Portuguese Colonial Urbanism
Workshop "Portuguese Colonial Urbanism" was conducted on December 14-18th, 2019 in Panjim city. The broad aim of the workshop was to understand how the settlements of Goa were shaped during the period of Portuguese rule and how it reflected the particular ideological position and intentions of the colonizer.
This intense field based workshop was conducted by Prof. Pratyush Shankar in collaboration with Matter as part of the CITYLABS initiatives.
Bureaucracy and administration are hallmarks of the city from the time of the earliest civilization. Portuguese colonial cities were known for their professional approach of their civic administration. These come from their own experience of urbanization back home and from creating cities in Latin America. In this theme, the participants tried and discovered how urban patterns and architectural typology contributes in creating a perception of “Administered city” and how does Architecture and the spaces around the building reflect these ideas of control and administration.
Church played a major role in colonization efforts in Portuguese and Spanish colonies. The roman catholic institution was at one level conscience keeper of the state. The church gave the much-needed legitimacy for colonization and yet was the single most important institution that integrated people from different ethnicity and nations into a single community. In this theme the participants questioned the important role of the church reflected in the spaces of the city.
Cities have been made possible by modification of nature. Diverting waterways, creating new landfill sites of modifying natural slopes is amongst the most common initiatives of many cities to create much more conducive urban environment. In this theme participants tried to look around Panjim and found instances where nature condition has been modified in order to create new kind of spaces.
The workshop is an intense five days of fieldwork and hands-on conceptualization that will be conducted in Goa. The French, Dutch, Portuguese, and British established colonial cities in Indian subcontinent. This period lasted for hundreds of years and was marked by specific ideas of urban development that reflected different colonial intents.
In this workshop participants will try and understand how the settlements of Goa were shaped during the period of Portuguese rule and how it reflected the particular ideological position and intentions of the colonizer.
Using urban morphology and civic architecture as the vehicles of analysis, the participants will learn to establish the correlation between larger colonial ideologies and urban spatial structures.
THEME 1 : ADMINISTRATION AND GOVERNANCE
THEME 2 : THE INSTITUTION OF CHURCH
THEME 3 : THE MODIFICATION OF NATURE
This workshop introduced me to a way of interpreting the urban character of a city beyond literature and writings. I was able to identify subtle visual and auditory aspects which are deeply symbolic and quite integral to the urban fabric, but often overlooked in their significance. It was also a great opportunity to explore different styles of graphic representation by hand.