Dissertation Colloquium: Shortlisted Entry

Shortlisted Entry

Sumit Jadhav

Rethinking public transportation infrastructure through understanding the characteristics of ecosystems to look at architecture as a transformative and adaptive force in the urban context


“If we consider ecology as a metaphor for Mumbai, what will be the element that is creating it?” “Then public Transportation will be the DNA of the city.

Transportation can serve as a key transformative force as this is an interface between the public and their infrastructure.

It has shapes the city through its evolving process. “Public transport system is an integral part of a city like Mumbai as it has been the locus for growth and development.

Mumbai’s BEST bus is one of the oldest Transportation Systems. BEST can be transformed when architecture begins to respond and play out through the ecosystems that are around that particular structure and is created over the time. Here, we can apply all the characteristics of a natural ecosystem. An ecosystem where all organisms are dependent upon each other and help one another to evolve and adapt.

What Best really need to just break their boundary and allow people to be part of infrastructure. Need to negotiate with their space and make infrastructure adaptive for toady’s context. Which will help the   new infrastructure has capacity to solve problems which city is facing or city gone face in future.

As time changes, necessities where also get shifted to something else. How can be developing today’s context, and how it can change its purposes when requirements get shifted.’

Dissertation Colloquium: Shortlisted Entry

Shortlisted Entry

Rashmi Varma

The thesis is an inquiry into aspects of Media Ecology i.e., looking at media as an environment one inhabits that perennially structures human perception, behavior and engagement with its polity. In an age of hyperreality and information overdose, it is imperative to identify and inspect what affects the way we think- especially as citizens of a democratic society that is divided on the basis of what media one has access to. The alienation is beyond ideological- it begins with a physical access to a medium that then crafts an experience on the basis of its design. Hypothesizing whether the design of the medium alters the way information is generated and engaged with.


Through the architecture of a medium, the aim is to discover a network of spaces required to create accesses that bring the public on a collective level of real-world engagement. A study of network based public institutions led to the exploration of the structure of our postal network, to tap into its existing extensive infrastructure and revamping it for the creation of democratic media spaces. To foster a bottom-up approach by creating agency at multiple levels and in autonomous mobile formats- where the medium is both, a space and an event.


The thesis hopes to discover ways of creating more informed/evolved media environments and making the production of information more transparent and participatory. To decentralize voices and power by the creation of an alternate media network to ultimately have more control and say in our collective media environment.

Dissertation Colloquium: Shortlisted Entry

Shortlisted Entry

Jaee Naik



Our cities breed and grow from natural ecosystems. The relationship that water bodies and their allied landscapes share with the communities, its ecology has been changing inevitably. Rivers along with other ‘natural ecosystems’ have been commodified and manipulated in the modern-day urban setups for procuring land and the expanding urbanized boundaries. Rivers have always been shared resources that fulfill the needs of the communities. Communities effectively managed and sustained the river resources through centuries, but the changing perception of the urban ecological resources has rendered a landscape and eventually has forced communities to be devoid of having an interaction with nature.

The thesis intends to examine the changing socio-ecological relationships between the land, the river and different communities, across time. The thesis attempts to analyse and tell the story of an urban river through the lens of local and collective histories, ecologies with juxtaposition of the policies and the political imagination of landscapes by the state. The state, the market and the urban communities perceive the urban landscapes in varied ways today. These perceptions are shaped by different socio-economic and political agendas and desires. The methodology examines the chronological evolution of the Dahisar river landscape with the layers of socio-culture significance and its ecology, to build a narrative. The changing associations and values assigned to the river can be laid out to conclude the future imagination of the landscape.

The thesis aims to reshape the perception of urban rivers and evoke considerations of socio-ecological relationships in the designing urban landscapes, and making it an ‘Urban common’ by community stewardship, and through systemic interventions conserving its ecology.

Natural ecosystems, commodified, shared resources, reshaping socio- ecological relationships, urban common.

Dissertation Colloquium: Shortlisted Entry

Shortlisted Entry

Rajvi Anandpara


                                -A case of the local Gandhi Museum

The thesis intents to imagine the history that is lived and experienced in the contemporary through Architecture of Memory. The idea of history invokes notions of human agency, change, the role of material circumstances in human affairs. A connection with history in an urban landscape raises the possibility of learning from it and it suggests the chances of better understanding ourselves in the present, by comprehending the forces, choices, and circumstances that brought us to our current situation.

