Kinetic City & Other Essays

Book Release Discussants

Rahul Mehrotra

Rahul Mehrotra is the founder principal of RMA Architects. He divides his time between working in Mumbai and Boston and teaching at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University where he is Professor of Urban Design and Planning and the John T. Dunlop Professor in Housing and Urbanization. Mehrotra is a member of the steering committee of the Laxmi Mittal South Asia Institute at Harvard.

In 2012-2015, he led a Harvard University-wide research project with Professor Diana Eck, called The Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Mega City. This work was published as a book in 2014. This research was extended in 2017 in the form of a book titled Does Permanence Matter? This research was also extended into an invited exhibition at the 2016 Venice Biennale.

Mehrotra co-authored a book titled Taj Mahal: Multiple Narratives which was published in Dec 2017. His latest book to be released in early September 2020 is titled Working in Mumbai and is a reflection on his 30 years of practice and interrogates the notion of context to understand how the practice evolved through its association with the city of Bombay/Mumbai.

Cristina

Cristina is a noted art historian and publisher who spent more than a decade at Hatje Cantz, a world-leading publisher of visual arts, photography and architecture. Cristina possesses deep industry expertise, having served as the Managing Director of Hatje Cantz where she was fully responsible for the operational and strategic management of the company. A keen interest in the arts motivated her to pursue a PhD in Art and Architectural History from the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel followed by an MBA from the prestigious TUM School of Management..

ArchiTangle is a Berlin-based independent publishing house and digital service provider in the architectural space, focusing on knowledge transfer and projects of social relevance. Dedicated to cultural and ethical values in architecture, ArchiTangle’s publishing program spans the entire architecture spectrum and aims to foster the dissemination of architectural knowledge through analogue tradition and digital innovation. ArchiTangle’s digital services include a novel blockchain-based archiving platform that will enable architects, architecture institutions, archives and collections to securely preserve the integrity of architectural data in perpetuity.

Ranjit Hoskote

Ranjit Hoskote has been acclaimed as a seminal contributor to Indian art criticism and curatorial practice, and is also a leading Anglophone Indian poet. Hoskote was the curator of India’s first-ever national pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2011). He co-curated the 7th Gwangju Biennale with Okwui Enwezor and Hyunjin Kim (2008).

Among his curatorial projects are three transhistorical and trans-genre exhibitions developed for the Serendipity Arts Festival, Goa: Terra Cognita? (2016), Anti-Memoirs (2017), and The Sacred Everyday (2018)

Along With Rahul Mehrotra and Kaiwan Mehta, Hoskote co-curated the exhibition-conference platforms The State of Architecture: Practices and Processes in India (National Gallery of Modern Art, Bombay, 2016) and State of Housing: Aspirations, Imaginaries and Realities (Max Mueller Bhavan, Bombay, 2018).

He is the author of more than 30 books, including Vanishing Acts: New & Selected Poems 1985-2005 (Penguin, 2006), Central Time (Penguin/ Viking, 2014), Jonahwhale (Penguin/ Hamish Hamilton, 2018), and The Atlas of Lost Beliefs (Arc, 2020)

Kaiwan Mehta

Kaiwan Mehta, is a theorist and critic in the fields of visual culture, architecture, and city studies. Kaiwan has studied Architecture (B. Arch), Literature (MA), Indian Aesthetics (PGDip) and Cultural Studies (PhD). In 2017 he completed his doctoral studies at the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bengaluru, under the aegis of Manipal University. Since March 2012 he has been the Managing Editor of Domus India (Spenta Multimedia). He is also Professor and coordinator of the Doctoral Programme at the Faculty of Architecture, CEPT, Ahmedabad since 2017; and part of the CEPT University Press since 2018. He was the Charles Correa Chair professor at the Goa College of Architecture under the aegis of the Department of Art and Culture, Government of Goa for the academic year 2017-2018. 

He authored Alice in Bhuleshwar: Navigating a Mumbai Neighbourhood (Yoda Press. New Delhi, 2009) and The Architecture of I M Kadri (Niyogi. New Delhi, 2016). Mehta co-curated with Rahul Mehrotra and Ranjit Hoskote the national exhibition on architecture ‘The State of Architecture: Practices and Processes in India ‘ (UDRI. 2016) at the National Gallery Modern Art, Mumbai and ‘State of Housing – Aspirations, Imaginaries, and Realities in India’ (UDRI. 2018). He has been elected as the Jury Chairman for two consecutive terms (2015-17 and 2017-2019) for the international artist’s residency programme across 13 disciplines at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany. He has been curating the Urban Design and Architecture section of the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Mumbai since 2016.

