Cities evolve through complex processes governed by negotiation, contestation and collaboration
between individuals / groups with specific agendas and spatial skills. Over the past decade,
participatory design has gained international recognition as an important element of architectural
design processes. The scope of architecture is being extended to create opportunities for
co-production of spaces.
This studio explored the role of the architect in such processes at neighborhood level. It employed
research based design methods to find out how architects can intervene spatially in the public
domain and hence initiate urban change. It exposed students to tools and methods of
collaborative design in complex urban contexts.
It addresses the core question:
How can architects contribute to city-making processes that are complex and involve
intense negotiation, contestation and collaboration between multiple stakeholders?
The studio entailed rigorous research using visual / textual data and interaction with representatives from
social organizations. Collective research exercises helped students synthesize observations and
design a network of spatial interventions. It is underpinned by a critical ethos of empathy,
focusing on recognizing one’s biases and responding by keeping people at the centre.