Tuesday, May 13, 2014


One of the characteristics distinguishing Urban from architecture (A) is that of having long exalted the condition of individual to collective, singular to plural, intuitive to rationale, exclusion to inclusion, control to freedom, object to civility etc.. Inhabiting, as a notion, implies sense of belonging to a “concrete” place, region, identifiable as such, and decipherable as an area with particular annex: a place, therefore it is “comprehensible” in its extent. It perhaps long journey to distinguish this terminology in its conceptual presence and perhaps thesis is medium to comprehend the fundamental territories & constitution of word urban.

The thesis projects of departing batch demonstrated, richly enough the urban texture as large pattern formation, purely out of regional specificity. The each project managed to arrive analytically, at geographical specificity with clear urban perspective. Here the earlier argument implies accurately, that thesis has managed to articulate the word urban concept. The range of topics dealt with & questioning, what is collective, what is history and its relevance, what is public realm, what is periphery, what is urban, what is urban form and planning process. Each idea built with very specific lens and arrived at the argument. The issues are arrived at but demonstrations are still far from desirable.

Urban design interventions perhaps deals with subsistence without being competitive, visionary without being exuberant, conservative without being dogmatic, plural without being uncontrolled, regional without being political optimization, secular without being intangible, interactive without being varied domains. The coming years for masters with its richness of variety, multidisciplinary canvas, needs to develop specific action areas & mechanism to address and expand the frontiers of urban design.

Monday, May 12, 2014



The built environment in a capitalistic society is the tool through which social harmony is created. Harvey views the nature of a capitalistic society as a balancing of the conflicting interest between economic factions. A complex web of interrelationships is the economic dynamo that steers ours society, and that dynamo is housed within the built environment which encompasses us. The author, therefore perceives the planner's role as maintaining and managing the built environment in order to stabilize society and allow for balanced growth by the capitalistic norms and interest.

The author's primary hypothesis is that capitalistic societies are made up of four distinct economic groups, and each group is vying for their share of the finite resources within the built environment:

i) The class of labourers is the group that sales the labour power as a commodity in exchange of wages. The labour sees the built environment as its means for survival

ii) The capitalists are the entrepreneurial class whose intent is to make profit. The capitalists sees built environment as a means of accumulating capital and as market for their commodities.

iii) The policy makers sees built environment as means to control the density, resources and agglomeration. 

iv) The land stake holders sees built environment as means of ownership from investment.

The author believes that the basic driving force in the continuance of capitalism is the inherent conflict between these factions. The interest of the four groups are constantly pulling for their greatest share of the benefits form built environment. The harmonious balance of the four will result in further investment into the built environment, guaranteeing a continuous flow of production and consumption. But author contends, if one of these groups gains an inordinate share of power or influence, a crisis is the result. These crisis can come in the form of low profits, high unemployment, inflation, idle capital, political chaos or civil unrest.

As a result, it is the role of the government to insure that investment in the built environment is coordinated. The planner, as agent of the government, is therefore responsible for devising the right balance of the three social requirements: private market operations, monopolistic control, and state intervention. The author defines the planners as the " righter of wrongs", "corrector of imbalance" and "defender of the public interest". and believes that these qualities should be used in order to facilitate the furtherance of capitalistic society in a manner in which crises are avoided.

For this to come about, the author concludes, an ideological shift is necessary in the planning profession.  The author argues that the planner should not focused upon one social group,  such as urban poor or squatter settlement, rather planner should become advocate of ideology of capitalism and business of rationality.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014



This is an ancestral house of family built 160 years ago. It is located in subdued corner of the city, making it almost inaccessible and invisible. The house is built in laterite stone (Chira) which is a typical characteristic of konkan, karwar & kerala region. The house plan has distinct three layers, namely outer ring of verandah and services, inner ring of family function and central being open to sky and consisting of most sacred function. The central open space is known as Nadumuttom, which helps dividing house in quadrants. The courtyard house typology is also known as Nalukettu House (The librarian from local architecture school showed the houses in Calicut with immense knowledge of spaces, constructions & material).  

The plan is typically divided based on scriptures and nomenclature of spaces and direction. The second layer is further divided, based on degree of privacy. The characteristic space of house was the room for family ancestral historical photographs. The aperture of house is controlled severely so that interior is exterior relation stands in stark contrast. The other features were the wall sections, double roof, scoped out single seat balcony space. These elements almost suggest that house is most sacred function of our existence and the interaction to the world outside is restricted as if strict division is symbolic to the search of solace of being within being.

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...