Spatial Chronicles - TUR 3

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Issue 3_March 2021

spatial chronicles Issue 3

March 2021

“The Urban Rhetoric” is a bi-annual initiative by Innovature Research and Design Studio [IRDS] to provide a platform for discussion and act as a catalyst in recreating the future of urbanism and urban development in India.

The Urban Rhetoric

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The urban rhetoric_Spatial Chronicles

IRDS ABOUT IRDS Innovature Research and Design Studio (IRDS) is an interdisciplinary creative practice, trying to weave diverse realms such as architecture, urban fabric and user aspirations into a distinctive pattern of thoughtful design.

Publisher Innovature Research and Design Studio #272, 3rd Floor, 5th main, Jayanagar 4th block, Bangalore - 560078 Contact - 080-41210040 Website -


Issue 3_March 2021

THE URBAN RHETORIC ABOUT TUR “The Urban Rhetoric” is a bi-annual initiative by Innovature Research and Design Studio [IRDS] to create a platform for discussion and act as a catalyst in recreating the future of urbanism and urban development in India. We aim to do so with the help of an academic magazine with essays that inspire the agenda for future urbanism. A city is not just defined by the planners and architects that build it, but also by the users that occupy it. Thus, through this initiative we strive to make these parallels meet by reinforcing the interactions between decision makers and users. This prospective magazine crusading towards the agenda for future urbanism aims to provide a platform for dialogue and discussions on growth and development in Indian cities.

TEAM TUR Ar. Vaidehi Raipat Founder, Editor Ar. Maria Akhtar Co-Founder, Editor Charu Khowala Editor Bharat Singh Editor Dr. Shushma Joglekar Advisor Dr. Bharati Singh Raipat Advisor, Editor Ar. Ahefaz Panjwani Graphics Designer




Th On e n ch e y ew an an ear no di d c ged ha rma A sas om . Th s g l th kin ter e b e c one . ac iti Th e v d of es and k i r e to lo a di tua ine n no re the g, sa l w rti w rm su th Si e w the ste or a h al pp ing a l a r t c d s u W co os s h iti ha , t at nt se e e h t nd ed s i av pe ca o o s t e st y n i c t c i e n o t o n a an re ar sm p is i . no o l b g P lt l e n t n e o e e s tm i c be le s re op , a ou om his ot r h a e e an s ft s u n hi le t d lu c c e

an ties pl d a ; “g th ace da row p su e u an t t ing - M sta rba d p o th ’,’e ar inin n e eop e o ver ia e n l g v Ak m olv e. It goi vol ht illi es is ng vin o ar ns ,blo thr ch g’,’d of om ou alle yn po in gh ng am pu g w su es ic c la o ’, tio ith h c f c res n. ac ha on po tiv ng te nd iti es xt es th , an at d


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The urban rhetoric_Spatial Chronicles

te sil uc i e co com d s uc nd s e t n e t a w dd nd r a ie n h v o n a o r g e w h e t d n e m ny t tt so Pe ill t ing he ree ryo , b at itio ba u o i u m , n c t c cl op her th as ea e i t it mp n a k t h , mo use a e l av an e h e is t i k.w ch s w is rov s t o n an ve d s e oth ea dif ing he orm d s ou to th aila lin ave a t h ne h r f e h t. al o Pu em ble ss in op e n av er ing icu . w , no , an Pu bli sel re . Th culc e . ew e st th ma lt t rm d no ar e s sk o r Sc bli c o ves sou ey ate e t m p al rm ed ile . Yo cog St ho c tr en ali rce hav d s . a l . wa is u c ni la eps ols ans sp ve. s.P e u om s vi eo nd e ng hid an’t e Te ugh , ve and po ace g pl er rt oo s an den Th ach ter ra c e s w w o nd ha to d h d lle ill ill An e c ers s. od a v a b b g s, e d am w tr th bits ca es w e a e u th p i ie e va se -D en us ll a nt va of i d l i d l l e c t r. a w ev lu en re t s o Sh e op ble en er ill ua k s ee s o be lly si us . y w e tiv th f ill n p hm in aliv me e h ly. a et g av Jo w e e t he ill gl no ek be st is ar ud es N OR en an M ts d AL . . no

g in at m n ga at al th rba am or t u of d r f en ics it. t an te er e ac iff eris c on d ac ar i t sp ch res rac em a a d a o l ch an es ps xp e ng t p ap elo sh ev les ngi ren ity s d nic ha ur tiv ce ro r c f c ac pa l ch ve ct o an nt s tia e e pa a th m um e H ffer . Sp nd e i ani h di ace s a d t njw e pl ac an Pa sp ace faz pl he -A


Issue 3_March 2021


The urban rhetoric_Spatial Chronicles

FOREWORD Spatial Chronicles, Issue 3, March 2021 The Urban Rhetoric

Maria Akhtar Maria Aktar is an Architect, Academician, Researcher and passionate Artist. She has completed her B-Arch from Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur in 2014 and M-Arch in Architecture education from Smt. Manoramabai Mundle College of Architecture, Nagpur in 2017. Currently she is working as an Assistant Professor at Dayananda Sagar College of Architecture, Bangalore and a Research Consultant at Innovature Research and Design Studio (IRDS), Bangalore. Her research interest lies in the study of meaning of form in historic buildings, oral history and man-environment interaction. She has presented papers at various national and international conferences.

Cities are the centre of growth and the heart of trade and innovation across the world.The meaning of ‘city’ or ‘urban’ is dynamic, sculpting itself around the mould of socio cultural, political and economic revolutions.the urban form can be seen as a product of the gradual response to multiple generators and influencers like people,place geography ,politics etc interacting and evolving over time.Hence a city is often termed as advanced,sustainable, inclusive, smart yet it always remains dynamic, evolving and growing.However sudden events like human revolution and natural disasters are capable of changing the fate of the city, leaving them naked, exposed and shattered, struggling to survive through the calamity. One such event which crumbled the glorious life in the cities is COVID-19.Since the beginning of the pandemic all professions have harnessed their expertise in predicting ,tackling and responding to this change. Research has been carried out in areas like healthcare ,environmental science, air quality ,policy ,governance ,transport, urban design etc , attempting to enrich their respective fields, to tackle the current pandemic and also prepare for future challenges. such discussions however have coherently questioned the existing nuances of living,presenting the idea of ‘new normal’, and calling for sustainable,inclusive and adaptive vaccines have being developed at miraculous pace world is moving towards normalisation , with heart engraved with the memory of quarantine culture, yet being mindful about the lessons learnt from the pandemic.we have now realised that instead of moving towards ‘change’, we need to learn to ‘adapt’ to absorb future shocks. The Urban Rhetoric is a biannual magazine , a platform to discuss the recent trends in urbanism in India. It has served resourceful by encouraging versatile narratives in the form of articles,art pieces,photographs, and illustrations from creative individuals across the world.TUR1 , future of urbanism voiced opinions of renowned architects and designers, discussing their ideas,concerns and work in the urban domain.


Issue 3_March 2021

TUR 2 titled The Urban people attempted to voice the unheard stories of people engaged in the informal sector in India.The issue encompassing narratives from street vendors,stakeholders,architects and designers , explores the interaction of between work,play and live for the people engaged in the occupation.

faced by the world.In order to holistically understand the ongoing trends in urbanism, the selected entries are categorized depending into research, design and opinion depending upon the structure and approach of idea presented.The articles published in the issue shed light upon the impact and response of cities towards the pandemic

Cities are complex to design and even more complex in its function and use.In the context of future challenges, all energies are now focused towards developing technologically robust , people centric and sustainable cities.TUR Issue 3 titled Spatial chronicles attempts to voice the reaction of architects and urbanists to the ongoing unrest and uncertainty

Illustration - Urban fabric stitched with myriad activities, people and functions interacting with one another, evolving into spatial order of rich, intricate and complex fabric 7



The changing dynamics of tourism - Mitali Vavre


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The urban rhetoric_Spatial Chronicles


Beating the Pandemic blues – “A tale from a metro “ - Sindhu Jagannath

Shifting space - Julian Lai

Urban Openscape: cities where the common man will preside - Shaurya Chauhan

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The urban rhetoric_Spatial Chronicles


Beating the Pande “A tale fro - Sindhu


Urban Openscape: cities where the comm

- Shaur

The changing dynamic -


Issue 3_March 2021


emic blues – om a metro “ u Jagannath

page .12

hifting space - Julian Lai

page 18

mon man will preside rya Chauhan

page 28

cs of tourism Mitali Vavre

page 32


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Beating the Pandemic blues – “A tale from a metro “ Sindhu Jagannath Sindhu Jagannath is an Independent Architectural Consultant, Academician, Conservation Enthusiast and an Entrepreneur. With professional experience of over 18 years, and teaching experience of 13 years, she is currently working as Associate professor in DSCA apart from running her startup company and architecture studio. She has authored, co-authored several research papers and has presented, published in refereed Journals and conferences both National and International. Her unwavering belief in ecofriendly design constructions and sustainable lifestyle practices sculpted her niche architectural practice which echo reduce, reuse, and recycle mantras. Her passion for entrepreneurship geared her debut into the entrepreneurial world with her startup company, a social enterprise called “Prathama Srsti” in the year 2017.


he world is witnessing a nasty, unprecedented situation since the inception of COVID-19 pandemic that toppled the balance of global health. In developing countries like India, it is not just health risks that are the concerns but also damage caused on delicate economic fabric. Although Its adverse effects have been more pressing on Informal sectors their livelihood, cascading effects are on almost all sectors including construction industries, particularly in major metro cities. This article tries to understand direct and indirect implications of this pandemic on city’s most vulnerable sector, informal workers, through the lens of the economy in the first part and its inevitable impact on city’s construction industry pushing it to a fragile situation in the second. The article attempts to give a perspective of important questions that need to be asked and a pointer to a future, socially and economically viable pandemic safe environment.



Many large-scale outbreaks of infectious diseases, pandemics which spread increasing morbidity and mortality, is not unheard in the world’s history. From the great plague of Athens in 430 BC, there have been several pandemics such as Antonine plague, Cyprian plague, Leprosy in 11th century, black death -1350, smallpox -1520, the great plague of London, 1665, First cholera pandemic- 1817, Fiji measles-1875, Russian flu1889, Spanish flu-1918, etcetera, all claiming thousands of lives at that time. Many have been eradicated over the years. Today’s context of accelerated global travel, increasing urbanization, rapid change of landform & land use, limitless exploitation of the natural environment can easily lead to high transmission of even a mild virus strain. More recent ones such as Ebola, HIV/AIDS, E-coli, Anthrax, SARS and Zika have clearly indicated that a world without virus /pandemics is a rare thing as a matter of fact.

Issue 3_March 2021

The novel COVID-19 Pandemic in India has resulted in a variety of challenges for government, people in both rural and urban areas. Guided by the past pandemics’ preventive measures such as wearing mask, sanitization, social distancing, and containment measures such as quarantine and lockdown were taken up by the government, an appropriate and needed measures in the given situation. However, they affected not only the health sector but also the education sector, Construction sector, IT sector, Manufacturing, Tourism, and other business sectors. Downscaling of economic activities in all these sectors due to COVID-19 resulted in undesirable consequences.

Pandemic’s rupture on Economic fabric of Informal sector

The adverse effect was on the informal sector than formal sectors. Informal sectors’ economy is unregistered, they do not pay tax and have no accountability. They can be broadly categorized into informal workers and informal enterprises. The informal sectors across the country have been the worst hit in unimaginable ways. The specific health risks when it comes to the Informal sector in urban areas is largely rendered by their living conditions. Vulnerable are the already poor unskilled workers who survive on daily wages. For these people pandemic comes as a shock impeding their ability to even purchase necessities such as food and medicine. They live in an unsanitary overcrowded area where physical distancing is nearly impossible. Lack of accessibility to water, limits the possibility of handwashing and maintain the hygiene around. Loss of jobs due to pandemic has left them starving or on charity adding to their social, emotional, and economical distress. Majority of the women from this sector are engaged in nonessential sectors, like shopping malls, housekeeping in modest offices, restaurants, wholesale trade, hospitality, and food services. The denial of salaries and considerable layoff faced by women domestic workers is nothing but harassment. Informal food markets play an essential role in ensuring food security in most of our cities. The informal source of food in cities are catered by petty food corners, street food carts, modest canteens, whose

consumers are migrant and workers from informal sectors. Their closure during early pandemic lockdown times lead to increased food insecurity and poverty. While in rural India, farmers who produced for urban markets experienced a devastating situation during lockdown when urban markets became inaccessible, in metropolitan cities the logistical challenges due to domestic restrictions of movement added to the disruption of the food chain. Street Vendors and traders who sell products other than food constitute a sizable part of the Informal sector. Pandemic lockdown on these vendors has significantly slashed their income. Many midsized non-essential, businesses either downsized their employees or closed their franchise or shut their business itself, unable to pay rent or loan in most of their cases. The informal rag-waste pickers in Metro cities are the critical component in the steering wheel of solid waste management (SWM) despite them being virtually invisible. They sort dry waste in collection centres, scrap shops and itinerant waste buyers. The service provided by them plays a huge role in reducing the cost of SWM. They help in collecting reusable, recyclable dumped solid waste from all over city streets assisting a circular economy to happen particularly in developing countries like India. Their skill and knowledge about different waste streams are of tremendous value to the ecosystem of SWM. Waste pickers whose livelihood depend on this are the risk group by their occupation with more susceptibility to health conditions. Due to the pandemic fear of the secondary spread of virus and lockdown measures waste pickers were kept at bay. They were left with no choice but starvation or to survive on charity. People from this sector are clearly deprived of all the benefits that formal sectors have like guaranteed access to medical care, health insurance, income security or sickness benefits if they fall prey to the pandemic.