In an urban setting time often lays flat and the history of a place remains static. Kora Kendra lands in the Borivali suburb traces its history from post-independence in 1948 when the Mumbai Suburban District Village Industries Association (MSDAIA) purchased the lands from the government to promote Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophical and political ideologies. Extensive agricultural and small-scale industrial practices began in the neighborhood with the core ideas of self-reliance, integrity, hands-on labor and vocational training. The Gandhi Museum in the locality is a symbol of our citizenship and also acts as a ‘Mnemonic Device’ for people as it resonates Gandhi’s ideas and philosophies through its programs and spatial features. Over the years the land has been exploited and has failed to serve its purpose. The museum is not visited much and is unknown to many as it fails to function in a new participatory manner.

The thesis aims to reinterpret the idea of a museum in contemporary. It also attempts to understand the relevance of Mahatma Gandhi’s ideologies and how can it sculpt our lives in the present by reimagining the practices of a Body, of Learning, of Building Communities, and Acts of our Citizenship in a suburban and metropolitan context. This will be done through an extensive study of existing Gandhian institutions and the urban neighborhood of Borivali.

Dissertation Colloquium: Shortlisted Entry

Shortlisted Entry

Saivi Shah

Socializing on a Reconstructed Landscape.

Cultural Constructs x Building Regulations


An approach to re-contextualize the Community Housing and retain cultural manifestations through architecture, by reinforcing the building regulations in the Inner City, Mumbai.


The thesis acknowledges that the homogeneity in the urban fabric of Mumbai, is broken by communities present in ‘cultural neighborhoods’, that have existed within the city since the time of its formation, and express culture as a physical construct. The resultant built form and way of life was hence diverse, enabled by the volumetric regulations of the Bombay Improvement Trust (BIT) and appropriations done by inhabitants. Their urban morphology (built form and landscape), openness in the fabric, ‘outdoor rooms’, physical/ visual connections with streets and architectural elements facilitating these, fostered a communal way of living and the inhabitants developed a sense of familiarity not only with each other, but also their surroundings.


Till date, they exist as vibrant patchworks within the globalized fabric. However, today’s restrictive, profit – driven building regulation regime eliminates the possibilities for any kind of differentiation, fragments communities, and destroys identifiable neighborhoods causing them to blend with the rest of the city.


In this context, the thesis demonstrates how cultural constructs can be captured in the architecture for the community and suggests any modifications in the Development Control Regulations that need to be done, in order to manifest their spatial identity.


The architectural intent is thus, to re-contextualize the community housing and imagine the everyday within these communities, to enhance the existing relationships and provide opportunities for newer interactions such that it not only facilitates their unique way of living, but also identifies them, apart from catering to their urban aspirations of living in a city.

Dissertation Colloquium: Shortlisted Entry

Shortlisted Entry

Anuja Jain

Within, Around and Beyond

– an experiment with the Apartment typology




“The home should be an expanded world, such that one should be at home in the world, the ‘home’ and ‘the world’ are not separate areas of existence but extensions’ of one another through us – we who inhabit it”

– Kaiwan Mehta (Domus |Feb 2018)



Home – the smallest unit of life, is not just a space bounded by four walls, but a container of human interactions, a place of social cohesion, a reflection of human activities, and a medium of communication with the outside world – the urban realm. These complexly layered relationships which define the space, the people, and the city as a whole, have been overshadowed by the commodification of space which has reduced it to a mere object for consumption, transforming the role of the home into a money-making machine, rather than a social institution.


This has drastically changed the housing landscape within the city, creating a difference between the house and the home, the resident and the user, the housing and the urban realm, the planned and the lived space, thus creating individualized identities as against the evolution of a larger whole through a web of interactions and relationships between the body and space.


Thus, the thesis tries to investigates the nature of Apartments – a normative typology in the city, through the lens of ‘Theory of Reciprocity’ by Aldo van Eyck, to re-imagine housing not only as means of serving domesticity but also as an extension of the urbanity. It intends to deconstruct the apartments as a set of reciprocal relationships between the people, space, and the city, establishing an ambivalence between the qualitative and the quantitative aspect of the space

Dissertation Colloquium: Shortlisted Entry

Shortlisted Entry

Asmita Patnaik

Constructing Eudemonia

Generating Positive experiences in the Everyday


As our daily experiences in the city become such an integral part of our memories and associations, what is the quality of the urban space wherein our everyday events take place?


