Switzerland in reading the city through food. They studied the distribution networks of different food groups, seafood, poultry, fruits, vegetables and spices- from producers to consumers.


EASTERN WATERFRONT

RESEARCH AND DESIGN CELL AND UDRI, MUMBAI. The study analysed the reuse potential of the historic docklands . It located the site within the regional growth scenarios This is one the most contested pieces of urban land in the region with multiple actors who occupy the space inspite of the Mumbai Port Trust being the singular custodian of a large area. The relationships of various stakeholders and their activities were mapped onto the site to get a comprehensive understanding of the existing scenario. Sanjana Sidhra’s thesis maps in further detail the networks of actors involved in port activities in order to propose a possible mixed use development.


Beyond the physical structure of streets , homes, institutions and the abstractions of development plans, the stories of inhabitation and narratives of desire, construct another city. Physical mapping techniques document and represent the site for its existing built form and spaces, but faces limitations in understanding the processes responsible in building them. The narrative mode of mapping allows to bridge this gap and simultaneously exposes the relationships between the city and the self. This form of mapping helps in identifying various networks and forces, otherwise hidden, that aid in the incremental growth of communities and families in the city. At KRVIA several techniques of representing this has been explored with in studios, fellowship programmes and design cell. The Ulhasnagar urban design studio saw this mapping exercise as a method to document site and stakeholders, and seen several forms of representations.


CONSTRUCTING

NARRATIVES


THE COMIC BOOK: PEN STORIES T H I R D

Y E A R

D E S I G N

S T U D I O

The study of the landscape of Pen outside Mumbai attempted to map the changes occurring in the region due to the proposed Special Economic Zone being planned there. The way in which this was going to affect the everyday life of different groups was studied by following the narrative of families belonging to different classes within the area. The graphic novel form allowed one to represent these changes across history, through time cycles of the everyday and across landscapes.


MALVANI POSTCARDS SECOND YEAR DESIGN STUDIO

Students followed a character within the low-income neighbourhood and created a series of postcards as a narrative of their lives within the neighbourhood.


M I N D S PA C E / R O B O T PROJECT CINEMACITY: KRVIA DESIGN CELL IN COLLABORATION WITH MAJLIS CULTURE . IMAGE:APURVA PARIKH,TEXT: ROHAN SHIVKUMAR

Rajinikanth is a superstar of the Tamil film industry, known across India for his entertaining films. He is popular with his audience for flamboyant dialogues, characteristic mannerisms with entertaining gravity defying action sequences, catchy songs and good natured humour. Endhiran(Robot) is the story of a scientist who builds a human android, ‘Chitti.’ The Robot develops human emotions and rational thinking and falls in love with the wife of the scientist and turns against him. Chitti builds himself an army of identical robots who operate under his commands and kidnaps the woman so he can make ‘robosapiens.’ The climax of this film is set in a landscape like Mindspace, with tall glass buildings and green gardens. Here the final battle between the scientist with his army of the police and his robot unfolds. The robot defends his turf by the assembling and reconfiguring of his robot army into larger than life objects. A sphere which revolves around its axis and shoots at the police, a snake that rises above the building to destroy the helicopter that fires from above and a big robot that runs along the road after the scientist’s van, are examples of the many configurations. In this film the role of the robot and the scientist are played by Rajnikanth. He also lends his face to the army of robots. With so many, ‘Rajnis,’ on screen Robot is a delight for his fans. Mindspace is located the western suburb of Malad in Mumbai. This area has been reclaimed from the swamps that separate the city from the sea and developed privately. Here, shiny glass clad building rise above manicured gardens that lie gated and inhabited. The buildings have become home to the B.P.O. industry. The people who work here are disconnected from this city and working on projects and for companies in other time zones. They work in isolated shells disconnected from the environment and the city, unaware of the time outside; their world is governed by a clock which shows the time of another place on the globe. One such call centre company has on its bus, the image of a man with his head set on, as though he is plugged into another space through the system he works on. Architecture work takes on a new meaning as this becomes a centre for the mechanical production of drawings which has no relationship to site, design or the client. Mindspace becomes a space where bodies align themselves to the environment and systems. The drawing looks at this landscape through the interface of a software used by architects for 3D Modeling. Shown here are 4 viewports that allow the Architect to look at his creation in four different ways viz. Perspectives, internal and external, section, plan, elevation or axonometric drawings. Here the viewports on the software look at areas in Mindspace where bodies have assembled themselves into a building and into the snake, sphere and man from Rajnikanth’s film Robot. The software makes real space digital through lines and planes thereby becoming a representation of that which is real, something that allows you to view, modify and experience the world at the click of a button.