Possible strategies to accommodate the Informal sector in Metro cities

Wearing Mask, social distance, restricted public interactions have become a new normal without doubt resulting in social, physical, mental, spatial, and economic consequences. This condition arising from the pandemic and without adequate health


The urban rhetoric_Spatial Chronicles

Figure 1: Pandemic rupture on Informal sector Source: Author

care, improper basic infrastructure the chances of virus spread are high and fatal in the habitats of the Informal sector. Further absence of financial support and alternate source of income without a doubt push them into the most vulnerable category. - Honestly wonder what happened with the constitution mandated the formation of metropolitan planning committees (MPCs) that all metropolitan cities area over 1 million of the population must have. It is essential now to strengthen the capacity of municipalities in planning, executing, and providing infrastructure and services. State and Central government should not only provide broad guidance, funds to manage disasters & pandemic situations but also empower them with the capacity to self-govern. - Absence of functional ward committee in metropolitan areas to address such emergency situations is another concern. Perhaps it is time to have a functional funded ward wise committee to deal with emergency situations. For instance in the COVID-19 times to aid contact tracing, adoption of safety measures, monitoring and enforcing quarantine, recruiting volunteers to assist, collaborating with civic society and other


such welfare organizations to battle the pandemic, thus ensuring the safety of the most needed social sections of the ward. - It is time to Non-government but legal bodies such as Resident Welfare Association (RWAs) to shift their focus on safeguarding the rights of people in the domestic working sector. Time to make sure the manifesto of universal registration of both employers and domestic workers thus binding them to protect each other specially in such pandemic situation. This would ensure denial of salary or removing from work without the right reasons. - The promise made by labour ministry to come up with a bill for a new law to ensure the protection of workers of informal sectors rise a hope. This sector needs “Sustained Investment “Policies. - It is very essential to integrate informal waste pickers, with formal waste pickers, into the SWM ecosystem ensuring them a safer and more secured working environment. Awareness must be created about the schemes that may benefit by including them.

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Pandemic impact on Informal sector and its Cascading effect on Construction Industry in metro cities

Construction industry has been working within the vital global market economy, unreasonable competitions, & inevitable stress of making money. The current economic and demographic structure of cities clearly indicates the role of the informal sector. Roughly about 30% of the construction workers constitute of migrant unskilled labours who have travelled long distances seeking jobs from far of rural areas. These immigrants provide cheap labours. With the advent of pandemic, stringent measures taken by the government, most of the miss informed and confused migrants fled back to their rural villages initiating reverse migration. Following this, the construction industry, no doubt, is facing a survival issue. Many small, mediumsized construction and architecture firms, real state

builders experienced a near out of work, situation with most of their ongoing projects coming to a halt and no new projects in near sight. Cascading effect of the pandemic are inter-related between Formal and informal sectors. Rental industry in metro cities witnessed a drastic decline due to prolonged work from home leaving mammoth office buildings vacant along with innumerable houses which were rented by many IT workers and Students as they left cities to their hometowns. This tectonic shift of reverse migration during Pandemic and unexpected drop in income has left a void in Tier-1 cities with many rental building spaces unoccupied. Work from home has not only left large office spaces vacant but also has severely affected the informal sector which depended on them. For instance, housekeeping and maintenance have taken a hit. Small eateries, petty shops food courts who depended on these IT companies have lost their business. Lack of customers around these IT hubs for near future have left them with extraordinarily little choice of either shifting, their business or heading back to hometowns or villages.

Figure 1: Pandemic’s cascading effect on Metro cities Source: Author


The urban rhetoric_Spatial Chronicles

- Real estate enables nearly 200 plus allied industries. Hence any support aid to real estate from the government should enable to generate more employment to catalyze economic revival. - CREDAI’S step to seek an easy registration process for construction workers with the unique ID as they join back for work will hopefully benefit them with some work security and livelihood. - Few immediate measures on taxation and regulation for instance Loans in par with agriculture for the construction industry, revisiting GST for housing projects for revival.

A few pointers on the way forward

How should our “cities”, our urban habitats-buildings should kick up to make a safe place for the future generation to come? Seeking change perhaps now is inevitable yet not so easy to change the current trend of practices in this construction industry. However, the construction industry is a large collaborative endeavour of professionals’ thinkers like engineers (structural and Civil) and creative professionals like architects, interior designers, landscape architects who together join hands with the political leaders to build cities. Thus, thrusting our role as city builders we could become the game changers in shaping a new postpandemic construction into a sustainable pandemic free, Socio-economically viable Habitat centre. We know that with or without lockdown, COVID-19 is omnipresent lurking around posing constant threat at least until a few years after the vaccine. Work from home has suddenly put a question mark to the massive corporate workspaces as a typology. Besides, it is extremely difficult to maintain huge volumes and big spaces for hygienic incurring heavy operating and maintenance costs. Arresting pandemics is a lot easier in smaller spaces. Many big IT companies have announced indefinite work from home indicating possible future working scenario. This means perhaps an exclusive work nook or an office space at homes. More work-friendly new homes designs could be an opportunity. The current pandemic situation has prodded into us thoughts like frugal living, the importance of natural light and ventilation. It is believed that AC has been the


major germs carriers. We must look at both health and aesthetics as an important part of our urban future by building small, designing buildings with more natural light and ventilation with passive cooling techniques and natural traditional timetested construction materials. Reducing the use of the factory -manufactured materials, prefabricated materials though economically viable to that of natural materials like mud, bricks, stones wood, bamboo such keep germs at bay to an extent. Pandemic has highlighted the issues of urban poor habitats which are unfit for living once again questioning the lack of social development plans of metro cities.

DISCUSSION: Time to reset clock for future pandemic free socio economically viable cities

The risk extended by COVID-19 pandemic is beyond mortality where the economic consequences with unorganized, socially marginalized informal sector particularly the low wage labour category reeling under the brutal impact. Pandemic times are not only to treat the sick but also to introspect, how to fight this vicious battle of pandemic and to pull ourselves out of this economic fallout. Thus, the questions we need to ask now are crucial. 1. Are the migrant workers tolerated in the metro cities because they provide cheap labours? From the above argument, we understand that our cities are potentially built on the foundation of the unorganized sector. In Indian governance structure for such quintessential migrants still holds on to the outdated Habitual offenders Act, 1952, which treat them either as threat or nuisance which, clearly, they are not. They too deserve the equal claim such as decent housing, pay, health and social protection. It is high time that the policymakers take serious measures to include them as rightful citizens of cities. Planning for future cities must take Social development perhaps as diligently as we take up its economic development. Fig 3 represent a conceptual scenario of the mutual support and inevitable link that formal and informal sectors share. 2. The next question would then be how do we build pandemic safe cities? Whether the existing

Issue 3_March 2021

system of be it governance, Market trends rooted in the global economy, is it possible to scale up the production back without causing further loss of life on livelihood. To deboard from the system, which is GDP model based on private property, engaging cheap labours, consumer-based market it is essential to look at cross-country patterns of transition towns, eco-communes, and co-living communities etc. whose approach is holistic and certainly are progressive and inclusive approach.

challenge is remarkably high. Learnings from the past may not be helpful for, pandemic challenges today are vastly different. India needs a homemade recipe to solve this problem. In the book The Great Leveler, Australian economic historian Walter Scheidel, lends us hope by arguing that the decline in inequality is a result of excess mortality that raises the price of labour. Informal sectors did manage to survive 2008 financial recession and recent demonetization so perhaps with inclusive planning approach they may prove their resilience and bounce back post-pandemic impact as well. It is important to see this Pandemic as a warning and introspect to reform the way metropolitan cities are governed, to reduce the gap between formal and informal sector in terms of socio-economic and spatial infrastructures and more importantly the way we build our cities.

Reference: 1. Sarkodie, S.A., Owusu, P.A. Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on waste management. Environ Dev Sustain (2020) 2. Mukhtarova Turkan, Policy brief, COVID-19 and the informal Sector, GIWPS, July 2020 3. ILO brief- Covid-19 crisis and the informal economy, Immediate responses and policy challenges

Figure 3: Dichotomy between Formal and Informal sectors & their inevitable interdependency. Source: Author


COVID-19 pandemic is only a trailer of future threats from climate change and natural disasters to come. With the size and complex urban layers, COVID-19 in India is largely a metro battle. The scale of the


The urban rhetoric_Spatial Chronicles

Shifting Space Julian Lai I am a 2nd year architecture student at the University of Waterloo. I aim to produce spaces that welcome inhabitants and instill a sense of comfort in them. Architecture to me is creating spaces that invite people in, compelling them to spend time in them.


he onset of Covid-19 has forced many changes to our day to day lives and how we operate as humans. The implementation of social distancing has altered how we exist in the public realm, extended our social boundaries, and expanded the space in which each person occupies. At any given time and space, we are able to see the effects of this, as significantly less people now inhabit the public realm. This begs the questions - What are shared spaces in a Covid world? What are shared spaces post-Covid? How will they operate differently compared to before? This photo essay is an investigation into now empty urban cores. With the absence of people, which these spaces are built for, how are these spaces perceived. Without inhabitants to fill them up, do we still see the built environment in the same manner? This is the product of a shift in perspective brought about by Covid.


• Part 1 of the photo essay examines the nature of the urban fabric on a large scale. Although the city itself does not appear to change on a macro level, once we change the scale at which we examine the city, it becomes apparent that Covid has had an impact.


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• Part 2 captures the products of such change. Architects create buildings to frame spaces and the people that inhabit them. With the inhabitants gone, how do buildings exist by themselves, void of purpose? What marks are left behind in the public realm as everyone retreats into the privacy of their own spaces?


The urban rhetoric_Spatial Chronicles

© Vivek Warrier 24


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• Part 3 aims to uncover occupation in a time of Covid. With social distancing being enforced, voids are created in the public realm as people stop occupying them. Will we ever be able to fill these voids in a postCovid world or will these scars be left for years to come before time rids us of them?


The urban rhetoric_Spatial Chronicles

Urban Openscape: cities where the common man will preside Shaurya Chauhan Shaurya Chauhan is an architect and independent researcher based in New Delhi. Graduate from Sushant School of Art & Architecture (Gurgaon), he has a keen interest in the fields of urban placemaking, participatory design processes, and application of open source & analytics in architecture. Shaurya is concerned with the widening gap between the top-down architectural development initiatives and the ground-reality of the citizens. He is currently engaged in attempting to bridge this gap by questioning & re-calibrating the architectural practices in place.

