Faculty: Rajiv Kadam

Humanizing Urban Space: Social Production and speculative design of neighborhood place

There is a loss of quality and character in the current open spaces in Indian cities. They fail to respond to the life of the community as they are purely reduced to quantitative definitions and enclosed by dead urban edge. To humanize urban spaces, the production of qualitative aspects needs to be derived from the social and cultural patterns of community life and its integration with a more interactive urban edge.

The studio used the place making theories of Christian Norberg-Schulz and Jan Gehl to construct the character of the place. The students decoded the everyday life and events, as manifested in the central open space within the selected neighborhoods in Ahmedabad. They then defined strategies to construct a speculative design intervention plan for the central open space and a contemporary, interactive urban edge, integrated within a proposed neighborhood development masterplan. The current urban policy on residential redevelopment of old existing neighborhoods provides opportunities for the studio exploration of the critical issue of humanizing urban space. The interventions attempted to create a utopian place for new interactions and to enhance human experience in a neighborhood public place, while retaining the existing community and exploring potential densification.