Encounters: Climate Change as a Risk Driver for World Heritage Sites..

KRVIA Encounters

Sneha Kishnadwala

A research project was conducted as a part of a scholarship program by Indian National Trust of Arts and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) Heritage Academy in 2020 – 2021 to prepare a Climate Risk Assessment for World Heritage Site, Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai. An evaluation of climate change risks of this site was done for three different time slices, i.e. 2030, 2050 and 2070. It has assessed values of economic, social, and cultural (ESC) dependency for this WHS of Mumbai.
With this background research, adaptation and mitigation strategies which need to be planned. Few of these strategies include ‘building with nature’ instead of combating climate change and its impacts. Also, the WHS also being a part of the commercial capital of the country it has become more to safeguard the values of economic importance too along with the possible vulnerability to the Outstanding Universal Values of the ensembles of Mumbai.
This presentation will explore the possible adaptation methods for climate change as risk drivers for the World Heritage Site: Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai.

Sneha holds a B. Arch from University of Mumbai and M.Sc. in Architectural Design for Conservation of Built Heritage from University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, UK. Currently, she is working with INTACH Heritage Academy in New Delhi and coordinating the PG Diploma in Heritage studies since 2018.Along with this she is also a visiting faculty at KRVIA at their Masters in Urban Conservation programme in Mumbai, India, since 2017.

She has worked on Izzat Khan’s mosque at her native town, Bharuch. She received the INTACH Research Scholarship (2020 – 21) to conduct a research on Climate Risk Assessment for the WHS: Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai. She is also the winner of the Young Professionals Forum 2021 for her work on Making Future for the Past: Conversation of History of Conservation, an Indian

Encounters: Proseterity: Prose for Posterity

KRVIA Encounters

Aastha D.

Proseterity: Prose for Posterity

A literary magazine was born in the turmoils of a global pandemic to publish prose with a purpose—hope. Hope that is anchored in radical empathy, critical thought, and intersectionality. Hope that fuels tomorrow. Proseterity thrives on challenging the status quo, one (problematic) norm at a time, and speaks of alternative imagined futures. We look for voices of dissent; stories that use the personal “I” to speak to the collective “we”, provoke discussions, transgress normative boundaries, experiment with form and format.

Proseterity has a Manifesto and an Editorial Board (spread across the world geographically and socio-racially), that serve as an ethical and visionary compass. We encourage pieces that are unafraid to pose new ‘what if…?’s, speak uncomfortable truths, subvert different forms of power, extend words of solace and solidarity, and prompt new definitions of our social ecosystem. We believe in the power of the written word in shaping futures, minds and lives. Proseterity is a space for one who writes with fire, urgency, truth and passion.
Aastha D. (she/they) is an independent scholar, curator, designer and educator. She has a background in architecture, with a masters from Columbia University, New York. Aastha works at the intersections of design, culture, and feminist theory. Currently, she works between institutes in New York and Mumbai; contributes to publications of design and culture; teaches critical thinking and creative writing; conducts research; and curates events and publications; and is the Founding Editor at Proseterity, a quarterly literary magazine.

Encounters: Maharashtra Step-wells Campaign

KRVIA Encounters

Rohan Kale

Rohan Kale, Pioneer of the Maharashtra Stepwells Campaign, presented his talk,
“Maharashtra Stepwells Campaign”
(Preservation, Conservation and Revival of Stepwells through People’s Participation).
*Mapping & Documenting thousands of Stepwells including Architectural Documentation & Drone Shots.
*Reviving Stepwells for Water Conservation.
*Identifying Unique Stepwells as Tourist Attractions.
*Stepwells Deepotsav / Mahotsav (Cultural Programs at Stepwells).
*Study of Ancient/Medieval Period Trade Routes as Stepwells were built along the trade routes.