“If there is to be a ‘new urbanism’ it will not be based on the twin fantasies of order and omnipotence; it will be the staging of uncertainty; it will no longer aim for stable configurations but for the creation of enabling fields that accommodate processes that refuse to be crystallized into definitive form.” -Rem Koolhaas, S, M, L, XL 1995


he pace and degree of change in the last hundred years are hard to comprehend. In his 2016 book ‘Thank You for Being Late’, Thomas L. Friedman posits that we have crossed a threshold into the Age of Accelerations characterized by change so rapid it challenges human capacity to adapt to it readily. On one hand, revolutionary innovation unimaginable even a decade ago has become the new normal accompanying the progress of the World Wide Web and the digital playground (Elefante, 2018). The age of information is changing the way we live. On the other hand, the city’s defiant persistence and apparent vigour, despite the collective failure of all agencies that


predict its behaviour or try to influence it – creatively, logistically, politically – is evident. However, even with these phenomena in plain sight, the building stands unapologetically rigid. The architect insists upon fitting the emerging phenomenon into pre-defined solutions, at the cost of ostracizing the citizen’s creativity (Koolhaas, 1995). In India, the urban population is rising much faster than its total population. Level of urbanization has increased from 17.29% in 1951 to 31.6 % in 2011. With the urban population in India, which is nearly 377 million, poised to grow to 600 million by 2030, there is a dire need to re-visit the conventional systems of city design. The growing disconnect between the app-empowered omnipotent user of today and the large-scale top-down development policies of the authorities leads the architect into new territory. The current discussions in architecture, therefore, revolve around the need for the profession to open up to the public and develop awareness among the users about the possibility of non-rigid urbanism. The idea of re-orientation of the role of the architect

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to that of a mediator is emerging as a prominent and popular solution and for good reason. The citizen, however, is no longer willing to morph her aspirations to fit these boxes designed by committee. Traditional models of architectural design have been destabilized. With the increased influence of informal development at the urban level, technological literacy at the architectural level and Do-It-Yourself culture at the individual user level, the design is increasingly produced by a network of collaboratives. (Boston, 2010) The role and relevance of architecture is rapidly changing with the change in socio-cultural dynamics of the society- moving from the sole authority of the designer to participatory equity of the stakeholders and the final users. The close-knit communities that traditionally produced societal prosperity have become much less desirable in the past decade. The Human Capital Theory of regional development posits that the Creative Class- the largest and fastestgrowing group of working people in the cities- value openness to diversity and opportunity to express their creativity over the physical attraction of malls, apartments, infrastructure and such. (Sassen S., Cities in a World Economy, 2018) In Delhi, the response to this growing trend of sharing over sole ownership has seen the private sector thrive (Uber-pool, AirBnB, RentoMojo) and the public sector is bound to follow suit. With the masses now brought to the forefront of the city (Intense commercial and housing schemes anchored on the power of the Delhi Metro), priority needs to shift to endeavours that cater to the consumption trends of the masses over preferences of the privileged few. The people are more interested in the process over the product. The notion of “access” (to tools, information, design) has become the single most important factor determining the perceived quality of life in urban centres. (Florida, 2005) Born between 1980 and 2000 and having lived through an economic crisis as either teenagers or young adults, Millennials and Generation Z also show somewhat divergent consumption patterns when compared to older generations. They are proponents of the growth of peer-to-peer platforms that provide access to shared commodities and services across the globe. Sharing economy or collaborative living is the new normal. The tools of unobstructed connectivity, alternative models for capital procurement and access to information are ready to propel the profession into the mainstream of consumer

culture. As is the trend, the act of mediation between the User and the Urbanity in the cities opens up a reinvigorated role for the architect, one that is learnt from various fields, beyond the built environment, that has changed our world as we know it. This ‘new urbanism’ requires the synthesis of a dynamic development approach which keeps userneeds and customizability at the forefront. This new approach to urban design will not aim for stable configurations but for the creation of enabling frameworks that accommodate processes that are transient and informal. These underlying trends and patterns will be accounted for and given a share in modifying the project, as the urban fabric changes over time. Bernard Tschumi once proposed that architecture is continually transformed by the multitudinous events that take place in and around it; events which in themselves are too varied to be described by any architectural program. (Tschumi, Architecture and event, 1994) In the programs of the future, airports are simultaneously amusement arcades, athletic facilities, cinemas, and so on. These non-causal relationships between form and function, or space and action go beyond poetic confrontations of unlikely bedfellows. (Tschumi, Architecture & Disjunction, 1996) Keeping this idea of mutations at the forefront, there would be some focus on generating a transaction log between the user and the spaces he would use, with respect to the level of engagement with the existing typologymonetary and spatial, her appropriation of spaces to perform recreational and livelihood functions as well as the modification of physical infrastructure for personal use. Active participation and specialized information are readily available to the app-empowered generations of the present and the foreseeable future. The idea of a ‘modern urbanscape’ in architecture requires more than openly publishing architectural designs; it demands a rethinking of the discipline’s theory and practice—a re-diagramming of its processes and the roles of the subjects involved in them. The future of the city is being driven by the culture of collaboration and the creative class’ need for creating instead of simply consuming. The city of the future promises to be shaped by citizens themselves. The expertise of all the fields- from the technical to the creative- will only provide the tools for the people to shape their environment.


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With the lack of user participation repeating throughout the history of modern urbanity, new opensource models for a collaborative approach are bound to have dramatic implications. The pressing question is how to recalibrate architectural practice toward people, and the answer will be to put architecture into the hands of those people themselves. (Mohirta, 2006) The modern urbanscape in India would be characterized by independent but interconnected production, with the designer serving as a curator, catalysing the collective-individual scale. People will inhabit naturally, based on their preferences, yet exist harmoniously in the shared spaces. In the words of John Lennon, “The people have the power. All we have to do is awaken it.” Designers will just mediate. The people will preside. Reference: Allen, J. (1999). Unsettling Cities: Movement/ Settlement. Routledge . Bacon, D. (2013). The Rise of the Sharing Economy. The Economist. Batten, J. (2018). Citizen Centric Cities: The Sustainable Cities Index . ARCADIS. Boston, R. (2010). Whats Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption. New York: Harper Collins. Boudon, P. (1979). Lived-in Architecture: Le Corbusier’s Pessac Revisited. MIT Press. Colomina, B. (2011). Towards a Global Architect. Domus. Cuperus, Y. (n.d.). AN INTRODUCTION TO OPEN BUILDING. Elefante, C. (2018). Accelerating Change: Disruption or Progress? American Institute of Architects. Florida, R. (2005). Cities and the Creative Class. New York: Routledge. Habraken, J. (1999). Supports: an alternative to mass housing. London: The Architectural Press. Koolhaas, R. (1995). S,M,L,XL . New York: The Monicelli Press. 2Mohirta, A. L. (2006). Towards Open Source Architecture. Ratti, C. (2015). Open Source Architecture. London: Thames & Hudson Ltd. Rudofsky, B. (1998). Architecture without Architects. New York: The Museum of Modern Art. Sassen, S. (2005). The Global City: introducing a Concept. The Brown Journal of World Affairs.


Sassen, S. (2005). The Global City: Introducing a concept. The Brown Journal of World Affairs. Sassen, S. (2018). Cities in a World Economy. SAGE Publications. Sudjic, D. (2006). The Edifice Complex: The Architecture of Power. Penguin. Tschumi, B. (1994). Architecture and event. New York: Museum Of Modern Art. Tschumi, B. (1996). Architecture & Disjunction. Massachussets: MIT Press. Veblen, T. (1899). The Theory of the Leisure Class. Macmillan. Yap, K. S. (2013). Urban Challenges in SouthEast Asia. Cardiff: Cardiff University

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The changing dynamics of tourism Mitali Vavre Ar. Mitali Vavre is Assistant Professor at KSSA, Bangalore. She has done B.Arch from VNIT Nagpur and M. Arch - Conservation from SPA Bhopal. With masters in Architecture (Conservation), the area of interest is Research, Heritage Documentation, Conservation, Restoration, tourism, and allied fields. Worked and trained with INTACH, Nagpur and Bangalore Chapters, Sanrakshan Heritage consultancy, New Delhi, VHS, Nagpur, etc. which gave an exposure of the typologies of Heritage and Conservation practices in different regions of the country. She has also worked with Dr. Michael D Willis, Indologist, and Historian, The British Museum, London, UK, for the Vakataka settlements in Central India.

An introduction to “DARK TOURISM”

With the coming age of tourism, one may be familiar with the concepts of “dark tourism” but must have never heard of the term.

What exactly do you mean by Dark Tourism?

Today when we talk about the need for resilience in globalization, the need for exploration comes along with it. With the changing times, the pattern of tourism in the world is evolving every single day. In India, where tourism was mostly associated with places, which were culturally strong, aesthetically pleasing, and extraordinary, we are now moving to places that are unexplored and infamous. The concepts of resorts, weekend breaks, exotic locations, nesting in nature, etc. are the more commonly searched keywords on the internet.


Here is when the concept of Dark Tourism comes into the picture, But what exactly is Dark Tourism? The term ‘Dark Tourism’ was coined by Lennon and Foley in 1996, faculty members of the Department of Hospitality, Tourism & Leisure Management at Glasgow Caledonian University. It is defined as tourism, which involves travelling to places, which have been associated with death and tragedy in the form of natural disasters, acts of violence, or crimes against humanity. About 33.7% of people are acquainted with the term “Dark Tourism”, out of which 65.3% have been to sites, which reflects Dark tourism (fig. 1). As per a survey, about 44.2 % of people were interested in Dark tourism (fig. 2), apart from the other typologies of tourism. Well, in that case, we can say that Dark tourism has always been a part of our travel itinerary in some way or the other. Suicide points, haunted places, accident landmarks, disaster landmarks, have always been a tourist spot in major tourist circuits. If you have ever travelled to a hill

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the victims of Typhoon Marakot in 2009, which is considered as one of the deadliest typhoons in the region killing about 700 people in the first wave. Visiting this place, enables tourists to visit and experience the trauma associated with the site, perceive the power of nature, learn to respect the environment and develop a belief for peaceful coexistence.

Figure 1: Acquaintance with Dark Tourism Source: Author

station, you would remember, one of the spots being a suicide point. This is where the guide tells you the number of people who have committed suicide in the place and you would have an irking response. From Green valley View (Suicide point) in KodaiKanal to Kalpa Suicide Point in Himachal Pradesh, Hill stations have always had suicide points, which brings in an eerie response from the travellers. “Curiosity about Death” is a major factor responsible for the introduction to the Dark Tourism sites. The Xiaolin Village memorial Park in Taiwan commemorates

Figure 2: Preferred types of tourism Source: Author

Dark Tourism gained popularity in the 21st century when people started exploring hidden places. When the concept of tourism was explored further beyond the concepts of aesthetics and beauty but to learning and explorations. Various TV shows and documentaries have also highlighted the concepts of the same. A show, “Ekaant”, airing on the EPIC channel, hosted by Akul Tripathi, where the host travels to all the abandoned places in India, including the Bhangarh fort (Haunted), the abandoned village of Kuldhara (Haunted), the town of Orchha (Cursed), and many more. This show builds up curiosity among the people to visit such abandoned and infamous places. Another show, “Dark Tourist”, which airs on Netflix, where the host, a journalist, David Farrier, explores the subset of tourism, by visiting the dark tourism sites in the world. It is not always about visiting the places, some sites also offer visitors to experience the places by participatory measures. Just like there is a difference between, watching a giant roller coaster from the outside, and experiencing it by sitting in it, there is a difference between being a visitor and being an experiencer. Although as per a survey, about 50% of people agree that visiting a site makes your enhances your experience of the site (fig. 3). Chernobyl, the city of death, which became known after a massive nuclear disaster in 1986, is accounted

Figure 3: Need of Physical Experience Source: Author


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WHY? Dark Tourist?

Reliving and Re-experiencing – If it is all about the experience, a majority of people would be willing to try it. Similar to our entertainment parks where we indulge in activities like Ferris wheel, dead drop, etc., dark tourism has its way of creating unforgettable user experiences. Starting from role-playing for Mexico-US border tourism to Chernobyl tour, a tourist can relive and re-experience the past literally, thus making the experience closer to life. Figure 3: Interest in Dark Tourism Source: Author

as one of the major incidents in the history of Nuclear disasters, with INES level 7. The Chernobyl tour takes you on a ride to this nuclear disaster city, where tourists can experience the historic incidents and happenings of the accident. While entering the premises, the visitors are advised to wear the masks and are given a Geiger meter, to observe the levels of radiations in the premises. These tools keep the curiosity and fear imbibed in the tourist, who can now realistically experience the place.

Traumatic experience- There are certain places, which are associated with an accident or tragedy, which when visited, creates a feeling of solicitude. Initial anxiety leads to a tourist experiencing the space with mindfulness. For places like Union Carbide Factory associated with the Bhopal Gas tragedy, 1984 or the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, 1913, a tourist enters with an open mindset but comes out with a traumatic/ upsetting experience. (Figure 6)

Figure 5 Agrasen ki Baoli, Delhi Source:


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Figure 6 The bullet holes marked with chalk, Jallianwala Bagh, Amitsar Source:

Adrenaline rush- Humans are happy to be in their haven, especially when it comes to living their lives in peace. But once in a while, people do explore their dark sides by escaping reality. To break from the monotonous, rigid, and predictable life, people experiment with activities. Certain sets of people will indulge in activities that lead to escaping normality or by providing a thrilling experience, which is otherwise a taboo in society. To give a relatable example, Mount Fuji in Japan is known for many aesthetical reasons but is also famous for its suicide forest, Aokighara, rightly located in the foothills of the great mound. This lush green forest witnesses about 200 plus suicide attempt each year and are considered to be one of the most haunted places because of its association with deaths. With various interviews from tourists visiting this place, it has been observed that a person visits this place because the place is highly disturbing, gruesome, and unexpected. The place imbibes an adrenaline rush among the visitors who are looking for an experience, which cannot be experienced in an alternative fabricated reality. With corpses hanging on the trees, a continuous deep negative vibe, an eerie

feeling lingering all over the place, the place attracts many visitors throughout the year who are the “DARK TOURISTS”. Taking a local example from the country, Agrasen ki baoli in Delhi is a stepwell located in the heart of the capital city, built in the 14th century and is now protected by ASI. The structure has always attracted tourists for its architecture and historical relevance, but what attracted the people more are the spooky haunted stories associated with it. There are rumours that the baoli has seen many suicides over the years and is termed as one of the most haunted places in India. This creates a sense of excitement among the people which directly affects the tourist footfall over the place. Sadism/ savagery – For many, Sadism is an extremely negative word, associated with cruelty, punishments, and viciousness, but for some, it is about an escape from the dull boring monotonous life. The percentage of people indulging in tourism-related to sadism or savagery is pretty less but extremely focused.