N O

S M O K I N G

PROJECT CINEMACITY: KRVIA DESIGN CELL IN COLLABORATION WITH MAJLIS CULTURE . IMAGE:GEORGE JACOB ,TEXT: ROHAN SHIVKUMAR PROJECT CINEMA CITY

Dharavi in Mumbai for a long time was one of the world’s largest slum colonies of urban artisans, to which was added a huge business in recycling in ore recent times. A cosmopolitan agglomeration, inhabited by migrant workers from all over the country, and representing almost every religion and caste of India’s demographies. The slum rose to international repute during the period of economic liberalization (from the 1990’s) as a site that provides a colourful glimpse of an alternative modernity from below countless documentaries, alongside the aid money that poured in, have made Dharavi a significant international symbol of the era of globalization. Bombay cinema, however, has responded to these developments with its own vision of the site as being populated by delinquent youths, illegal economic activities and crime, an ‘urban folk’ behaviour consisting in the main of endless festivity and robust attitude towards sex. The drawing attempts to plot three journeys through Dharavi undertaken by the actor John Abraham in three recent films; Dhoom (2004), No Smoking (2007) and Taxi No. 9211 (2006). In each film the actor traverses a differently imagined cinematic landscape. The drawing is plotted along three axes so that as the viewer rotates the map around. s/he gets access to three imaginations of the settlement: The Dhoom axis represents the new urbanity of the Bandra-Kurla Complex with its view from the towering buildings at the edge of the shanties of Dharavi; the Taxi No. 9211 axis represents the street view from inside the lanes of Dharavi, and the vertical axis of No Smoking takes the viewer below the ground, to an imagination of a dark labyrinth under Dharavi.


MANDAPESHWAR TRACING THE PALIMPSESTSOFTIME JEENAL SAWLA, DESIGN DISSERTATION

The act of tracing is an act of drawing that allows one to choose what to highlight and what to deny. As such it is an act of delayering in order to clarify. The city has often been called a palimpsest- a dense fabric of overlays that form patterns that have evolved through history that are often almost indecipherable. Jeenal’s thesis was concerned with one such site- where over centuries the physical form of the site has been marked by transitions of power. The site under construction was Mandapeshwar caves in Borivali. On this site, older cave temples are overlaid with the remains of a Portuguese church, overlaid with recent interventions by the Archaeological Survey of India and the slum community opposite the site. Each of these have made a mark on the body of the site. As a method of deciphering these through an act of delayering Jeenal began to make tracings of the site through the telling of alternate histories. These helped her clarify the layers in their own right, becoming the basis for her design intervention.


As a part of the academic curriculum at KRVIA, every year students embark on study trips to locations across the country, with an intention of documenting the diverse and fascinating built and living landscapes of our country. These documentations happen at all years of their schooling in architecture. The second year students in particular focus on settlement typologies. In the past the students of KRVIA have documented various places. Some of them include Leh Laddakh, Gangtok, Srirangam, Simla, Majuli Assam and many others. The intentions of these studies, is to inform the students of the rich culture and heritage of our country. These documents hope to become vital assets to the body of work and research that will definitely benefit the students and academicians, the researchers from various disciplines and most of all the people and culture of the place itself. In addition to this, the KRVIA has also been engaged in documenting the history of architecture of the city. Some projects involve the documentation of historic buildings, such as St. Thomas Cathedral, Others trace the lineage of architectural practice in the city , and document the works of firms that shaped Bombay. This engagement is taken into the curriculum at the fourth year level , The fourth year theory of design course deals with a critical history of the profession and its concerns in India, in order to expose students to the possibilities and forms of practice within which they can locate their own .


