Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Krvia Masters Jury: Sem I

KRVIA Masters: SEM I.

The idea of mapping & reading is synonym to sensing or comprehending the events but in cartographic manner. The reading of city through the cartographer lens is always a challenge. The Baroda studio exercise through its layered history brought out the complex dynamics of legal system, institutional system and retail system & strange domesticity that merges with the rest of the city. The stretch of over two kilometer had all the complexity that is a pre condition to the introduction of studio assignments. The shifts from architectural thinking to urban thinking take its own time in reaction and delineation. The studio task was appeared to have received with excitements and energy. The body of documentation and representation has attained some level of competence. The composition of jury made the session even more complex as each of them had his/her area of emphasize. The issues emphasized were ranging from understanding of pattern vs.  Resources as a planner or relationships beyond the building as an urban designer or vision & imagination as architectonic icons.

The urbanism is perhaps mediating the blurring boundaries of all the discipline hence it is often the role that one assumes more that role that one ought to be. I am very sure that it has brought out tremendous confusions about the nature of role that one need to obey, but it shall perhaps unfold itself in course of time. The idea of heritage walk was step ahead as compare to the predecessor. The conservation student approach was noteworthy.

At this juncture I am convinced that it’s the nature of urban theory course that shall aid the urban thinking and studio should become laboratory with catalyst of theory. May be it’s a time to relook at the assignment in order to examine or articulating the nature of data that we collect, the information that is deduced and the knowledge that imparts.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Although various institutes are assembling their master's program (Urban Design) in the same city but situational conditions are determining the nature of approach. The sudden rise of awareness in Urban Design is noteworthy & experiments are mending the tedious path of establishing distinct institution's approach towards the same. The distinct approaches can clearly be rationalized with respective geographical situation within the same city and perhaps it makes more sense to articulate the issues with expanding contextual references vs surgical urban intervention. The nature of administrative structure vs various boundary condition evolved over a period of time can bring about the diverse issues. 

The project of study and intervention near newly built flyover at New Panvel was one of the example that urban issues need to be localized rather than struggling for imaginative congruent urban form. The stretch of over 1.5 km had historical lakes (Lakes built during Peshwas & Lake within Jewish community), IT hubs as economic opportunity, transitional node (depot & station) & informal activity. This all adds upto to fairly complex studio assignment as setting the priority of issues are heavily embedded into nature of inquiry. 

However the approaches can be of diverse and very often conflicting or complementing  in nature as it is quite understandable as its a distinct case of re-urbanism ( planned city). The broader discussion that needs to be articulated within the urban design education that there is a difference between architectural program & urban program. The question of collective, choice & contest is an  important urban event. 

It was more of gaining experience as never had an opportunity to read the Navi Mumbai as an event city as compare to it being a transit point to most of us.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Due to urban crisis by virtue of industrialization and migration, major cities have transformed into quintessential reality of what is urban. The seemingly disorder are result of political, social and economic shifts. The cities are uniformly destined towards capitalistic goals. There is definitely a wider gap that exists in apprehension of such phenomena & strategy to deal with them. The progressive Urbanist finds their theoretical foundation into the realm of science within the academic domain. The progressive ideals are never managed to mend the way towards PROFESSINALISM & ADVOCACY in dealing with the situation.

Today urbanism is tending towards the “rational comprehensive model”, which objectively defined goal is fixing the coordinate of “laissez faire” nature of collective ideals. The methodology is seems progressive under the pretext of “Objective Consciousness” but embedded with odour of elitism, centralization and self fulfilling prophecy. The dichotomy that exist are evident in terms of elitism vs anarchy, relation vs manipulation, centralization vs de centralization, program vs laissez faire, control vs chaos, objective vs subjective.
The paradigm needs to challenge the present day objective system which in turn may facilitate the system of human activities & the city rather than cities for human activities. The shifting paradigm may able to recognize the manifold activity which may make up for the understanding of unified urban form rather than remained locked in objectivism of past.


