KRVIA Post-graduate Workshops
Urban Design - August 17th - 21st
The central idea of this workshop is to expose students to urban design processes in the real world, in actual sites and situations around them. The intent is to create a discourse around the agency of the urban designer as a practitioner, a problem-solver in his/her own locality, neighbourhood, and city. Either through established practices, as part of like-minded collaboratives, or as solo practitioners, urban practitioners around the country are now taking
charge of bettering their surrounding built environment. This idea of the urban designer as a self-initiated practitioner will be realized through discussions and site visits with Sameep Padora, representing The Bandra Collective, a visit to St. Stephen’s steps, designed by Alan Abraham (Bombay Greenway), and urban practitioner Rinka DMonte, and through short exercises aimed at generating ideas and approaches to intervene and improve actual sites around the city. Thus, the workshop will be hands-on, dealing with real sites, their problems, and ideas about possible micro interventions. In terms of focus area, the workshop will be pivoted around open public spaces at the neighbourhood level.
The Bandra Collective – a collaborative of six Bandra-based architects, working pro-bono to imagine and realize public spaces in Bandra, Bombay Greenway – ‘a not-for-profit urban design and research platform’ has worked on re-imagining derelict spaces as multi-use public spaces, and Mumbai-based architect and urban practitioner Rinka DMonte has worked on revamping gardens in Bandra. Through a dialogue with some of these self-initiated urban practitioners, the students will be exposed to their thoughts, processes, and approaches –
How do they imagine public spaces and how do they get them built?
The dialogue will be followed by a series of short exercises in which the students will be assigned different sites across the city, where they will work in groups to think about potential ideas and interventions. The aim is to encourage students to think about ideas, brainstorm, and communicate them without formal presentations or computer-generated, polished renders and simulations. Thus, through short, tightly-timed tasks, the students will be pushed to think and communicate without pressures of formal presentations. The exercises will be underpinned by the idea that open public spaces need to be legible and accessible, to begin with. They need to be publicly visible and inviting enough for anybody to walk in and make use of them. Their inner program and sets of activities come in later. They also need to have a larger impact on the neighbourhood, wherein, an open public space attracts people
from different localities because of the visibility and openness of the place as well as the kind of activities and programs that unfold within it. This way, it becomes a magnet for people from the larger neighbourhood, or even from other neighbourhoods around.
The workshop will thus be a hands-on experience of looking into neighbourhoods around you, and thinking about ideas for open public spaces which can make their urban experience better. It is also an initiation into thinking about the role of the urban designer as an urban practitioner, with an agency to bring about change in his/her own neighbourhood, through self-driven initiatives and interventions