SEMESTER III STUDIO
(URBAN DESIGN + URBAN CONSERVATION)
The new paradigm called for planning practice to be “bottom up” and “people centred”, and not relies on economists, engineers and statisticians alone. The significance of anthropologists, sociologists, scholars of cultural studies and grassroots activists who were closer to people were brought within the folds of this new planning discourse. Institutionally, it called for a shift from state to non – state actors like community based organizations (CBOs) private voluntary organizations that were efficient, equitable, flexible and accountable.
The semester III studio organizes around the background knowledge and expertise gained through the previous studio works on mapping, representing, urban history, urban housing, urban landscaping and urban transportation
The studio intends to explore the concept of Communicative Action and what it would mean in the context of creating local area plans within local governments in consultation with local agencies. The idea of Communicative Action, as Jurgen Habermas describes it, is an important type of social action, in which the actors in society seek to reach common understanding and take coordinated actions by reasoned argument, consensus and cooperation rather than strategic action, strictly in pursuit of their own goals (Habermas, 1984, p.86).
The studio sites for the LAP studio were Mumbai GAOTHANS (Indigenous Urban Villages) within Municipal Corporations located within the city. The context of the city opens up the possibility of engaging with a different set of community groups who have unique set of relationship with the history of the city, its evolution and transformation.
The studio working has been extremely challenging due to the diverse stake holders and aging focused group coupled with real estate pressure. The studio worked on the different scenarios and strategies to revive, restore and rejuvenate the majority of Gaothans within the flexible parameter of augmentation of infrastructure and amenities, heritage guidelines, re-adaptive framework. The policy guidelines and TDR structure makes the studio project in the most complex decision structure. The operative intervention models are limited but the studio enabled the learning process of such complex dynamics of heritage and real estate.