Saturday, October 13, 2012


 After sketchy initiation KRVIA (Mumbai)-SPA (Delhi) began to shape up this year & incidentally for both the years. The exposure to domestic exchange program has distinct advantage even though it has comparable/similar cultural envelop. It is because of different geographical situation & perhaps different metaphors that city exercise on us. The approaches of both the institution are solely based on the situation that it exist. SPA emphasize on wholesome development vs. KRVIA Surgical Urban-ism is noteworthy. The SPA relocation policy is about making exclusive urban experiences while KRVIA inclusive rehabilitation strategy embedded into the strengthening economic pattern that city dwells on. Not surprisingly the stake holders at SPA are always on top of the pyramid while KRVIA is locating its stake holders at Bottom. So the argument is that similar cultural envelop but different geographical location shapes the way urbanity exerts pressure on us. The political capital vs economic capital brings the fold of urban ism subservient to its on paradigmatic thought pattern. The students have immensely benefited from KRVIA-SPA exchange. I hope that we can theorize the thought pattern & ideological grounding of both the institution with open mind & mend the way for faculty exchange on regular basis. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Alley no.1.. near Bachu Seth Ki Wadi of Kamathipura witnessing the systematic attack of real estate transformation. The entire district en-mas to about 40 acre & has history dated back to Britisher time when they developed port trust.  The red district may soon become the blue collar district. The transformation of precious precinct is inevitable due to its proximity to city center. 

The organized acquisition of important building and trading them at higher value for cluster development is a known event in inner city. The relocation policy after promises and acquisition is haphazard as much as illogical. They are relocated in distant district of Vikhroli; Mankhurd & Nalasopara. Its needless to say the nature of economic activity that may occur in due course.

Pila House/ Foras Road/ Eight cinemas were ready to entertain the certain segment or class of people. The book written by lady photographer "MARY ALLEN MARK" on Folkland Road is a historical testimony of the night life that once existed in the district. The book elaborates the life style that existed in small room/ small alley & dragging into the public realm.  The shops are already transformed into showrooms & restaurants. 

The redevelopment has symbiotic relation to rehabilitation.The rising trend of acquisition and transformation is perhaps the alarming bell for the lives that existed once in their little world. It reminds me of the song by ROD STEWART "Down Town Train". describing the Brooklyn Girls standing on doorways trying to impress but will never win you by.  


Perhaps South India had no Voltaire or Montesquieu to interpret political phenomenon in terms of pure reason. But the feeling of nationalism and patriotism was never second to any foreign country. The greatest political thinker of South India then was Maruda Pandyan a rebel leader of the Sivaganga. His concerns were revolved around:

-          Obstructive policy of the princes
-          Contestation of various groups
-          Abysmal politics of the British & company
-          Habitual submissive nature of people to authority.

Added to political & economical atrocities the inhabitants were forbidden to perform their social obligation rights & customs. The excessive practice of oppression alienated all the powerful sections of the community/ peasants/ artisans/ officials. Greatly agitated at the political malady and economic tragedy the poligars and the natives united & gave a stubborn resistance to the British imperialism. Maruda Pandyan/ Kattabomman/ Gopal Nayak/ Kerala Varma were the pioneers of the rebellion & revolutionized the native feelings against the company.

The economic exploitation of ruthless British merchants/ irregular methods in exaction of wealth/ policy of aggression/ expansion & maintenance demand of military establishment/ compulsive support to overseas trade & aggressive wars had baneful effect economic/ social sphere of life of natives. Many rebel leaders accepted the leadership of MP. Hence the Kalayarkoil of Sivaganga became the headquarters  of the liberation movement of Tamils against the British.  During early phase of hi life he fought for organization known as Seemai founded by king of Sihvaganga for liberation. Various princely state jointly planned to destroy Seemai along with the company. MP fought bravely and gallantly but Sivaganga surrendered. 
Once again he began to gain control and goodwill of people. He became the advisor of the king of Sivaganga.  The most important Trichy proclamations of MP is the best testimony of his sense of unity and philosophy. A copy of proclamation was pasted in the fort of the Trichinopoly. He made it known to people that their rights and customs were in jeopardy & its their duty to save from annihilation. He inspired the Tamilians to rise againt the mighty imperial power. The idea of proclamation spread fat and wide and many people joined the force of Sivaganga. Many chief and poligars responded to the call of MP by sending men and materials to the rebel leader. He managed to collect army of 20000 people with weapons. The rebels atacted the company in 1801. The battles were fought at Kamudi and various surroundinglocations. The prolonged siege of Kalayarkoil by the British foiled the effort of MP. His forces could not withstand the wounds caused by the British modern weapons. The multi sided attack by British left no way for MP to continue the resistance & incurred heavy losss of men & material. After six month of hard fight the MP escaped but subsequently caught and hanged thus ended the tragic tale of the South Indian Rebellion.

MP. The most illustrious strategist of this movement initiated and assumed the leadership  of the league of the patriots. He promoted rebellious spirit & added insurgent in other quarters to subvert the foundation of British Empire.

Friday, October 5, 2012


Fine urban design excersize carried out in 1914-18, housing port offices. The photographs are taken from top floor of our interior site.

SMART CITY MISSION: New Urban Paradigm of Imagination or Perception

The recent time has seen the shift in urban planning concerns of our cities, especially second tier cities. The emerging paradigm...