Rajesh Vora

Rajesh Vora, a graduate of the National Institute of Design, India, began his career in Visual Communications and has been photographing for over 30 years. A deep-rooted interest in the environment and disappearing habitats have influenced his photographic practice. Vora worked as a photographer with COLORS magazine for over 15 years and often contributed as a researcher and writer. Commissioned to document architecture projects in India and Bangladesh with social relevance, for The Aga Khan Award for Architecture Foundation, Geneva.

His concern with urban issues led to myriad collaborations and projects with architects, environmentalists and filmmakers espousing critical views on the social, cultural and political situation in India. His ongoing project, Everyday Baroque, exhibited in 2016 at Photoink Gallery, New Delhi, takes him to Punjab to document the homes of the Punjabi Non-resident Indians.

Charles Correa Memorial Event 2021

An online event in memory of our founder, late Indian architect and urbanist Charles Correa. The event will consist of the award ceremony for the Charles Correa Gold Medal and the international release of Rahul Mehrotra’s new book ‘The Kinetic City and Other Essays’.

DATE

3 September 2021

TIME

6:00 to 7:45pm

Watch the event here.

Book Release ‘The Kinetic City & Other Essays’

The event will feature a book launch by Cristina Steingräber, CEO of ArchiTangle, and publisher. This will be followed by a walk through of the book by Rahul Mehrotra, and a panel discussion with Mehrotra, Ranjit Hoskote, Kaiwan Mehta and Rajesh Vora.

Click the image to read about the discussants at the book release.

The book ‘The Kinetic City & Other Essays’ presents Rahul Mehrotra’s writings over the last thirty years and illustrates his long-term engagement with, and analysis of, urbanism in India. This work has given rise to a new conceptualization of the city. Mehrotra calls it the Kinetic City, which is the counterpoint to the Static City, as familiar to most of us from conventional city maps. He argues that the city should instead be perceived, read, and mapped in terms of patterns of occupation and associative values attributed to space. The framework is established by Mehrotra’s anchor essay, which draws out its potential to “allow a better understanding of the blurred lines of contemporary urbanism and the changing roles of people and spaces in urban society.”

The book is divided into three parts. The anchor essay, “Negotiating the Static and Kinetic Cities,” and other contributions (twenty-one in total) make up the main section. A second book within the book is dedicated to an expansive complimentary photo essay by the photographer Rajesh Vora, illustrating the key themes of transaction, instability, spectacle, and habitation. The last section presents an illustrated bibliography of Rahul Mehrotra’s wide range of research and writings.

Click here to read about the discussants at the book release.

Charles Correa Gold Medal: Award Ceremony

The event will also feature presentation and an announcement of the winner of the Charles Correa Gold Medal 2021.

Click the image for details about the Charles Correa Gold Medal Jury 2021.

The Charles Correa Gold Medal is a national award to recognize quality and talent among young students of architecture who address issues of the urban realm through their undergraduate thesis. 38 of the best schools of architecture in India participated in this edition of the medal. One student will be awarded the prestigious Charles Correa Gold Medal. Additionally, two students will be awarded with an honorable mention.

Click here to read about the Jury and winners of the 2021 cycle of the Gold Medal

Click here to read about the history and an overview of the Charles Correa Gold Medal.

A new script for cities

The Charles Correa Foundation is organising a short film festival focusing on adequate urban housing to help generate ideas that can be used to reconfigure cities for the benefit of its residents.
The film festival will generate ideas which could then be used to better the living conditions of cities in India.
Photo: Rajesh Vora

By Ajit John (ajit@herald-goa.com)

The cities of India are seething with problems. From its design to pollution to its traffic congestion that seems to be growing by the day. The same holds true for Goa too. Complaints have risen from the residents of Panjim and other parts about traffic congestion, increase in garbage and the construction that continues without restraint. The Charles Correa Foundation has for the very first time launched the Nagari Film Competition. It will be an annual competition designed to guide and develop films that focus on urban issues, specific to Indian cities. 

Continue reading “A new script for cities”

Z-axis 2020 Lecture Series out now!

The Z-axis 2020 Lecture Series has ended. You may watch recordings of all the sessions on our YouTube channel, click on the sessions below to watch the recordings:

01 CHARLES CORREA MEMORIAL LECTURE

02 REDEFINING THE CITY FOR THE PUBLIC

03 COMMONS AND THE CITY

04 STREETS IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

05 HOMES IN THE STREET

Registered participants took part in the Design Competition.

‘Nightwalkers glide through Tier III towns’: How can India heal its coronavirus-ravaged cities?