Today, ad-hoc urbanism and stressful urban lifestyle create a state of psychological discomfort which leads to palpating urban stress and anxiety in metros. This conversation brings forth a paradigm shift in the way we look at our cities, to consciously rebuilding the fabric to bring subjective wellbeing at the locus of planning and design. The thesis explores the urban environment understood as an experience that has an emotional stimulus.


The thesis, set in Mumbai is an exploration of experience to a spatial setting, where urban environment is understood as an experience which has an emotional stimulus to understand what is necessary to facilitate urban happiness and wellbeing within the work-live paradigm in the socially incoherent city life.


From this exploration of experience to a spatial setting, the importance of creating pro-social spaces in the construction of joy came through, in the daily movements. As a person’s movement in a city often becomes very controlled within the work – live transect, the railway station becomes a critical node to create a third space which encapsulates joy.


Lower Parel, a mixed-use precinct was chosen as the intervention site due to its sporadic nature of urban growth which makes the experience of even a 10-minute walk in the precinct a stressful one. The project lies in its transitional interface exploring ways to amplify and alleviate the issues of stress and social isolation. Wellbeing can only be achieved when people have a control over their daily routines and experiences, thus the design is imagined as varied trails running through the structure, each with its own speed setting and sequential experience.

Dissertation Colloquium: Shortlisted Entry

Shortlisted Entry

Ishita Kohli


Education is the primary driving force in the social and economic progress of a nation. 

By studying the initiatives taken by the government and through surveys & interviews, the thesis analyzes the condition of the Indian education system in terms of infrastructure, social equity, community participation, methods of teaching, etc. 

Based on government policies, case studies, and other literary works, a method is developed to envision an alternate mode of learning in an urban setting. It envisages an experimental decentralized mode of education that is free (or easily affordable), equal, non-mandatory, and state-funded. It is provided through a common learning system with neighborhood schools and the absence of commonly conducted examinations as assessment instruments.

The dissertation recognizes that schools are the primary source of Foundational Literacy and Numeracy skills and should continue imparting these skills. But argues that other forms of learning must also take place outside the school. 

It aims to provide students from multiple schools, both public and private, with a common space for sharing ideas and discovering themselves through mainstream subjects and other co-curricular activities of their own choice but outside the bounds of a curriculum. It also identifies nature conservation and technology as an integral part of education and tries to integrate them into the various ways of learning.

Encounters: Urbanization of the Sea

Urbanisation of the Sea

Nancy Couling

Nancy Couling is a researching architect and Associate Professor of Projects and Planning at the Bergen School of Architecture. Inspired by frequently intangible, invisible yet critical large-scale urban phenomena, her research has been focused on the urbanisation of the sea. Following architectural studies in her native New Zealand, she was awarded a post-grad fellowship at IUAV, Venice and worked in international practices before co-founding her own interdisciplinary agency cet-0/01 in Berlin. In 2015 she gained her PhD at the EPFL, then a post-doc Marie Curie Fellowship at the TU Delft 2017-19 investigating urbanisation processes in the North Sea. She frequently lectures, exhibits and publishes– “The Urbanisation of the Sea: from concepts and analysis to design”, with Carola Hein (2020), is the latest book. In Bergen she runs the master design course “Explorations in Ocean Space”, investigating the North and Norwegian Seas through technical, artistic, ecological and performative spatial perspectives.

Encounters: Superuse


Jos de Krieger

Jos de Krieger is one of the partners of Superuse and has been working on the reuse of materials for over 15 years. He was creative director for Festa and speaker at TedX in Christchurch (NZ) in 2016. Currently he is a research mentor for TU Delft graduate students at the Faculty of Architecture.
The international architecture collective Superuse considers design not as a linear, but circular process of use and re-use. It focuses on the latent properties of used materials and how these offer an added value to new products and buildings. Their work is based on the Blue Economy, a holistic view of nature, mankind and economy with the aim of no longer producing waste, but rather returning everything to the material cycle. For advocates of this principle, Superuse are currently transforming a former adventure pool in Rotterdam into the BlueCity circular hub, where they also work themselves.

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