This studio asked the question—how does exclusion happen? This is a counter-intuitive question. Instead of asking ‘how we can include’, our studio investigated exclusion in its various forms. We understand the act of exclusion as the product of the apparatuses and mechanisms that have shaped our public and private realms: gates, walls, infrastructure, zoning and land use laws, finance, residential design, information aesthetics, among others.
The acts of exclusion and inclusion cannot be distilled down to mere design moves. Design is but one part of this script. Regulations, laws, policies, political and economic histories, and social norms are the other elements, which are intrinsic to planning, design and policy.
Our studio examined exclusion through research, design, and drawing. The central part of the studio consisted of design interventions on a small part of the Eastern Waterfront in Mumbai. In the absence of site visits, the site was unpacked through reports, studies, lectures, data, and photographs. The site presented several constraints and opportunities that allowed for a multiplicity of responses. The intent of the studio was to unpack exclusion as part of the structures of power and judgement that frame our decisions as designers and planners.