Encounters: Building worlds: Encounters of Praxis & Obsolescence

KRVIA Encounters

Sarosh Anklesaria

Building worlds: Encounters of Praxis & Obsolescence
The talk will use recent work to consider questions of obsolescence for buildings and cities. It will investigate the entanglements between modernist architecture, collective memory, and meaning in the built environment, to offer reflections on an antimodernist ethos of care, repair and participatory praxis.
Sarosh Anklesaria is the T. David Fitz-Gibbon Professor of Architecture and Track Chair of the M.Arch program at Carnegie Mellon University. Anklesaria’s work considers architecture’s entanglements with questions of ecological justice, obsolescence and care. His design research has been supported by the Richard Rogers Fellowship from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Taliesin Fellowship and the Art Omi Residency. Anklesaria’s writing, design, research, and advocacy work has been published in The New York Times, The Architectural Review, Domus, Architect’s Newspaper, Design Today and recently in Expansions: Responses to How Will We Live Together for the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale. He has worked as an architect for Diller Scofidio and Renfro, Herzog & de Meuron and B.V. Doshi. Anklesaria holds a diploma in architecture from CEPT University, Ahmedabad and a post-professional Master of Architecture from Cornell University.

Climate Change and The Profession

KAA Update

Kimaya Keluskar

KRVIA Alumna, Kimaya Keluskar and Sandeep Menon(former faculty) contributed to course work for masters and bachelors study which was featured in the Journal of Landscape Architecture/Climate change in Academics.
The article compiles some of the ideas and approaches adopted by architecture and landscape academic institutions in the country to address the phenomenon of Climate Change. They cover a canvas of understanding diverse multiscalar and a variety of contexts, expanding on their distinct concerns and possibilities in the gamut of the subject.

Click here to read the article 

KRVIA@30: Visual Diary 2022-2021

Visual Diary – 1992

KRVIA Inception

With the onset of macroeconomic reforms in the early 1990s, multiple private architectural schools came up in Mumbai. Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture and Environmental Studies (KRVIA) was one of them. The school admitted its first batch of students in 1992. Since its inception, the school has been very conscious of its origin in the neo-liberal moment, which precipitated a major shift in the role and nature of education and the profession in the country.

Over the years, through various debates, engagements and experiments, KRIVA has evolved its own distinctive approach to education in architecture. At KRVIA, architecture as a discipline is imagined as an integral part of multidisciplinary cultural studies and believes in public engagement in the city that can allow critical interventions in the built environment. We trace some of the key moments of the past thirty years through these visuals.

KRVIA Director Appointment

Prof. Sen Kapadia was appointed the founder Director of KRVIA.

During its formative years, the founder director set the tone of the institute’s pedagogy. The formative circumstances of KRVIA had to deal with the existing dogmatic structure of evaluation-based academics, undermining the enabling and engaging-based academics. The founding director enabled the process with fresh ideological questions on Indian Aesthetics. The teaching methods revolved around the question of representation and aesthetics. The architecture emerged as an assemblage of various  forces that were assumed to be Indian. This phase also founded the various theoretical discourses around global architectural theories and its relevance in the Indian context. The emergence of inter-disciplinary understanding, the Encounter lecture series and the annual journal (Reflections) are important milestones that have formed KRVIA as an important centre for architectural learning.


KRVIA@30: Visual Diary 2022-2021

Visual Diary – 1993

KRVIA Newsletter   

The institution strived to engage students further with happenings in the college. ‘Newsletter’ was introduced to feature student articles, ongoing workshops, studios, study trips and exchange programs of the respective semesters and showcased student work as well. The Newsletter continues to be published twice a year and over the years has become an essential archive that allows the school to map its own trajectories

KRVIA Events

KRVIA hosted their first conference on Architectural Education

KRVIA Encounters and Guest Lectures  

Eminent personalities like Sudhir Patwardhan, Ranjit Hoskote and others presented their work at KRVIA Encounters

KRVIA@30: Visual Diary 2022-2021

Visual Diary – 1994

KRVIA Exchange Program   


KRVIA had its first exchange program with the McGill University, Canada 

KRVIA Exhibition

The “Circling the Square” exhibition, an exhibition of objects of art, was held at the KRVIA 

KRVIA Encounters and Guest Lectures  

Sudhir Patwardhan, Atul Dodiya and others presented presented their work at KRVIA. Encounters

KRVIA@30: Visual Diary 2022-2021

Visual Diary – 1995

KRVIA Research and Design Cell  

Mill Lands Project

KRVIA officially started the KRVIA Design Cell in 1995 with the Mill Lands Project. The project studied the status of defunct mill lands and identified urban design strategies for the same. Working with the Charles Correa Committee appointed by the Government of Maharashtra and sponsored by the Urban Design Research Institute, the research hoped to build better open spaces for the city of Mumbai with continued development.