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Examples can be, a visit to the Little dean jail, also known as the Crime Museum, an 18th-century prison housing quirky, disparate exhibits on crime, spying, and Victorian taxidermy. Another example is the Pablo Escobar tour in Columbia, which takes you on a ride with the life of the famous drug lord, Pablo Escobar. While these tours haunt you with the idea of sadism and cannibalism, delinquent to the thoughts of appreciating or even being present in such a place, for some it is a guilty pleasure. Humans are different; a good deed for some can be extremely sinful for others. It is all about choices, perceptions, and humane actions in the end. Additional experience- Yes, dark tourism also comes as an attachment to various tourist sites. It is like a side dish, a dessert that enhances the experience and makes it a fulfilling meal. A visit to a tourism site feels incomplete without an eerie/ quirky story attached to it. For example, a visit to an old historic fort becomes more fun if it is associated with haunted/ scandalous stories. The concept of suicide points on all hill stations, being one of the major tourist points, indicates that, dark tourism has always been a part of our platter.

Wrong or Right?

Well, to jump to conclusions, may not be right. People come with different choices, perceptions, and capabilities. Visiting Dark places requires compassion and mindfulness, intending to understand the past in an alternative reality. The associated incident evokes sympathy and empathy for the victims, which helps us analyze the errors or blunders in the past. Be it a fallacy or a gaffe, an incident provokes us to an extent of discomfort which shudders our thoughts and affects our life. As per a survey, around 38.9% of Amritsar people are interested in visiting a Dark Tourism site, 44.2% are still debating for if they are interested and 16.8% clearly indicated a negative response . Discerning the dark tourism sites can be difficult for some, but experiential for others. Like other typologies, this tourism also educates us and makes us a better global citizen. Alert and conscious, it makes you more aware and thoughtful.


Reference: HBO. (2019). Chernobyl [TV programme]. Hotstar. Razor Films; Fumes. (2018). Dark Tourist [TV programme]. Netflix. Duttagupta, S. (2021). Green Valley View (Suicide Point). Retrieved 1 November 2020, from Kodaikanal/Green-Valley-View-Suicide-Point/ ps58640391.cms Epic. (2014). Ekaant [TV programme]. home - Dark Tourism - the guide to dark travel destinations around the world. (2021). Retrieved 15 January 2021, from Kumar, S., & Attri, K. (2018). Exploration of Potential for Development of Dark Tourism in India. International Journal Of 360 Management Review, 6(2). Singh, S., Kaur, G., & Singh, G. (2016). Dark Tourism in India-Introduction, Places Of Interest, Challenges and Strategies to Overcome Them. “Imperial Journal Of Interdisciplinary Research (IJIR). Retrieved from publication/312126221_Dark_Tourism_in_IndiaIntroduction_Places_Of_Interest_Challenges_and_ Strategies_to_Overcome_Them Suicide Point Kalpa Himachal. (2020). Retrieved 1 November 2019, from https://www. located,their%20way%20to%20suicide%20point. Types of Tourism in India. (2013). International Journal Of Current Research And Academic Review, 1(1). Retrieved from Arunmozhi%20and%20A.%20Panneerselvam.pdf

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Towards an engineered -Timber civic realm for post- pandemic well-being, On hudson valley’s urban fringe Eleni Stefania Eleni Stefania is a New York-based Architect and Urban Designer (M Sc in Architecture & Urban Design/Columbia GSAPP’20), focused on the interactions between water bodies and urbanism as well as regeneration of de-industrialized landscapes through living infrastructure. Her work is driven by a people-first approach, consonant with the deep context of a place, its scale, its materiality, its broader environmental-socio political and economic agendas and flexible to adapt to long-term future growth.


lobal health pandemics or other environmental and socio-economic pressures are likely to become recurrent urban concerns due to the continuing repercussions-such as biodiversity loss, climate change, and wildlife habitat fragmentation on the urban-rural interface- that the augmenting human population and the unsustainable global urban expansion poses to the ecological systems that sustain our life and support our well-being. The importance of vibrant ecological systems and the need for their integration into our everyday space planning (for instance more green balconies, park networks, and linked outdoor green public spaces in both our shared urban settings and private domestic spaces) in order to live, work and sustain our physical, emotional, and economic well-being are highlighted by the continuing COVID-19 health crisis especially for those communities that lack adequate and accessible shared resources.

© Vivek Warrier 40

Acknowledging the connection between Covid-19 cases and poorer communities, as well as the historic systemic environmental health inequities of low-income neighbourhoods regarding the lack of access to green spaces within walking distance with significant impact on health and overall well-being through reduced physical activity and ecosystem services loss, this proposal harnesses the potential of urban forestry to a more central place in postpandemic socio-economic recovery and long-term wellbeing. The project mitigates these environmental and socio-economic pressures that a disruptive event like a pandemic poses on the urban setting and its inhabitants through transforming marginalized and vacant land to civic space amenities for immediate support of the community’s health and wellbeing in times of crisis[1] while keeping the economy alive by placing shared forest-plant based economic strategies in the spotlight as the main drivers for low impact

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environmental growth, self-sufficiency, access to resources or goods otherwise in scarcity in times of crisis. More specifically, the project aims to repurpose 2000 acres of underperforming and marginalized land for shared timber farming in order to enact a more adequate synergistic relationship (socio-economically and environmentally) between the built space and the fragmented Hudson Valley’s forest. In Hudson Valley, most of the trees are privately owned, growing on land at the fringe of urban developmentWildland Urban Intermix (WUI)[2]. Hudson Valley’s Wildland Urban Intermix land is currently environmentally and economically underperforming[3]. It demonstrates the typical unsustainable conditions present in contemporary rural American towns[4]: large-scale impervious surfaces that fragment the regional forest corridors, defunct industrial, commercial, and transportation infrastructure that demands innovative schemes for sustainable vegetative strategies and green infrastructure as well as hyperactive development potential in the near future that threatens the biodiversity of the remaining Greenfields, tree-covered areas, and accessible open green public spaces that are already significantly shrunk and ecologically undervalued due to the unregulated urban sprawl of the last decades. The major economic engines of Hudson Valleytraditional building materials and farming- are currently unsustainable under the current context of Climate Change and for this project these economies are acknowledged as already obsolete. Following this urgent need for climate-responsive economic reform and taking into consideration 2018 Timber Innovation Act[5] and the forthcoming 2021 IBC Engineered Timber update that both harness the potential of mass timber building elements manufacturing from sustainable-managed-forests as a viable option for reducing the built space’s impact on the environment in the years to come, this project investigates the utilization of timber farming as a catalyst for environmentally and socio-economically beneficial civic space design.

landowners to sustainably manage their own forests while directly accessing a shared infrastructure of researching, harvesting, manufacturing, and retail, waste-recycling and branding for their timber product. By creating shared collaborative infrastructure for local forest and small-timber-business owners and entrepreneurs, new social partnerships, and equallydistributed amenities will be created, boosting local economies while preserving the local and regional forest ecologies. By sustaining long-term forest-plant-based economic development through this shared co-op system, Hudson Valley’s scaled-down timber industry will be funneled while a more socially adequate distribution of profits between diverse communities will be achieved. Composed of four entities, the Center for Resilient Forestry which is clustered with Wood Innovation Facilities, the Certification Centers, the Sawmill and Distribution Center with additional facilities for Recycling and Storage and Renewable Energy Generation, this project provides a lasting infrastructure that promotes a holistic framework for profitable and sustainable timber agroforestry that ensures the wellbeing of both the forest and its inhabitants. Reference: [1] VanderGoot, Jana. Architecture and The Forest Aesthetic: A New Look at Design and Resilient Urbanism. New York: Routledge, 2018 [2] Forest Inventory Data Online (FIDO), as part of the U.S. Forest Service Inventory and Analysis Program (FIA) [3] Benjamin, Vernon. The History of The Hudson River Valley. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2016 [4] Iturbe, Elisa. “Architecture And the Death of Carbon Modernity.” Log 47: Overcoming Carbon Form (Fall 2019): 11-23 [5] Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, H.R. 2-9, 115th Cong. ss 8641-8644 [6] Hudert, M. & Pfeiffer, S. Rethinking Wood: Future Dimensions of Timber Assembly. Basel: Birkhauser Architecture, 2019

Tackling the large-scale U.S. monopoly of engineeredtimber products, the project envisions a bottom-up timber economy- a vertically integrated[6], resilient timber supply chain- as a way to incentivize private


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Communal Spine_Onto Community Economy Ahefaz Panjwani Ahefaz Panjwani is founding partner at Chaudhari Panjwani Building Workshop, an architecture firm based in Mumbai and Nagpur with a focus on Sustainable design and Community development. He was also a visiting faculty and currently an Adjunct assistant Professor at VNIT, Nagpur. He is a Graduate of VNIT, Nagpur. Post his graduation he has gone to work with Studio Symbiosis Architects as a lead Project Architect. He has been involved in a number of prestigious award winning projects. He later went on to do his Post graduation at University of Liechtenstein. He worked on various projects and scales at places such as Brazil, Mexico, Israel, Norway, Italy and Austria to name few. He got scholarship from Erasmus+ to study Urban Design at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem, Israel. He also received scholarship for summer workshop “Society in Motion” held in Bergen, Norway in 2017 and Vienna, Austria in 2018.

The project is part of the Master’s Thesis work done at university of Liechtenstein under Professor Dietrich Schwarz. The project was also shortlisted as top 10 entry for the ARK competition in 2020.


need has arisen for thought and revival of our present economic market along with sustainable development, in the wake of the CoVid-19 pandemic. The prevailing focus on urban settlements and developed countries has adversely affected the rural settlements and developing countries, more so due to the pandemic. If the global economy can be perceived as an iceberg, the tip consists of the capitalist world encapsulating the cash flow and debit/credit. The hidden chunk of the iceberg is the social economy consisting the favours, gifts, volunteer work, on the street works etc. which keeps our iceberg afloat and expanding. The contribution of the hidden iceberg needs to be acknowledged, respecting their contribution to the socio-economic fabric, the base of the capitalist system. Providing multifaceted opportunities to earn, learn and live for communities can be an active step to strengthen the base of the system. Asuncion Ixtaltepec, a small municipality of Oaxaca,


Mexico, has been taken up as the subject of this research. Ixtaltepec has predominantly been a closeknit community with a strong tradition of community work known as Tequio. This tradition has faded in the last decade. To bring back the forgotten tradition, individual participation is an essential start. This in turn will create a ripple effect and gradually envelop the entire community into Tequio. Strategies for earning, learning and living is the key to bring about the desired development. At individual level, a carpenter living in Ixtaltepec has been considered as a user and contributor to the community. A communal spine is designed to provide the opportunities to the individuals of community. Moving away from the idea that the economy is a machine controlled by government and corporations, individuals are taking decisions and actions to create social and environmental well-being. Here, we cater to Ixtaltepec as a community, but also take a step back and think big, about the entire planet, and its

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resources. Think ethical, how one could share and use these resources at individual or national level. Finally, think small, looking at people as actors and not consumer’s and how one could trigger the economic flow at individual level leading to communal wellbeing. Economic Intervention (Earning): Strategies for economy were derived at two levelsindividual i.e. the carpenter level and community level. Parameters for sharing at individual level were taken as time and knowledge to be shared with the community, and workshop and skills to be shared with his peers. The aim of this exercise was to benefit the community creating a communal economy, increasing their economical footprint at regional scale. Social Intervention (Living): At individual level, the proposed built spine can provide a space for interaction, learning and specific skill development with similar professionals. This will improve cohesion in the group, adding to growing professional interaction and exchange of knowledge. At the community level, similar spaces can be generated for interaction of thoughts and culture between the groups of cross professionals. This helps in supporting the traditional skills.

triggering social activities. Workshops, market, studios, guestroom and communal dining are designed to enhance social economy. Carpenters and other professionals could teach the successive generations and others to develop a cooperative working in Ixtaltepec and develop a market place. The market itself becomes an exhibition space for other skilled communities to participate. Here, one skill set can help others to grow and consequently reinforce the social economy and Ixtaltepec as brand. The overall community participation develops a closed social economy eventually leading to communal wellbeing. The project is about creating a space for the community with a balance between nature and sensuality of crafts and where all the crafts are gathered in order to keep the traditions alive.

