A research initiative that creates knowledge
resource and raises awareness on Indian cities.
OPEN PUBLIC SPACES
Prominent Cities of the past, have always been places that allow diversity of human existence. These cities often provide a common ground for a variety of identities to co-exist. Such cities that have always attracted people from different parts of the region need very active public places for the purpose of creating a common ground of co-existence. Such public places are neutral in their outlook, as they allow different communities to identify with it. They come to symbolise the shared identity of the city and in the process becomes its socio-cultural heart.
This research project is an attempt at understanding cities of different periods and geographies that have varying structure and typologies of public places. We aim to excavate the history of cities and understand the forces that help shape these public places.
For example, the cities of medieval Himalayan kingdoms often had a very strong city centre unlike its counterparts in other parts of the Indian sub-continent. This was a product of the peculiarities of the economy and the constraints of the geography leading to the rise of city states. On the other hand, colonial cities created public places as an act of appropriation. The open spaces that were meant to glorify the colonial rule were later appropriated to display a collective expression and other cultural beliefs.
In this yearlong research projects, we select examples of cities from Medieval Himalayan capital cities, Portuguese colonial trading cities, and Princely cities in the Indian Subcontinent. As a part of this research project we intend to carry out workshops with participants in the Kathmandu, Panjim, Vadodara and Mysore.
The CityLabs is a year long initiative to further our understanding of Indian cities. As part of the initiative, a series of 5 workshops are planned across the Indian Subcontinent and publications are planned on the themes of Writing Urban Histories, Dystopia and Utopian Imaginations, Urban Mapping and Representation and Reimagining Urban Infrastructures. CityLabs wishes to create a body of work that is publicly accessible and can be used to bring about gradual change in the way we perceive and imagine our cities.
CONDUCTING WORKSHOPS ACROSS THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT
EVERYTHING YOU NEED
All the workshops are a part of a larger Research project. This is an attempt at understanding cities of different periods and geographies that have varying structure and typologies of Public Places. We aim to excavate the history of cities and understand the forces that help shape these public places.