ARCHIVING

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D O C U M E N T I N G ARCHITECTURAL PRACTICES: MASTER SATHE AND BHUTA RESEARCH AND DESIGN CELL, KRVIA

The KRVIA Design and Research Cell has undertaken several projects of documenting the practices of the 20th Century Indian Architects. The first already published work looked at the practice of Architect G.B.Mhatre and was titled Buildings That Shaped Bombay. This compilation of the works of first all Indian architectural firm Master Sathe and Bhuta (MSB) is supported by Architect Shrikant Sathe, who has graciously shared all material that was available with him in terms of drawings, photographs, timelines and most important his memories of working in the firm as an integral member of the firm MSB. Documenting the practice of MSB comes at a crucial time when there is much discussion and conversation about the State of Architecture

in India. As we look at some of the works and the stories of their genesis we find valuable insights that can help formulate a debate around the practice of architecture, its changing nature in India and can become useful resources for students of architecture. MSB have built some of the most important Art Deco buildings in India. In the timeline of architectural practices in India they form one of the most important links between the post-independence nation building stimulated practices and the pre independence practices inspired by the several waves of transformations in building technologies and aesthetic sensibilities that took place between the two wars.


Too often, our ways of seeing the world around us have been obscured by the systems of knowledge ingrained in us by the institutional mechanisms that shape us- family, caste, education, gender, sexuality, etc. Each of these have ingrained in us certain value systems- the good and the bad, the required and the unnecessary, the ugly and the beautiful. In our lives we often replicate these systems without questioning or critiquing them. As stabilizers within an unstable world, they become the norm- a network of grids within which we understand ourselves and our place in the world. At the KRVIA, one of the ways we have tried to explore form is by inserting what can be seen as “Strange Creatures� within the Grid. These creatures appear through apparatus constructed out of games involving randomness and chance encounters. These alien beings test the boundaries of the grid. As our attempts to classify and categorise them begin, flounder and fail- a new way of seeing the city appears. Like the Rorschach and the exquisite corpse these techniques allow desires, of both the map maker and the city that is being mapped to be revealed.


CHANCE

AS PROCESS


THE TAROT: A CITY OF CROSSED DESTINIES SECOND YEAR DESIGN STUDIO

Besides the sciences, another way in which we try and make sense of the world we live in, is through the world of myth. Every culture has its own mythologies in the stories it has told itself. The figures and spaces, the narratives told within these stories are imbued with the values and the qualities through which we construct our everyday life. The symbols within them inform and determine much of the way we understand the world. The tarot is a series of 78 cards that originated in 15th century Italy which are said to be imbued with spiritual and occultist powers. Through the reading of the cards and the patterns by which they play off each other, a trained reader is said to be able to look into the minds and the history of an individual and also tell the person his or her future. Each of the tarot cards has on it a character that in the posture, clothes, context carries with it a number of specific signs signifying a certain characteristic. These characteristics add up to form a certain ‘archetype’. an archetype is a model within which certain qualities are concentrated, and according to which we behave. within them they contain Desire- that ineluctable and indecipherable phenomenon- that is impossible to capture. These archetypes exist as spectres floating in ether around us, clear enough but formless. The only way we shape them into material that is tangible is through the world of symbol and narrative. The second year architectural design project in the first term of 2009-10 emerged from such an idea. The juxtapositioning of the stories hidden within cards upon the fast transforming landscape of the city creates new ways of reading the city as new meanings emerge within the familiar. The students were asked to pick two cards form a pack of tarot cards. They were first asked to explore the meanings that emerge between these cards. These readings could be formal readings of the card, the meanings embedded within the image or even the archetype they were meant to represent. They were then asked to find this juxtaposition within the landscape of the new Andheri-Dahisar link road in mumbai, leading to representational experiments and finally architectural interventions.