Skill Development (Learning): A serious concern for the town is the dying traditional skills. There is an architectural attempt to address this at different levels and across different ages. A space has been created to educate the younger generation with traditional skills and provide economic opportunities for those skills. Also, an initiative has been identified to ignite cross professional interest in the younger generation to prevent dependency and migration to larger cities. For the middle aged people, an opportunity to learn skills for community work is proposed, eventually contributing to the social economy. Different communities share the proposed spine for earning, learning and living. The social and commercial cohesion could help build stronger community relations and robust support system. This in turn, will reduce the need for economic migration and keep families together. The flexibility of work and leisure can bring about a stable work-life balance. Communal Spine is developed in strips of nature, human and building netting the fabric of site between river and town. Strips are broken by community generators


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Pandemic Proofing: The new normal for workplaces. Ankita Saigal Co-Founder and Creative Director A creative problem solver and design enthusiast, with Installation and Set Design being her forte. Constantly visualising and revamping each space she enters, Ankita brings with her hands-on experience on television and movie sets and a plethora of vibrant hues and aesthetic patterns.

Harshitaa Agrawal Co-Founder and Creative Director An Interior Architect with a keen interest in design interventions in public spaces through her art, installations and pavilions. Constantly experimenting with new materials and incorporating elements of her culture and heritage, Harshita offers a unique approach to contemporary and minimalist design


020 will forever be etched in our memory as the year that made us consider many changes in our lifestyle, the biggest one of them being how to go back to the place we call work. All of a sudden, going to the office was no a necessity and Work From Home (WFH) became the new norm, where employees were questioning whether they would even need to go back to their offices in the future. Though some employees may love the idea of working from home, it is not sustainable for a lot of companies in the long run. WFH offered a temporary solution for the workforce, however, it cannot replace the office work culture for several reasons. The most common one, being in-person interactions which lead to an


incubation of ideas thereby helping the business grow. Microsoft’s recent Work Trend Index report revealed that a third of the workforce in India faced burnout, more so than any other Asian country, due to lack of boundaries between home and office lives. A feeling of disconnectedness and isolation from co-workers was among the top stressors for most employees. A survey conducted by real estate consultancy JLL stated that 82% of employees surveyed in India would eventually like to return back to their workplaces. That being said, Microsoft’s data also revealed that the fear of contracting COVID from the workplace and the lack of protective measures taken by employers remains the foremost concern among employees. So, returning to the workplace would mean a lot of design alterations

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Figure 1 Shanghai Baoye Centre by LYCS Architecture

to provide a safe environment for the employees.


As companies begin to open up their offices again, they have to make sure their employees feel safe coming to work. The adjustments that are made in workspaces, have to be long term because even if this pandemic is brought under control, it has made us realise just how susceptible we are to yet another one. We don’t know if and when another situation like this will arise, but if it does, it can put our lives back into a standstill. With that in mind, office spaces that were once designed to be safe in case of a fire or an earthquake, now also need to be Pandemic-Proof: spaces need to be altered in order for them to be safer based on the regulations and suggestions by leading health organizations.

1. We must ensure that there is enough space in the offices for employees, and that cubicles or workstations are not crammed together, ensuring that there is at least a gap of one person between two individuals.

Pandemic-proofing offices could involve a number of short-term fixes, new working patterns and longterm design upgrades that put hygiene at the heart of workplace planning. Here are a few things we think are important to keep in mind in order to prepare workspaces for the new

Figure 2 Pre-Covid Scenario at Workplaces Source: Author


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2. We should look into solutions to help develop individualised spaces, for example, incorporating plexiglass is a potentially good solution as it gives a feeling of being unified yet helps maintain the appropriate distancing and safety norms. 3. Creating graphics and visual elements on doors and walls can liven up space while also reminding people to maintain social distance and maintain health norms. 4. For areas of common use like the toilets and pantry, we should have it cleaned as frequently as possible. For washrooms, it will be ideal to have self-changing toilet seats as well as zero-touch soap dispenser and taps. As for the pantry area, having a limit on the number of people who can use it at one time will be helpful. 5. With meeting rooms and collaborative spaces in the office, we should continue to use virtual technology that we have adapted to in recent times, preventing too many people from gathering in a room together. 6. Using furnishings in the office that can withstand high-intensity cleaning and repeated sanitisation should be preferred. 7. We must Incorporate hand washing and sanitisation stations at different spots at the office that one wouldn’t normally have, for instance right at the reception desk, workstations and at every door entrance too.

Figure 3 Post-Covid ideal workplaces with plexiglass dividers and social distancing. Source: Author


It is also important to keep in mind that people are soon going to be transitioning from the home office to their workplace, and as designers, we’d recommend making the space as lively as possible. A space that reflects the brand values and is designed keeping in mind your brand identity, fosters productivity and creativity to the fullest. Large brand headquarters could split up into hubs in different locales, saving their employees the risk of catching the virus on their commute to their workplace. Ideally, it would be great to have a contact-free workplace where sensors work and people avoid touching the elevator buttons or door handles, but we know that’s going to take a while. Until then, we must do our best to ensure that the transition to the new normal is easy and most importantly safe.

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The urban rhetoric_Spatial Chronicles


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3_ O pi ni on Issue 3_March 2021


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Designing the “new normal”: a post pandemic response Pritika Raja Pritika Raja is an interior designer with a background in architecture. She completed her B.A (Hons) from Heriot-Watt University and worked as a residential interior architect in Dubai. She then moved to Singapore, where she worked as a multidisciplinary designer - with architecture, interiors and product design. Pritika’s practice embodies the eclectic influences gained from her diverse experiences and exposure to international clients. In her spare time, she works on illustrations, paintings and other art related projects.


s we commence 2021, it seems apparent that COVID-19 is not a passing storm and will be here to stay for the foreseeable future. There is no question that COVID-19 has taken a devastating toll on millions of people across the globe. This year has reminded us of our mortality and vulnerability as human beings. Moreover, people all over the world experienced their freedom being curtailed during the global lockdowns. That experience has left us yearning to bring more meaning into our lives despite the restrictions this year. Needless to say, it persuaded people to change their ways of living and opt for a lifestyle that is more independent and selfserving in order to adapt to the restrictive nature of the pandemic. Having said that, it seems that we have landed ourselves in an ironic situation where we have evolved into a more self-sufficient yet interdependent society, adapted to remodel our future. This has been observed in the past year when we look at the collective strategies put in place for containment plans, new space layouts, reformed healthcare,

© Vivek Warrier 58

vaccines, controlled human interactions, optimized resource utility, and even questionable societal and political norms. Our preconceived notions of life do not apply any longer as we approach a “new normal” with reservations and questions of the unknown. The language of this “new normal” is casually used to settle uncertainties brought by this global pandemic. However, as our society and economy revives, we have been constantly perpetuated with this rhetoric as we imagine settling into this life, appropriating our present as the standard and welcoming a new world order. Keeping these conditions in mind, we understand that there is a shift in priorities as the world wonders about the post-pandemic way of life. This situation has prompted us, as architects, to think about the role of design in facilitating functional and safe solutions that would allow humans to continue living and thriving without limitations if viruses such as COVID-19 become endemic. During the periods of lockdown and solitude, a

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number of people have shared their experiences of introspection and mindful living. It has been interesting to see the new practices people have been putting in place during this period of time, be it safety or adjusting to this new lifestyle. These habits include but aren’t limited to new hygiene practices, modes of resource collection and utilization, restricted interactions, etc. Moving forward, this raft of new expectations and customer behaviours will prompt different approaches and strategies for designers. For example, travellers wish to maximize their experiences while minimizing risk. According to Travel News Daily, travellers are likely to either stay in hotels for short periods or opt for longer temporary stays as they work remotely. Hospitality sectors need a thorough re-evaluation of layouts, circulation, emergency design interventions, facilities for protocol, daily operations and incorporation of biophilia, with built environment certifications. For all built environment sectors, designing spaces that would allow scenarios with controlled and distanced interactions with safe, open and functional gathering areas is the motto for the foreseeable future. As designers, we will need to approach this with extensive research to accommodate for potential pandemic scenarios. Due to our innate need for social interaction, survival during lockdowns can also grow weary with isolation. It is important that living spaces are designed to achieve a good balance of habitual prompts for a healthy mind and body. As designers, we must assess ways in which we can provide options for mobility and activity within the confinements of one’s home. That being said, there are additional needs to account for factors that may have not been prioritized pre-Covid 19. Facilities such as recreational/exercise spaces and outdoor green spaces were probably disregarded in the past. However, designers will have to start catering to the rise in demand for natural open spaces. Access to nature and physical activity has become essential and people have grown to appreciate spending time outdoors during this pandemic. Creating open layouts and pockets of private open spaces within homes would help achieve that - for a change of environment, coping space or just a hover under the sun. This can be achieved by utilizing existing spaces such as walkways, garages, atriums, back-of-house spaces and unused rooftops, converting them into gardens/terraces. One precedent we could study for this particular feature is Maggie’s Centre in London by RHSP (See Figure 1 and Figure 2), which is a two-storey pavilion, wrapped with

a deep orange protective wall, separating itself from its urban surroundings. The centre’s most highlighted feature is its bold roof canopy that appears to hover over the establishment like a protective sail yet invites ample sunlight to illuminate the interior space. The interior of the centre is spacious and flexible to create several spatial configurations and houses a series of intimate gardens, courtyards and rooftops.

Figure 1 and 2 Maggie’s Center by RHSP Source: Retrieved 2020, from maggies-west-london-centre/


The urban rhetoric_Spatial Chronicles

Furthermore, the incorporation of biophilic spaces could also potentially allow for urban home farming which can serve as another recreational activity and reduce our dependence on store bought vegetables and fruits, thereby, minimizing visits to public spaces such as groceries. Since not all products can be home grown, future clients would also require extensive storage facilities in their homes. A good idea would be to consider smart storage and built-in storage facilities so that conventional store rooms can be converted into wellness or exercise nooks instead, to accommodate for spatial deficit scenarios. Referring back to the social aspect of human beings, as we explore ideas to enable open layouts, it seems apt to explore the reconfiguration of balconies as well. At the moment, most balconies are enclosed for personal use while still providing outdoor exposure. However, this minimizes social interaction. We could consider building future developments that resemble the modern day “dorm” concept with a combination of cantilevered, traditional and recessed balconies with operable screening features and/or traditional rail height enclosures to create more visual connections and serve as another type of interaction space. A few examples are shown in the below images (Figure 3, Figure 4, Figure 5, Figure 6).

Figure 4. Capelleveen, E. V. (2018). Social balconies [Digital image]. Retrieved 2020, from

Earlier this year, the world adapted to different spatial arrangements to accommodate our daily practices

Figure 3. Duivenbode, O. V. (2018). Three Generation House [Digital image]. Retrieved 2020.


Figure 5. Vasiliu, T. (2013). Outside [Ellebo Housing Renovation]. Retrieved 2020, from

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Figure 6. Al-Ali, A.,et al. (2016). Seef Lusail Vertical Freej [Digital image]. Retrieved 2020, from seef-lusail-vertical-freej/5328

such as work, school, etc. within the confinements of our home. Designer Christiane Lemieux stated that “design is going to be much more personal and in some ways technical, as people use their homes for work, school, and beyond,”. She also suggests that “designers are going to have to be very conscious and thoughtful about how to make people’s lives better in the spaces they have.” From this perspective, kitchens will regain importance as we expect to depend less on store-bought or take-out food, making it the most centralized space of activity; for both enjoyment and/ or necessity. Workstations need to be clearly defined as the vast majority have faced the inconvenience brought when work and personal boundaries overlap. Considering these factors, this may prompt designers to revert back to traditional design spaces rather than the modern open floor layouts. Traditional floor plans allow for confined and secluded spaces. However, it is important to still explore designing flexible dwellings so as to not restrict the user and allow reconfiguration of new layouts. Spatial interventions such as modular plans with open ended frameworks coupled with functional accessories such sliding and rotary wall panels, collapsible partitions, acoustic panels and multifunctional transforming furniture are some ways of achieving this. We could take inspiration from precedents like the Treehouse Co-living Apartment designed by Bo-DAA (See Figure 7), in Seoul, South Korea. Even with the challenge of confined space and the nature of the communal environment, this apartment allowed flexibility in spatial configurations, incorporated green spaces and maintained privacy.

Last but not least, safety and hygiene have become top priority in households. Air purifying systems, touchless faucets and assistive technology such as automation and voice activation systems will be key for long-term resilience. Designers will bring focus to effectively incorporate safe and hygienic functionalities for users. To avoid future contagions, decontamination stations with health screening monitors, sinks, disinfectants, mask and glove disposal, etc. will soon be installed at entrances to create a transition space between indoors and outdoors. This could also allow for a much safer and contactless transaction for door to door deliveries. To further minimize face-to-face interactions, we would like to prepare a future where we may see the integration of VR and AR systems for daily use as the world grows more dependent on online connectivity. We would be expected to design spaces for VR and AR meetings eventually. Another important feature would be designing well equipped quarantine guest rooms, with a living and resting space, functional kitchen, storage and bathing facilities for the safety, privacy and comfort of arriving visitors. For in-home safety, we would see an increasing demand in antimicrobial and antibacterial finishes and materials for easy cleaning and hygienic maintenance.