KRVIA Encounters and Guest Lectures  

Astad Deboo presented his work through a performance for the students and faculty at KRVIA

Bobby Desai demonstrated the installation of a tensile structure on the roof of GRS School at Khar, Mumbai

KRVIA Special Lecture

Charles Correa conducted a lecture and exhibited his work at the KRVIA

Bobby Desai demonstrated the installation of a tensile structure on the roof of GRS School at Khar, Mumbai

Prof. Paul Walker presented a talk on New Museum Architecture in Australia




 An Integrated Approach for Development of Kuttanad Region 

Keywords: GIAHS, integrated approach, livelihood, natural values, cultural values, marginalized communities, perceptions, changing aspirations

This thesis explores the Kuttanad agricultural systems, designated as a Globally important agricultural heritage systems (GIAHS)(1). It is an ecologically sensitive area, having a deep interconnection with local livelihood, food security, biodiversity, traditional knowledge system and cultural-social organization. Such systems lie at the interface of nature-culture and are directly dependent and shaped by local resources and communities. In the history of conservation buildings were considered as heritage. Its values and significance was defined and conserved as an important resource for mankind. Throughout the journey various theories, charters, ideologies in conservation discourse understood, recognized, accepted and established that heritage is much vast and includes all the complexities. Over the time it was categorized under natural-cultural sites and accepted by ICMOS.

Nature culture reflects human diversity, uniquely shaped by evolution and cultural practices (where, culture is defined as anything shared by way of specific process of learning). In natural resources water is one of the most important resources and supports a wide range of biodiversity and sustains the livelihoods and the wellbeing of a myriad people and civilizations. Over the last few decades, haphazard urbanization, unbridled expansion of manufacturing activities, burgeoning growth in the use of chemical inputs in agriculture and pressure of growing populations—both resident as well as floating, has made water ecosystems unsustainable in many parts impacting the entire region. This is the same case clearly evident in the context of Kuttanad. Development here should have an integrated approach without ignoring natural and cultural values that forms the foundation of the region. It is called as the ‘granary of Kerala’ (i.e. Keralathinde Nellara), is the only place in India and one of the rarest sites in the world where below-sea-level polder-farming-system(2) is done. It is intrinsically linked with natural resources like land and water making it a geographically unique zone.

It has a closely woven net of relationships between nature and culture that reflects people’s identity. The land is created by indigenous communities by several reclamation for agriculture, understanding the context formed by the confluence of four major rivers-Meenachil, Manimala, Pampa, Achenkovil flowing towards the north-western direction, debouching into the Vembanad backwater making the region suitable for paddy cultivation. This region is formed below-sea-level, hence nourishing the Vembanad backwaters with salt intrusion making it rich with aquatic life, another source of livelihood for the indigenous people. It has a series of layers through time, each layer able to tell us a human story, imbued with cultural values forming this system which relates directly to the peoples ideologies. The character of the landscape thus reflects the values of the people who have shaped it, and who continue to live in it. Kuttanad is threatened by insensitive development focusing on economic, commercial and political benefits. This degraded the natural assets, leading to an imbalance that further led to natural disasters like floods ruing the entire system. Risking the livelihood, health and wellbeing of marginalized communities and threatening the tangible and intangible heritage.

The study intents to investigate the existing proposal, interventions, and issues around the degradation of the system and provide solutions understanding the values and perceptions associated with the community and the changing aspirations and conflicts emerged amongst them. To recognize and harness the interconnection of natural values and cultural values for the protection and management of the GIAHS(1) in Kuttanad.

Foot note

  1. GIAHS: The Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) represent not only stunning natural landscapes but also
    agricultural practices that create livelihoods in rural areas while combining biodiversity, resilient ecosystems and tradition and innovation.
  2. polder-farming-system: A polder is a low-lying tract of land that forms an artificial hydrological entity, enclosed by embankments known
    as dikes.