Rural X Governance Representation of Indigenous through architecture by decoding the Warli ontology

Author: Jainami Shah
Site Location: Dahanu, Maharashtra
Institute: Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture and Environmental Studies
Advisor: Jude Dsouza


The thesis intends to understand the distinctive identity formed by Indigenous communities by their
interconnected relationships with land and ecology.

Due to rapid urbanization, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) keeps extending its limits to the rurban peripheries. These forces have led to Industrial towns and supporting infrastructure for the metropolis being located on the outskirts of the cities leading to the depletion of the ecologies affecting the indigenous community. The tribal folklore is mainly oral and thus not valued and expressed in planning processes.

As of now the future identity of a landscape is purely hegemonic (ruling or dominant in a political context) and exploited for its resources. Participatory planning with the indigenous ideology can show a new model for a sustainable way of living – building – conserving. The dissertation attempts to address how to design and implement decision-making processes that enhance Indigenous lifeways (instead of gentrifying) and different aspects that would be instrumental in planning, governing, and developing the area.

It criticizes the nature of current development and tries to reimagine rural infrastructure and thus proposes smaller interventions that solves the lack of infrastructure while still preserving the ecology and the traditional way of life by improving the quality of common social spaces for political resistance. Here the thesis looks at the smallest form of governance the Gram Sabha (Pesa act) and how it can be activated. The site chosen for intervention was such that awareness would be activated within their daily routines.

The interventions spanned a series of scales- XS/S/M/L. From micro programmes such as rice mills, seating spaces and small infrastructures, to communal amenities for various activities and gatherings,
village level administrative programmes and festival spaces. The proposal is structured around the
imagination of Architecture as a catalyst managing Indigenous Knowledge through programmes of
dissemination, and expression, awareness building, vocational training and workshops

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Architecture with Uncertainty & Certainty : Change in wetness

Author: Jacob Babu Alappatt
Site Location: Alappuzha, Kerala
Institute: Avani Institute of design
Advisor: Ar. Aditya Nambissan


The project tries to reimagine a tropical monsoon architecture of a water landscape (wetlands) by providing the community with the infrastructure it needs and fostering a conversation between land and water to assist people in better adhering and adapting to change.

Are tropical architectural forms bound to evolve or adapt to the shift in wetness, considering architectural uncertainties and certainties related to the change in wetness? How can we develop structures that can assure a safer future by making them impervious to rain and flood?

Architectural design should change to accommodate the needs of the site and the environment by supporting duality in programming. It should be able to adjust to the transient states of the water landscape centered around the demands of the destroyed or missing public. So, the research and study must be located in a region where changing wetness conditions might cause natural disasters that can impact people’s lives and livelihoods. Here the Wetlands in Kuttanad are taken as a broader context, and Kainakary village is the micro context.

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Colonies of Anthropocene

Author: Devayani M
Site Location: Sundarbans
Institute: R V College of Architecture
Advisor: Anup Naik, Mehul Patel, Nagaraj Vastarey, U Seema Maiya


This project investigates the need to design a climate resilient and responsive form for the coastal communities in the Sundarbans with the aim of adapting to the devastating effects of climate change.

The site is located in Gosaba Island in Sundarbans which falls under the moderate to high risk zone. This island is constantly threatened by coastal erosion, environmental degradation and salt water inundation due to flooding thereby causing loss of livelihood.

The master-plan is developed to be implemented in a phased manner over the next 30 years. The
plan envisages responding to the identified natural conditions of the site and developing the design that proposes to selectively allow water flow through the site to create wetlands, and a natural mangrove buffer zone to mitigate the effects of floods and storm surges. The aim of the project is to create a prototype built form that is inspired by the local livelihood practices, skills and local typologies of construction. The design focuses on creating modular flood and storm resilient structures using bamboo as the primary building material. The buildings are raised on stilts and strategically located around the landscape and connected by elevated walkways to protect from the floods and harsh winds. The structure has modular components that can be easily customised to needs of the user.

The project is a response to the impending disaster that the people of Sundarbans have to face. Through symbiotically fusing the built environment within a natural ecology, the architecture is designed to positively sustain the landscape and its people.

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Designing Architecture for Humanitarian Purposes

Author: Abhishek Rameshbhai Donda
Site Location: Slums (J.K.Puri) , Jajmau, Kanpur
Institute: Sarvajanik College of Engineering and Technology, Surat
Advisor: Prof. Niraj D. Naik


The project looked at how architecture could be used as a tool to empower and improve the living conditions of tannery workers in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

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Housing For Migrant Construction Workers

Author: Rishabh Verma
Site Location: Mandala Metro Depot, Mumbai
Institute: Pillai College of Architecture, Panvel
Advisor: Ar. Kavita Sawant.


The proposal explores the current state of construction workers housing/accommodation and how this scenario can be countered by providing a solution based on quick planning and its execution on multiple sites. This is achieved by utilizing principles of Design for Disassembly in combination with a field volume generated aggregation. This has been done while also maintaining the comfort factor by ensuring existing techniques and materials specific to a climatic zone are used.

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Designing a Social Housing in Vadodara

Author: Kairavi Gandhi
Site Location: Squirrel Circle, Vadodara
Institute: SEDA, Navrachna University
Advisor: Pratyush Shankar


The project aims to design a better living environment and to bring social communities instead of individual living in an affordable housing. The nuclei of the proposed intervention are based on the idea of the coexistence of collective and private.

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Reinterpreting Communal Spaces In Neighbourhood Development for Community Living

Author: Shreya Manoj Sulgekar
Site Location: Venketeshwar Nagar, Hubli, Karnataka
Institute: KLS Gogte Institute of Technology, Belagavi
Advisor: Ar. Amit V Prasadi


The project looks at how we could reinterpret the spaces in built and unbuilt forms with new ideas and characteristics that enhance communal living.

In the context of India’s rapidly urbanisation, there has been a wide negligence on communal spaces in contemporary housing neighbourhoods. ‘Communitiy’ came from familiarity around families and neighbours, familiar places, a daily rhythm, social systems and customs that people understood. Now with emigration and greater physical and social mobility, many of the people find themselves in places far from home, living in communities defined not by common acquaintance, knowledge and culture, but by geography or economics. This loss of defined communal spaces has also diminished the feeling of belonging and privacy.  

By creating spaces where all members of the community can engage naturally and get to know one another, communities can become places where people live together, care about one another and share hope. The project looks at how the development of communal spaces in residential complexes creates social stability and a sustainable way of life in a community.

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Makaan: Affordable Rentals for Migrant Naka Workers In Pune

Author: Ravi Varma
Site Location: Rahatani Naka, Pune
Institute: VIT’s PVP College of Architecture, Pune
Advisor: Ar. Shekhar Garud


This thesis looked at migrant workers who look for construction work through a Naka (an informal roadside labour market), their kin and other migration-source-area-based social networks crucially shaping their pathways, thus influencing the housing location and typologies by improving their living conditions and make them feel as a part of the city.

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Pre Fab City

Author: Danesh Patel
Site Location: Gujarat International Finance City (GIFT) Gandhinagar, Gujarat
Institute: SAL School of Architecture, Ahmedabad
Advisor: Zubin choksi


This project aims to prove that, for high-rise buildings, prefabricated modular systems can be used. This would allow for greater flexibility of design in a prefabricated modular framework and to construct a structural judgement process that can be used for the construction of a prefabricated high-rise reusable modular building with a personalized geometry.

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