Figure 7. Boda Architects. (2018). Treehouse [Digital image]. Retrieved 2020, from

Over the next few years, the architectural and interior design field will be expected to play an important role in responding and overcoming infection risks. For example, in 1933, Finnish architect Alvar Aalto designed a facility for the treatment of tuberculosis in southwest Finland; the Paimio Sanatorium. In his reflections, he says “The room design is deter­mined by the depleted


The urban rhetoric_Spatial Chronicles

strength of the patient, reclining in his bed.” Aalto further explains, “The color of the ceiling is chosen for quietness, the light sources are outside of the patient’s field of vision, the heating is oriented toward the patient’s feet.” As designers, we work from the microlevel, ensuring concept integrity, research and careful consideration of the current trends and needs of the population, thereby, contributing to the overall big picture. Architecture and design is part of the cure. The architectural conscious includes responding to public reflections and voices and using them as precedents in future design strategies. Having said that, we must collectively ensure that our contributions incorporate resilience enhancing factors for a safe future and the collective welfare of future generations to come. There is no “one size fits all” solution but a clever mix of design solutions incorporating strategies and technologies that are adapting to user behavior. As we continue our search for “this clever mix”, we hope to recreate a future that brings back the daily urban clamour, coupled with exciting innovative solutions, welcoming the new norm with relief and reassurance.

Reference: Abdel, H. (2020, January 29). Treehouse Coliving Apartments / Bo-DAA. Retrieved January 13, 2021, from treehouse-apartment-building-bo-daa Al-Ali, A.,et al. (2016). Seef Lusail Vertical Freej [Digital image]. Retrieved 2020, from Alati, D. (2020, May 22). These Are the 7 Requests Clients Will Make Post COVID-19. Retrieved January 13, 2021, from https://www.architecturaldigest. com/story/these-are-the-7-features-clients-will-berequesting-post-covid-19 Boda Architects. (2018). Treehouse [Digital image]. Retrieved 2020, from com/en/residential Briseno, A., Verabian, G., Walbuck, B., & Campbell, K. (2020, May 13). How Design Will Shift to Accommodate Post-COVID-19 Multifamily Living. Retrieved January 13, 2021, from https://www.hksinc. com/our-news/articles/how-design-will-shift-toaccommodate-post-covid-19-multifamily-living/ Capelleveen, E. V. (2018). Social balconies [Digital image]. Retrieved 2020, from Chayka, K. (2020, June 17). How the Coronavirus


Will Reshape Architecture. Retrieved January 14, 2021, from Duivenbode, O. V. (2018). Three Generation House [Digital image]. Retrieved 2020. Fairs, M. (2019, May 10). Maggie’s Centre by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners wins Stirling Prize. Retrieved January 13, 2021, from https://www.dezeen. com/2009/10/18/maggies-centre-by-rogers-stirkharbour-partners-wins-stirling-prize/ Karantzavelou, V. (2020, June 2). Travel resuming, but only 44% of Americans planning trips in 2020. Retrieved January 13, 2021, from https://www. Naomi A. S. (2020). Access to Nature Has Always Been Important; With COVID-19, It Is Essential. HERD, 13(4), 242–244. https://doi. org/10.1177/1937586720949792 RHSP. (2009). Maggie’s Centre [Digital image]. Retrieved 2020, from maggies-west-london-centre/ Spolidoro, B. (2020, May 29). How Architecture Can Defend Us From Germs, Bacteria, And Viruses Like COVID-19. Retrieved January 13, 2021, from https:// Vasiliu, T. (2013). Outside [Ellebo Housing Renovation]. Retrieved 2020, from https://www.for-a. eu/Outside.html Wigglesworth, S. (2020, June 19). The Design of Homes post-Covid. Retrieved January 13, 2021, from

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The urban rhetoric_Spatial Chronicles

Evolution In Planning For a Revolution In Living… Shweta Wandhekar Shweta Wandhekar is an Architect by profession, graduated from BKPS College of Architecture, Pune, and certified in Circular Economy for a Sustainable Built Environment from Delft University, Netherlands. Her key interest lies in practicing Adaptive Reuse of Buildings and Materials. In the era of rapid urbanization, she expresses a need to prioritize reducing the construction waste that ends up in landfills. She has a vision to make sustainable living more inclusive and desirable. She is currently working at one of the leading architectural firms in India - Abha Narain Lambah Associates, Conservation Architects and Consultants for Historic buildings.


ince the beginning of the 21st century, sustainability has been a widely discussed subject among urban planners, designers, and architects. It has been challenging for our nation to meet the needs of 1.3 billion people. However, in the past two decades, our country has been able to make a significant effort towards achieving adequacy. In 2020, a global pandemic was declared and a lockdown was imposed across the country. During the lockdown, the conditions lead people to self-analyzing the statistics of their monthly requirements whilst also being conscious of the amount of waste that they produce daily. Hence, this pandemic has positively impacted the people’s outlook towards utility. Over the past decade, cities have seen a rapid development of various schemes such as smart cities, social housing, and commercial complexes. The study conducted in Pune to analyze the urbanization and changing green spaces shows that this development has lead to a tremendous increase in the ratio of built


area to open spaces. The urban sprawl is not only limited to the open spaces of the city, but the lands reserved for wildlife ecosystems have also fallen prey to this expansion. During this pandemic, experts have found traces of evidence to prove that life-threatening viruses like corona can be transmitted through fauna. This indicates that this rapid urbanization is going to cause complications in the future. To avoid these difficulties and to safeguard the varied species on earth, government policies should include meticulous demarcation in terms of land spread for various ecosystems. Land use maps released by the town planners can define these boundaries. Also, the rules on expanding the spread of human settlements should be tightened. Urbanization and changing green spaces in Indian cities (Case study - City of Pune ) After two months of lockdown, guidelines were drawn for the nation to steadily step out of their homes. As per the guidelines and precautionary

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measures, it’s recommended that we sanitize ourselves thoroughly before entering our house. However, most of our modern apartments are not planned with a consideration of sanitation at the entrance. Our public toilets are often designed with the least consideration of natural light and ventilation, which results in a breeding ground for various infectious diseases. If we look at our heritage, the houses consisted of a verandah or front yard with a washing area. This planning ensured that the humans cleaned themselves before entering their living spaces. This culture of

sanitation needs to be considered again. Public spaces represent the image of a country in front of the whole world. To encourage sanitation, we can propose sanitation hubs consisting of aerial disinfectants and UV sterilizers, at the junction of walkways as memorials to mark this struggle for good health. Nevertheless, we have been believing that cleanliness begins at home, it’s the right time to make sanitation a public affair. Urban sanitation is dependent on essential workers and they are dependent on public transports. To

Image 1 Proposal for incorporating Sanitation hubs in public spaces Illustration by Author


The urban rhetoric_Spatial Chronicles

ensure their safety in the future, the number of people using public transit must remain restricted. The masses in megapolis cities like Mumbai have been enormously relying on public transports for several decades. The idea of finding a job close to the residence has been a secondary concern for a long time. When the public transports were shut down, people were forced to look for a job in their vicinity which lead to a major reduction in the number of people travelling via public transport. In the future, people might prefer a solo transport mode, which could lead to a rise in privateowned vehicles. The urban planners and government authorities could use this opportunity to promote the use of cycles by providing an infrastructure to meet the requirements of cyclists and pedestrians. Considering the difficulty to cycle for a few, car parking spaces could be provided for the elderly and specially-abled. History has time and again demonstrated how the economic devastation was addressed by new schemes and new capacities. In this year, campaigns such as Atmanirbhar Bharat has widened the opportunity for employment in the manufacturing and supply chain sector. While starting with this new era of industrialization, the country needs to shift its approach from a linear to a circular economy to achieve a reduction in waste production. As a rule, the manufacturers need to start including the guidelines for 6R’s i.e. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Redesign, Re-

manufacture and Recover for their products. The construction and demolition contractors can refer to these guidelines for the optimum use of the products. This shall give rise to the recycling industry which will decrease the frequency of landfills. More land can then be allotted to the recycling plants. Few of the manufacturing companies have come up with a strategy to repossess their products at the end of their service, give them a new life and bring it back to the market. If this pattern is made a part of the guidelines for the whole manufacturing sector, we are bound to have great control over the waste, the construction industry has been producing. Considering that the construction industry relies enormously on migrant workers, we saw that the industry came to a standstill during the lockdown. This entire model needs to be reevaluated to ensure smooth functioning in the future. To cater to this dependency on migrant workers, either the technology to increase productivity will be promoted, or urban infrastructure could incorporate guidelines to provide safe and distinct housing facilities for the migrant workers. This decision could affect the real estate industry. In the past few years, we have noticed that the builders have significantly indulged in luxury housing schemes. However, these luxury apartments do not hold the same demand as they experienced in preceding years. To upgrade the living conditions

Image 2: Proposal for incorporating Vertical Farming Station in every suburb catering toa radius of 5 Km Illustration by Author


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of the essential workers, affordable housing, and structures supporting adaptive reuse will become a vital sector in the real estate industry.

cities may not require towers of corporate buildings, but workspaces rented on an hourly basis could be in a boom in the future.

The adaptive reuse could also be applied in the public spaces considering their dynamic character. This opportunity is ideal to introduce the concept of design for disassembly. This concept is based on the principle of designing the structure with advanced planning of its dis-assembly at the end of its service. This approach shall catalyze the process of achieving a circular economy in the sector of urban planning and development. The public spaces can be further upgraded by promoting biophilic design principles and green investment.

Amid pandemic, the urban rich preferred moving to their holiday homes – often located in the suburbs or outskirts of the city. Previously, people preferred the cities for economic opportunities and the urban lifestyle. Although, now taking the business online has become so easy, and crowded spaces are visualized as a threat to life. If the pandemics continue in the future, people could likely reconsider their choice of residence permanently. The people who would now prefer staying in luxury villas in the outskirts than in the urban apartments could initiate this change. This is a sign that the shift towards reverse urbanization is not far behind. The new settlements in the rural areas must be a composed amalgamation of sustainable utility spaces, agricultural lands, and essential services. This rural development will mark the beginning of the prosperity of our nation. The cities will become less crowded and manageable to maintain safe and sanitary living conditions.

Will this pandemic bring any change in the demographics of the nation? This year has seen a remarkable change in the lifestyle of varied classes. The culture of working from home has to some extent eradicated the need for a commute to your workplace. Hence, the trend of newcomers moving to the cities in search of opportunities to work will likely fade away. The concept of shared apartments, paying guests has declined over time. This has affected the real estate industry tremendously. The urban population who relied on rent earned from the students or newcomers can consider developing vertical farming in their ancillary apartments. The covid-19 pandemic has evinced how the health of cities suffered when the borders were shut and cities faced a crisis in the vegetable markets. To avoid such a setback in the future, cities need to have hubs of vertical farms catering to every suburb in the city. This would ensure that every suburb would have adequate services and scope of employment. Besides the fact that the population will be evenly spaced, it will also enable systematic segregation of containment and green zones while dealing with such disease outbreaks in the future. In various building typologies such as workplaces, residences, hospitals, we have experienced how spatial inadequacies have lead to psychological problems. The living conditions need to be carefully addressed to maintain the mental health of people at their best. The houses built in the future should incorporate comfortable workspace and spaces for rejuvenation. For many of the sectors such as designing, marketing, finances, etc the table discussions are still something that cannot be replaced with video calls. However, the

The pandemic has been extremely brutal on all the nations. We have seen a rage rising among many of the countries to track the global coronavirus outbreak. While the whole world is battling against the pandemic, it is reported on the news that many of the countries are conducting tests for nuclear weapons. Our nation is facing aggression at the borders. Various international news reveals that powerful countries are trying to use this opportunity to expand their borders, and the smaller nations appear to protest and demonstrate their agitation. The changes in the trading relations between the countries have resulted in international conflicts. In the post covid world, the countries that shall survive all the hurdles and provide a helping hand to the devastated nations shall prove victorious. The foreign policies will be redrafted, plans for economic recoveries will be outlined. In the long run, this pandemic will prove that the survival of the fittest still applies. In this journey towards survival, we the Architects, Urban Designers, and Planners can play a key role and contribute to society by paying keen attention to healthy living conditions. Encouraging sanitation and practicing urban farming are among the few aforementioned incorporations that will help us achieve breathable and self-sustained cities.


The urban rhetoric_Spatial Chronicles

Pandemic Tales Alefiya Vali Alefiya Vali is an Interior Designer by profession who has been awarded ‘The Best Student Allrounder award’ by III D in 2017, and a literature enthusiast . She is an avid reader and creative writer who expresses herself through her poetry. A sensitive soul she likes to live every moment to the fullest.

18th April 2020 Dear Diary,


lot has happened since I last wrote, the world as we knew it is now lost forever. Let me go over everything that has happened over the last couple of weeks beginning with the fact that we are ‘plagued’ literally by the Coronavirus. Secondly, the lockdown, frankly it is awful I am so tired of staying at home… Just the other day the quote on my calendar page read, “The world is your playground…”, “Ha!” I scoffed inwardly, as I paced around the room while speaking to my friend Alisha who was cribbing about the loss of her amazing nightlife and spontaneous outings and making light banter about how the world was going to end. I knew, however, that behind this light exterior of hers was a grim mind, whirling with stress, as she needed to send money to her old widowed mom to help put her youngest brother through college. Lately, she had been running low on her savings but her 20% pay cut because of the pandemic made it even worse.