By Vivek Menezes

The Z-Axis Conference brings together ‘starchitects’ from around the world to share their experiences about solving urban challenges.
‘Nightwalkers glide through Tier III towns’: How can India heal its coronavirus-ravaged cities?
A family of migrant workers from Madhya Pradesh walk out of Navi Mumbai. | PTI

A few days ago, the outstanding poet and translator Mustansir Dalvi (he has also been on the faculty of Mumbai’s Sir JJ School of Architecture for 17 years) released a new collection of verse. Walk, he said, was written from his “sense of helplessness, frustration and anger” earlier this year, when “we were seeing vast number of people, walking back home, sometimes covering over 1,000 km from state to state, without support, money or transportation”.

By now, it’s clear India launched heedlessly into “the world’s strictest lockdown” without the measures necessary to safeguard the vast majority of its citizens. At that time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi misguidedly promised that the “Mahabharata war was won in 18 days, this war the whole country is fighting against corona will take 21 days”.

Continue reading “‘Nightwalkers glide through Tier III towns’: How can India heal its coronavirus-ravaged cities?”

Charles Correa’s 1955 Master Thesis Uses Animated Film to Explain Public Participation in Urban Processes

By Andreea Cutieru

Charles Correa’s 1955 Master Thesis Uses Animated Film to Explain Public Participation in Urban Processes, Charles Correa passed away on June 26th 2015. Image © Chistbal Manuel
Charles Correa passed away on June 26th 2015. Image © Chistbal Manuel

Charles Correa Foundation has recently released several snippets of ‘You & Your Neighbourhood’Charles Correa’s 1955 Master Thesis at MIT, an animation film for which the architect was scriptwriter, animator, photographer and director. The thesis put forward the idea of a participatory process for the betterment of neighbourhoods, with a strong emphasis on creating a framework for improving urban conditions in a bottom-up approach.

Continue reading “Charles Correa’s 1955 Master Thesis Uses Animated Film to Explain Public Participation in Urban Processes”

Z-AXIS 2020: REGISTRATION OPEN

BRIEF RELEASE-01

General Registration

Registration Open.

The registration fee is ₹900 /- per individual.

All amounts inclusive of tax.

The registration fee for the event will cover both the Virtual Conference as well as the Design Competition.

Participation in the competition is not mandatory but will be an interesting conduit to engage deeper with the ideas discussed during the virtual competition.

We are extending our registration deadline!

The registrations will close at 11:30 noon IST on 25th September 2020.

For foreign credit card payments kindly write to zaxis@charlescorreafoundation.org

 

The registration form can be downloaded here

CCF CHALLENGE: ILLUSTRATING AVANT-GARDE SUPPLY CHAINS

In order to combat the rapid spread of COVID-19 in India, the government has extended the nationwide lockdown up to 3rd May 2020. 

One of the biggest concerns in the country right now is the distribution of food supplies and essential commodities. In Indian cities, with large income inequalities, servicing these huge numbers equitably becomes a logistical impossibility. Last-mile door-to-door services have become essential systems to get supplies to every individual.

With commodities becoming scarce, people of privilege start to hoard, and consequently, prices rise. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy which affects the urban poor the most, many of whom work on a daily wage.  This has resulted in a much-documented exodus of migrant workers from their workplace to their villages1. With inter-state movement seized, coupled with the lack of availability of labour — stocks of fresh food supplies are rapidly diminishing. Many local markets lie desolate — potential signs of an acute food shortage. 

The lockdown has once again brought to the surface, the gross inequity in Indian cities. Millions of men, women and children are now dependent on the government or charitable trusts for every meal. Raghu Karnad writes in the New Yorker about how this time offers us an opportunity to rethink the way our cities work 2

AA
Temporary market that is set up every alternate morning (8-11 AM) at Nirmal lifestyle residency, Mulund, Mumbai.

This re-imagination of Indian cities has been coming for a long time and has to be addressed on several verticals. One avenue which can be explored is the way the lockdown has prompted ( at least for the upper and middle class in Indian metro cities) the opportunity of new supply chains. The supply of produce that was previously zoned, distributed and procured at the end by consumers is now available every alternate day at one’s doorstep.

SUPPLY CHAINS IN TIMES OF CORONAVIRUS

A temporary market observing social distancing rules at Vasant Oscar, Mulund, Mumbai and pre-packaged vegetable orders (₹700) delivered together at Runwal Greens, Mulund, Mumbai.

Our tryst with COVID-19 has promoted previously unprecedented networks of independent, un-aided, customised supply chains that bind several small scale, last-mile service operations with the large-scale cross border movement of essential commodities. 

Last-mile delivery of supplies is not new to our cities. India has had a long-standing system of daily fresh milk delivery. Families have independent relationships with local dairies — milk is delivered as per their required quantity, schedules and choice. In Goa, we have the “poder”, a bread delivery man who goes door to door twice a day delivering fresh bread to every household. 