THE STREET OF CROSSED DESTINIES: THE ACE OF PENTACLES AND THE SEVEN OF CUPS AT LINK ROAD HRUSHIT THAKKER, SECOND YEAR DESIGN STUDIO

The city is so much more than its physical landscape, in its opportunities , economic and social, it is also a repository of desire in the myths and narratives that inhabit its landscape. As these myths and narratives do not lie on the surface of the city to be easily read, to recover these mythsto be able to discern the way they shape our city we have to evolve tools to discover them. One of the ways experimented with in the Second Year Architectural Design Studio was to look at the city through the narratives and meanings embedded in the tarot. Each card with its embedded information, mythologies and meanings can give rise to new ways of new ways of reading the city. In this project when the Ace of Pentagons (inverted) met the Seven of Cups on the Andheri-Dahisar Link Road, a new way emerged of reading the space of a slum community on the street. Narratives of the history of the slum, its displacement and redevelopment and the spaces of pleasure and everyday life that had been eliminated emerged in postcards that collected these stories as generators of program and built form on the site.


THE CYBORG SECOND

YEAR

DESIGN

STUDIO-

PAYAL

KHETAN

One of the key concepts in scientific understanding has been the idea of classification. The world is divided and subdivided into plant, animal, mineral- and later into a hierarchy with types and sub-types based on different formal aspects. Based on their skeletal systems, reproductive organs, etc the biological world is classified into Crustaceans, Mammals, reptiles, etc. Words becomes a mode of separating and organising the complexity of the world into intelligible components. Within each of these separations are a study of form, structure, material, etc. Meanwhile, the man-made world can also be classified based on a different set of criteria. These could include use, location, process of manufacturing, material, meaning, etc. What happens when the world of nature and the world of man conflate together to form a new organism- a cyborg. The Cyborg project aimed to explore the relationship between the ’natural’ and the ‘man-made’ by merging the two in a ‘cybernetic’ organism. This organism emerged from the interstices and overlaps of the formal systems within both the natural and the man-made blurring the boundary between what is ‘real’ and ‘artificial or ‘organic’ and ‘synthetic’. When the natural and the man-made meet they throw the inner structures of each other in relief. While material and sensual qualities of one are highlighted, in the other, its history, structure and meaning are revealed. The catalyst that enables this chemistry to arise is the city. After all, the city is the ultimate cyborg. Blurring boundaries between the natural and the artificial, it is the ultimate technology. And like most technology unbridled it scares us. Our relationship with the urban is often tinged with a similar horror. Pleasure and peace are seen in the pastoral and the rural- in the denial of everyday experience. To displace this and allow us to evolve a new relationship with the city- that does not deny it, but instead embraces and adores it, the cyborg must invade the city. The project began by the making of three long lists- one of natural organisms, one of man-made objects and the third of sites in the city. Each student was asked to pick one out of each of the lists at random. The student then had to create a Cyborg that combined all three of the components. As a result, each of the three played off each other revealing new meanings in each. A centipede became a system of segments, while a knife became a slice within a market, a market became a surface of skins. Here too, metaphor provided many bridges between the three points of the triangle. These cyborgs then found their place in the city as architectural projects.

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+ LOCUST+LIGHT BULB+SLUM REHAB SECOND YR DESIGN STUDIO- PAYAL KHETAN

The locust and light bulb mixed with the slum rehabilitation complex to reveal the desire for light and social space within the dingy, poorly ventilated oppressive environment of the slum rehab building.


Pipeline Installation at Rampart Row: Project Cinema City, Research and Design Cell In Collaboration With Majlis Culture Designed by Apurva Parikh, Apurva Talpade, Shivani Shedde, Elizabeth Matthew.

TEXTS BY ROHAN SHIVKUMAR RUPALI GUPTE SHIRISH JOSHI SONAL SUNDARARAJAN GEORGE JACOB DESIGN SONAL SUNDARARAJAN GEORGE JACOB PRINTER A TO Z PRINTERS


] A

I V R K

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USM’s KAMLA RAHEJA VIDYANIDHI INSTITUTE FOR ARCHITECTURE AND ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES,

VIDYANIDHI BHAWAN II, VIDYANIDHI MARG J.V.P.D. SCHEME, MUMBAI - 400 049 MAHARASHTRA, INDIA. Website- www.krvia.ac.in/, Tel.+91 22 26700918,

The KRVIA Atlas of Mapping Methods  

Book that accompanied the disc/device at the Turning Tables exhibit, Venice

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