Even though I could feel her pain, I had my own share of anxieties, that occupied my mind as I waited with bated breath to hear news of my brother who was stuck in Delhi, and this time “Dilli” literally seemed really “dur”! I sighed as I sipped water, I truly felt a little panicky and a lot more helpless! Maybe the world was about to end but it seemed like there was nothing I could do about it. I shook myself out of my reverie and tried to re-focus on Alisha’s rambling. I could also hear my grandpa telling the newly hired house help that she could not continue working and she must search for some other place to work as he did not know when he would be able to rehire her, however, he offered monetary assistance and some essential foodstuff in order to help her make ends meet till she found another job.” He was another reason for the state of consternation I had been in because he himself was terrified (and he blew it out of proportion) of the pandemic and felt that since he was old he was more susceptible to the disease. He scouted the news and carefully read every piece on the virus which in turn scared him even more. It was almost as if he thought

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the bugs were out to get him. After creating a vaccine to control the pandemic maybe the scientists could start working on a cure for unreasonable paranoia! The doorbell rang and I hurriedly whispered my goodbyes and take cares to Alisha and rushed to open the door. I found my grandpa glaring at me and then realized I had not put on my mask so I rushed back to put it on and opened the door to find the ‘Big Basket’ delivery guy who had come to deliver fruits and veggies which would have to be carefully washed first then kept to dry in the sun in order to kill the virus as that is what my grandmother had learned on the Whatsapp University just last night, along with the recipe of a ‘kadha’ that would absolutely cure the virus hearing of which I just rolled my eyes. The other day I went to the pharmacy to pick up some medicines for my grandparents & I stepped onto the once hustling bustling street which now seemed empty and haunted like a ghost town, the roads were barricaded as if in the midst of a Zombie Apocalypse! I shook off the eerie feeling that descended upon me suddenly and set off on foot as my Activa was not allowed past the barricades. The street was frequented by many stray dogs who watched and barked at me in utter confusion as if they had seen a ghost! Maybe they too were wondering where the humans had disappeared! Next, I passed a construction site which had gone from being noisy to becoming dull and still, no workers varying bricks around, or their little children running and playing about while the parents worked, the pandemic had hit them hard adding misery to extreme penury, now affording even one square meal had become difficult for them. Also many of them were miles away from their homes. As I moved further I crossed a school abutting the road which would generally be filled with laughing and playing students, autorickshaw-wallahs and street hawkers peddling all kinds of eatables and little toys, but today these usually cheerful place seemed soulless! I sighed. However, the little squirrels and birds on the trees adjacent to the street were definitely cute to watch and unusual but pleasant addition to this new changing urban scenario. Fortunately the pharmacy was open so I bought my stuff and paid them using Paytm and trudged back. I still could not believe that this had been going on for so long, it was just last month when life was completely normal – full of hustle-bustle- and now things seemed to have come to an absolute standstill.

The first couple of weeks had been quite fun, sleeping in late, and chilling all day. But now I felt frustrated. It pissed me off no end that all my plans had just fallen through without as much as a warning and suddenly I saw my life spiralling into the darkness of uncertainty. The job I had just bagged, slipped right of my hands, and there was nothing I could do about it. I looked at my mom as she moved around calmly doing her chores and wished I could be more like her and channelize my energy in doing something more constructive while waiting for the good old days. Sorry, my thoughts seem to be all over the place! You see how the pandemic has messed with my head? It is not only human lungs but also, indirectly, our minds that the virus has messed with. So many people seemed so depressed, just a couple of days ago my brother got the news that the caterer father of one of his oldest friends had decided that this new normal was not his thing and buckled under pressure leaving his young son to care for his grieving wife and little girl! News travelled around fast but the rumour mill was faster. One such rumour forced me to get in touch with another dear friend whose job was the sole income that helped her recently retired parents pay their bills. “Hey, I am busy!” she said like she always did, but this time when I saw her on video call I knew that she was much much more overworked than usual, with her firm making her work longer hours than feasible! It was outrageous I thought! I wished I could help her in some way, but what could I do? I hung up, and finished my chores for the day. Made a new dish (after watching several Youtube tutorials), posted a new video on Tiktok, and finished cleaning the utensils. As I got ready for bed I flipped open my news app and again found it flooded with pessimistic and controversial news stories that were just awful or heart-wrenching like the death of a poor actor which had become an area of avid controversy, a political circus, and had everyone who wanted to draw attention away from the pitiful state of the country and its dying economy like major politicians and celebs and mainstream news channels fanning the flames of controversy. And as if all this was not enough the trolls hidden behind their screens said the most vicious things and spread the most awful and incorrect rumours. I felt so sad, my heart felt heavy and as I always do when I feel that way I went up to the terrace and scribbled a poem as it always seems to help me relax. The city was a sight to behold from my terrace that night, it seemed to be lit by star-light rather than the usual street-lights as the pollution levels seemed to be at a record low, it calmed


The urban rhetoric_Spatial Chronicles

me. I wrote, “I really feel despondent today. I must be dreaming Or has the world gone mad Every opened newspaper, Every discussion, every comment on social media, Frustrates me, pulls me into an endless loop. How could this happen? I think. Or. Can this be right? Or can it be the other side That is true? Narratives seem to be spun, All around me, In a world, Where taking offence is in vogue, A world where, Everyone has much to say, Much to criticise and abuse, Much to complain about, Hiding behind screens, These criminals, Yes criminals I say, For they are no work and all play. Spinning lies like yarn, No, like a spider’s Web Entrapping and arresting, Those few true voices, worth hearing. Diluting the logical reality, That these sound minds hope to recreate. Hiding behind their computers, I imagine these nameless trolls, Wiping their hands covered in chips On their sweatshirts As they start another ‘work night’. Oh god! If you are there If heaven is right. Tell me what is true, what is false, So that I may do all that is in my might To stay true to what should be done And do what’s right. I shake myself from the reverie, All is same, The world is still a tainted sphere Covered in lies, by cowards. There is no saviour coming, I must rescue me.” I nodded off while writing this and dreamt of the


good old times. I woke up suddenly in the middle of the night with my laptop still on my lap and my body in the weirdest position possible I thought for a minute, “Maybe I just dreamt it up, maybe this never happened”. I next woke up to a pillow on my face- of course, that was my brother! He was back and I was so overjoyed to see him (even if a little annoyed, the fellow thought smothering me was the appropriate way of waking me up!)- and the aroma of hot coffee and mung dal chilas hitting my nostrils, the usually hustling and bustling street was empty though and the only sound I heard was the clock was striking 11.00 am and instantly I knew it was not a dream. It was the new normal and I needed to get used to it, even find silver linings in the clouds, and keep the faith, for as poet Alexander Pope says, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast”. So trying to cultivate an attitude of gratitude since then, also trying to be my own saviour, after all, god only helps those who help themselves. Asha

Issue 3_March 2021


The urban rhetoric_Spatial Chronicles

Dadar Flower Market Aditi Sharma Aditi Sharma based in Milan, Italy is pursuing Masters in Strategic Design at Politecnico di Milano. After completing her Bachelors in architecture, she pursued Masters of Interior Design and Architecture with specialization in history, theory and criticism, a program embedded in research at CEPT University, Ahmedabad. Following her passion for research, she continues to study the intersection of spaces, culture and history in different contexts. Besides the latter, she is an avid reader and traveller, constantly documenting her journey through photography. To explore her work check Instagram @_travel_snippets


he Dadar flower market is an example of one of the popular markets run by flower vendors for the routine needs of the people. Set up at 4 AM, the market runs till 9 AM for its sales. In the most organic formulation, the market meanders through the paths created by the vendors for the passers-by. Catering to the nearest train station as well, the area has a massive flux of movement through the day, and especially in the morning hours. Does the planning today consider such needs of markets and functioning?


This overwhelming space has an identity because of its presence as a leading marketplace, although as a space does it fulfil the needs of the users? Given that we are now in the post-COVID scenario, does the market cater to the social-distancing protocols, sanitation, and other sanitary grounds? Something to ponder about.

Issue 3_March 2021


The urban rhetoric_Spatial Chronicles

Built environment and the Post COVID Scenario: Perceptions and possibilities Dipti Shukla Dipti Shukla , M.Arch (Urban Design), B.arch & Interior Design Assistant Professor & Architecture Program Coordinator, School of Design & Architecture(SoDA), Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) - Dubai Campus She is an architect and urbanist with eight years of experience both as an industry professional and an academician for Bachelors and Masters programs with Urban Design as her core subject area both in India and Dubai.She has worked with leading organizations in the urban domain ranging from grassroot and city level to state level government organization and national & international firms in the corporate sector. She has two book publications under her name and is the founder of a creative enterprise, ‘Karasthani - a Design Palette Studio’, collaborating on an assortment of projects related to Design, Graphics, Arts, Editorials, Illustrations and Allied Fields.

Arwa Hussain Arwa Hussain, M.Arch (Urban Design), B.Arch Practicing Architect, Urban Designer & Visiting Faculty at Urban Design department of SMMCA college of Architecture – Nagpur, India Arwa is an Architect, Urban Designer and Academician with more than 8 years of experience oriented towards Architectural Design, Urban Design, Planning and landscape services with leading private companies and her own architectural practice in and around central India. Simultaneously, she has been working as an academician – full time or visiting (part time) for both graduate and post graduate students in a reputed government and private institutes of Nagpur.


he COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a standstill and we have since come a long way from being locked inside our houses, to slowly getting used to the new normal while working towards changing how we engage with spaces and people outdoors.


For centuries, human pandemics and health concerns have steered urban planning and the design of cities. “Hygiene and moral health depend on the layout of cities. Without hygiene and moral health, the social cell becomes atrophied.” (Corbusier, 1987) By restricting the outspread of waterborne diseases through urban

Issue 3_March 2021

design, early in the 19th century, Victorian urban planners laid the foundation for the European cities of today. Later, examples of ideal settlements as direct responses to the spread of urban disease became the inspiration for the Garden City movement that would go on to revolutionize modern city planning. Improving the sanitary conditions of cities motivated planners, architects, and engineers to re-design cities in the late 19th century. (Sennett, 2018) Even in the 20th century, the pursuit of healthy, hygienic modern spaces was a key factor for the surge in social housing. (Wintle, 2020). However, it seems that at the onset of the early 20th century, we took a progressive departure from the health concerns that play a key role in shaping a city . Cramped houses and Slums, high densities with lack of breathing spaces are rather invitations to such pandemics in today’s day and time. This ignorance is responsible for the difficulties faced by city dwellers in the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has spread rapidly at a global scale and affected the world at large and brought it to a standstill. Looking at the brighter side, many positive effects have been felt during the lockdown. A new way of life emerged as the ‘Quarantine Culture’- Many people have enjoyed a better work-life balance with less commuting and more family time; easily socializing through digital mediums, on a virtual platform; “neighbours have found creative ways to connect and combat isolation by communicating across balconies, terraces, or driveways.” (Siossian, 2020); even the environment has benefited from drastically reduced travel and energy demands with improved air quality and reductions in carbon emissions. Sadly, It has taken an unprecedented event like Covid-19 to make people realize the comfort offered by open spaces in the built environment, and this global experience may also set a precedent in how we develop and (re)design our cities.

on public space and most cities fail to meet these demands. The loopholes lie in the conventional process of implementation– where decisions and ideas for improving the built environment are onesided and mostly top-down, while not considering the minority voices. However, times of stability can be disrupted by unexpected breaks with rapid transformation or paradigm shifts to move ahead with radically new and bold projects or endeavours which were earlier thought unachievable but now are reasonable or necessary. A severe pandemic sets the template for future responses and since now the need is even more urgent; the size, scope, and speed of the crisis make it feel like we are living through a profound transformation. The question is, which lessons from the past can we still hold onto and what prior understanding must we disregard? (Honey-Roses, et al., 2020) As the world endures its struggle with Covid-19 we are also dealing with uncertainties. So far, the focus has been to address the immediate crisis and short-term concerns, which should now be thought alongside more medium and long-term resolutions concerning the key areas of the built environment. 1) Building Typologies: New convergence between life, work, and play due to the advancement in technology have drawn attention to reimagining what role a building could play in difficult scenarios like we are facing currently. With the blurring of boundaries, a building typology needs to be imagined beyond singularly focused programs, where Diversity will be a key to creating spaces that are adaptable and flexible. (Alexis Kim, 2018). Imagine a few units within a building that get converted into smaller office spaces, providing residents opportunities to go from “living” to “working” and vice versa; this can even promote starting small home-based businesses. A Gartner, Inc.