The current lock-down situation has coerced daily commodities like bread, eggs, fruits, vegetables and oil to be delivered in a similar fashion. The mercurial rise of e-commerce and delivery apps like Swiggy and Zomato has now set up systems of local delivery boys, App-based ordering and WhatsApp savvy hawkers. Some enterprising businesses have created supply chains based on orders, locations and timetables, creating a direct link with the customer. The increased logistical demand for this system has given impetus on communities scheduling and acquiring essentials together. , reducing the need to move around within the city.

SUPPLY CHAINS IN SUBURBAN MUMBAI 

In this context, let’s discuss the case of Mulund (West) a suburb of Mumbai. Mulund is primarily a residential suburb, on the foothills of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, it is dominated by large housing complexes that house the middle class, shopping complexes, fast food chains and recreational activities. A gridiron plan was designed by architects Crown & Carter in 1922, which extends from present-day Mulund railway station to Paanch Rasta road Junction in Mulund (West), housing the Mulund Market, the suburb is serviced by the Eastern Express Highway. 

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Mapping supply routes, Mulund, Mumbai

Due to the lockdown, the suburb has been cut-off from the highway —  the supply chain which was previously centralized at the Mulund market has now been decentralised due to the collective efforts of the municipality, local police, retailers, vendors, society secretaries and residents. Internal circulation routes for supply trucks have been set, where every alternate day, residents receive essential supplies at a fixed time right outside their societies. The Mulund market has been declared a pedestrian zone, this decongests the route during essential supply hours. Local hawkers and temporary delivery services from pharmacies, supermarkets and grocery stores enable greater penetration of the supply chain. Moreover, these services enable the restriction of procurement-based mobility with great ease whilst maintaining social distancing. The police barricading combined with the efficiency of supply completely quarantined all mobility within smaller zones, and, till now, has succeeded in restricting the spread of the pandemic whilst producing avant-garde supply chains.

The following illustrations present new emerging delivery networks in Mulund, Mumbai. The red line illustrates the traditional method of procurement, propagating individual mobility, whereas the green line denotes the services that now coordinate the supply of essentials, focusing on groups of people based on their location.

NEW NEW NEW SQUARE RED

NEW NEW SQUARE GREEN
Illustrating new supply chains, Marathon Galaxy Towers, Mulund, Mumbai

Not so long ago, the world was looking into the possibility of drone deliveries, these systems require greater expenditure in the form of capital than of labour. The ease of access and fast, high precision delivery service shall definitely create an entirely new ethos of supply chains for essential products, health care emergencies, war-zones and remote locations. 

Holistically speaking, when it comes to the contextual cases of third world metropolises like Mumbai, we can learn a lot from these avant-garde adaptations our supply chains have made. The patterns observed under the current COVID-19 lockdown suggest  that zonal iterations to our current supply chains with local integration of distribution shall serve to present a great model even post the pandemic has eclipsed.

The avant-garde supply chains produced as a byproduct of COVID-19 illustrate the evolution of supply chains as a naturally decentralised model within the developing world. 

THE CCF CHALLENGE:

We want to understand the supply chain in your neighbourhood. We challenge  individuals to map:

  1. ‘New’ Supply chains that have emerged in their immediate surroundings.
  2. Your vision of the ‘Future Normal’ in commodity supply.

You can use any medium to represent — write, photograph, sketch, video, render or simply doodle! It would be great if you could accompany the mapping project with a brief write up that explains the context, your observations and predictions explaining the emergence of these avant-garde supply chains. 

Use the hashtag #CCFSupplyChallenge and tag us @charlescorreafoundation on Instagram. We shall feature and discuss unique observations on our social media pages and website. 

 

REFERENCES 

1. Article on the problems faced by migrant labourers by Sahil Joshi for India Today:

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/lockdown-woes-mumbai-stations-flooded-with-migrant-labourers-hoping-to-get-back-home-1666908-2020-04-14

https://www.newyorker.com/news/dispatch/the-coronavirus-offers-a-radical-new-vision-for-indias-cities-pollution

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-52176564

Geeta Pandey

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-52210888

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21 Days of Solitude

A list of recommended readings from the CCF library to help you get through the lockdown.

’21 DAYS OF SOLITUDE’ is a project focusing on our present sequestration, and reflecting on our dependence on public space in urban areas. Undertaken by the Charles Correa Foundation Fellows to engage interests in the writings of urbanists, we are focusing on writings that we are familiar with — writings that cover a broad spectrum of topics like public space in cities, building urban communities and urban planning, spatial narratives, memoirs, architecture and visual theory, to whet your interest and concern, and to stimulate discussion.

Continue reading “21 Days of Solitude”

KA’s layout draws in 1k students each yr

Date: 25 July 2019

Nida Sayed makes a case for the academic significance of the Architecture of Kala Academy in the Times of India.

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