Will 2020-mark a ‘before and after’ with respect to planning and design? The COVID-19 crisis has brought attention to the need for sizeable, creatively designed, accessible, and multifunctional public spaces. Although long before the onset of COVID-19 designers have always looked at the need for accessible spaces for all with wider sidewalks and trails and more spacious parks and open spaces. Users impose various demands

Figure 1: 74% of companies Plan to Permanently Shift to More Remote Work Post COVID-19


The urban rhetoric_Spatial Chronicles

survey of 317 CFOs and Finance leaders on March 30, 2020, revealed that 74% will move at least 5% of their previously on-site workforce to permanently remote positions post-COVID 19. Institutional typologies with solar power generation, residential typology with kitchen-free apartments, where residents have access to a shared community kitchen; Apartment blocks with green balconies and neighbourhoods with rooftop community gardens linked to farmer’s markets and the community at large could be a near future. Dropbox destinations inserted into building bases where users can pick up Uber Eats or Amazon deliveries will ease and promote online shopping posing a question to the future of commercial hubs and markets. Indian consumers’ appetite for online shopping will increase from 46% now to 64% over the next six to nine months, according to a study from Capgemini Research Institute, the digital think tank of French multinational technology firm Capgemini.

Figure 2: Shopping will increase by 18% in the next few months.

Some of these ideas may seem fanciful and exaggerated for what and how a building may function in the future, but they certainly are more practical and begin to create authentic and holistic experiences, rather than just physical. 2) Mobility: Covid-19 may set the scene for a different urban landscape, which is largely governed by transformations around mobility. People have already started avoiding public transportation in favour of private vehicles or taxis or ride-sharing services by regulated cleaning. A survey conducted in 11 different countries by


Capgemini Research Institute collected responses of over 11,000 consumers, representing about 62 per cent of global annual vehicle sales, and found that health and safety concerns will continue to shape consumer behaviour even after this crisis subsides. According to the survey, about 57 per cent of Indian consumers were considering purchasing a car in 2020, which is far higher than the global average of 35 per cent.

Figure 3: Percentage of consumers considering buying a car in 2020.

Busses and trains are carrying fewer and more dispersed passengers but with lower ridership and the implementation of distancing measures, how viable will the system be if this situation continues for long? Since in the long run, ‘maintaining physical distance would reduce the rush hour capacity and cut daily revenues which may lead to these systems going bankrupt, be privatized, or even dismantled.’ (Rennard, 2020) Micro-mobility and mobility sharing which were struggling for space on the streets, competing with pedestrians, bikes, and motorized vehicles, might now be welcome as individualized affordable transport and promote better street re-designs that comprise of wider sidewalks or extended cycling lanes. But micromobility cannot be a standalone solution as it has limitations considering the distance, extreme climatic conditions, and user-friendliness for certain age groups and people with disabilities. (Abend, 2019) 3) Public Spaces: Access to public spaces is known to improve peoples’ physical and mental health and the lockdown scenario has brought renewed attention to this need. Often, the presence of people in a space is interpreted as indicating that public space is functioning and healthy. (Gehl & Syarre, 2013). However, the current pandemic endangers to strongly change our association with these spaces, particularly when occupied by people. ‘Perceptions of public

Issue 3_March 2021

space’ is an important field of research in today’s context which bring forth a variety of questions: - Will people avoid public spaces or gather in them? - Will our intuitive carrying capacity for public spaces reduce? - What spatial and temporal patterns may be seen in terms of the use of public space? - Is there a need for a new typology of public space with its changing role? - In a post-COVID world, how might we change how we gather and interpret data on public life? Other emerging directions may include developing agile, cross-sector working practices that provide work and social spaces to meet the evolving needs by realigning the built environment and its supporting infrastructure; since some organizations now find themselves with too much space or end-user facilities while others have too little. Extended and flexible operational hours will lead to a more adaptable workforce coupled with a reduction in the density of people in transit as the rush hour disappears. This will lead to a general reduction of people movement, traffic congestion, and overcrowding. A goodbye to 9-to-5 work scenario may drive people to move away from cities into more rural communities that will need additional infrastructure and facilities ranging from a mix of retail, residential, social, education, technology, and manufacturing. (Smallbone, 2020) The consequences of such a move could lead to a reinforcing and strengthening of village and town societies. Possibilities are endless of how the pandemic will shape the Post Covid world and what will unfold ahead of us.


The response to Covid-19 proves that we can swiftly adapt our cities, resources, and lifestyle to draw some extremely positive benefits and better resilience to change. It has been our attempt to bring forth such resilient responses from the community in the context of the built environment such as cultural and lifestyle responses to the new scales of spatial perception. Yes, it is required to focus on some short-term support to get the economy in motion, but the greater challenges are those we face in the long run. Preparedness planning must continue to evolve to keep pace with this heightened risk and to find solutions that enable us to respond quickly to change by creating a built environment that is adaptable, equitable, reliable and, above all, inclusive. However, severity and uncertainty

in the timing of future pandemics, stresses the need for flexible and adaptive policies that respond to such emergencies efficiently. The article/paper raises several questions with respect to the slowly evolving new normal and concerning the questions raised it appeals for conscious decisions that we as planners and designers collectively make today in relation to the upcoming concepts of urbanism to be more resilient and inclusive. Reference Abend, L. (2019). Cyclists and E-Scooters are clashing in the battle for Europe’s streets. Retrieved from Time Magazine: Alexis Kim, B. V. (2018, December 4). Mixed-use convergence & the future of buildings. Retrieved from Smith Group: Corbusier, L. (1987). The City of Tomorrow and Its Planning. New York: Dover Publications, Inc. Gehl, J., & Syarre, B. (2013). How to study Public Life. Washington DC: Island Press. Honey-Roses, J., Anguelovski, I., Bohigas, J., Chireh, V., Daher, C., Konijnendijk, C., & Nieuwenhuijsen, M. (2020, July 31). The Impact of COVID-19 on Public Space: A Review of the Emerging Questions. Cities & Health. Retrieved from https:// Institute of Medicine (US) Committee for the Study of the Future of Public Health. (1988). A History of the Public Health System. In The Future of Public Health. Washington: National Academies Press (US). Mehmet, S. (2020). TfL and Mayor unveil postlockdown London infrastructure programme. Retrieved from Intelligent Transport: transport-news/98627/tfl-and-mayor-unveil-post-lock-downlondon-infrastructure-programme/ Rennard, G. (2020). Coronavirus: challenge of reshaping UK cities after lockdown. Retrieved from BBC News: https:// Sennett, R. (2018). Building and Dwelling: ethics for the city. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Siossian, E. (2020, April 12). ‘Dinner on the driveway’ events help people feel connected despite COVID-19 isolation. Retrieved from ABC News: Smallbone, P. (2020, July 6). Reliability through resilience – Covid-19 and all that. Retrieved from Buro Happold: Wintle, T. (2020, July 8). COVID-19 and the city: How past pandemics have shaped urban landscapes. Retrieved from CGTN:


The urban rhetoric_Spatial Chronicles


Vaidehi Raipat An Urban Designer, Researcher and an Architect is the Founder and Principal of Innovature Research and Design Studio [IRDS], Bangalore. She has worked with distinguished firms and institutions before she founded IRDS in 2017. Along with being a passionate architect, her interests in the field of Temporal, Social and Cultural research also drive the agenda of IRDS. She has written, presented and published many papers in National as well as International Journals. She as a writing and research enthusiast has also published a few articles in newspapers/ magazines of National Repute.


Our cities are an interconnected web of social, cultural, physical, environmental and many more such layers. As urbanists and architects we tend to focus on the physical parameters that govern the everyday built and unbuilt space. Parameters that are quantifiable and tangible. As spatial designers, it is equally important for us to understand the temporal and intangible parameters that are implicated by our designs. Human behaviour in a particular space and the interpersonal relationships that users develop while using that space is one such intangible aspect which remains underexplored in spatial studies. “Local communities have diverse needs, including a need for physical and mental wellbeing, meaningful human relationships, high standards of living, recreational activities, and a high-quality residential environment . These factors contribute to the establishment and development of human relationships at the level of communities, social groups, or entire societies.” “In urban areas, in particular in small towns, strong interpersonal relations and the attachment to one’s place of residence contribute to the “homeliness” of urban space”(Zagroba, Szczepanska & Senetra, 2020) “Space that surrounds every individual, in which an individual exists, interacts and performs, is known as ‘human space’. Organization of the built environment around the users within their human space is known as ‘spatial order’.” (Raipat, 2021) Human perception of a particular space, its spatial order and the impact of this spatial order on ‘human behaviour’ and ‘interpersonal relationships’ is the crucial point in spatial studies which largely contributes towards social studies. Space and society are two independent concepts that function in total entanglement. when space becomes a place it’s given a name.” “space and society are circular: they are distinct but interactive and produce a cumulative effect.”(osti, 2015) This issue of ‘The Urban Rhetoric’ intends to bring together the spatial and social disciples that are so interdependent yet disconnected. An Individual tends to develop a cognitive association with the space in which they

Issue 3_March 2021

exist and this cognitive relationship is responsible for their behaviour in it. This association could also be an influence of habit or culture. “Culture is one factor contributing to people’s perception of how proxemics should be used. people from different cultures have different views on what proper personal space should be.” (Luthans, Fred, Jonathan, 2009) Concluding that user behaviour in a particular space is majorly governed by the user’s perception of the built environment around them, it is safe to Based on this perception humans tend to develop ‘defensible spaces’ around themselves which define their behaviour in it and the relationships that they develop in it. This is known as ‘Spatial Empathy’ and is responsible for determining the extent of inclusivity and human centric quality that the designed space has to offer. City planner Oscar Newman developed the concept of defensible spaces to define “how public and semi public areas in public housing can be brought under the control of residents.” he suggested that ‘Surveillance’ and ‘territoriality’ are two crucial components of defensible spaces which can be controlled by appropriate placement of door, windows and other openings or visual and physical connections or barriers. Space as one of the most expensive commodities today demands a healthy balance between economic growth, social development and protection of local traditions and cultural identity in its design process. As a consumable product its nature, character and demand is in continuous transformation that depends on the typology of needs, wants and aspirations of its users. Spatial order and harmonious urban development strategy strongly influence perceptions of an urban space, strengthen the local identity and architectural traditions of users. “Every place is designed by the space created around the built/ physical entity placed in it, the use of the building itself and the users who use it. The spatial order of the built environment imposes a specific behaviour in its users.” (Raipat, 2021) As humans develop a cognitive relationship with the environment surrounding them, this relationship dramatically impacts their behaviour and attitude towards others around them as well, hence impacting the interpersonal relationships. (Stangor, 2020) “Spatial organizations power can be used to communicate both positive or negative attitudes by affirming or denying a particular language or behaviour and facilitating the setting of the tone of a space or an organization.” (Raipat, 2021) “Honouring

the cues given by a built environment- such aswhere to have private conversations- can help keep everybody comfortable” (Ronch, 2020) The Fourth issue of The urban Rhetoric aims to develop a narrative that can assemble a multidimensional connection between the built environment and its users, hence interconnecting spatial and social studies through articles that have been developed based on opinions, research explorations and design strategies. THis issue shall try to answer the vital, human centric - urban design question which has been asked and answered several times, yet remains unsolved - “What is the impact of Spatial order on Human behaviour and interpersonal relationships?”

Reference Lefebvre H, Nicholson-Smith D. The production of space. Cambridge, USA; 1991. Luthans, Fred, and Jonathan P. Doe 2009 International Management: Culture, Strategy, and Behavior. p. 201 New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin. Osti, G. (2015). Socio-spatial relations: an attempt to move space near society (4th ed.). Italy: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste. Raipat, V. Interpersonal Relationships (1st ed.). London: IntechOpen.; 2021 Ronch, J. (2020). Spaces and interpersonal communication - I Advance Senior Care. Retrieved 23 September 2020, from Stangor, D. (2020). Affect, Behavior, and Cognition. Retrieved 26 November 2020, from- socialpsychology/chapter/affect-behavior-and-cognition/ Zagroba, M., Szczepanska, A., & Senetra, A. (2020). Analysis and Evaluation of Historical Public Spaces in Small Towns in the Polish Region of Warmia. Department Of SocioEconomic Geography, Institute Of Spatial Management And Geography, Faculty Of Geoengineering, University Of Warmia And Mazury In Olsztyn.


The urban rhetoric_Spatial Chronicles


Issue 3_March 2021

FOR PHOTOGRAPHS & ILLUSTRATION For details please visit


The urban rhetoric_Spatial Chronicles



“The spaces that we occupy, the things that we use, our perception of the built and unbuilt that surrounds us, leads to territoriality - the defensible spaces that we develop around them. These spaces define the nature and quality of our lives.”

- What is special order and human space? - How does spatial order influence user perception and Human Behaviour? - What is the impact of Spatial empathy on Interpersonal Relationships?


Issue 3_March 2021

© Kavya and Poorvita, IRDS 83

The urban rhetoric_Spatial Chronicles



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