Emergent Design – Vadodara Bus Terminus

by Viral Mehta
Instructor: Sonal Mithal Modi
7 February 2018

Understanding the theory of emergence, a phenomenon when smaller or simpler entities interact [in an environment] to cause a more complex behavior as a collective, the studio drove upon understanding complex urban movement patterns through intense observation and analysis of agency [as an android] movements on site.

Vadodara Municipal Corporation has proposed a re-design for Vadodara City Bus Station to include shelter for vehicles, information areas, public waiting area, public conveniences, eating areas/shopping areas [concourse] plus pedestrian connectivity to Vadodara railway station and Vadodara Central Bus Station.

The site for this studio is located in Baroda at the junction of three transport hubs, the railway station, an intercity bus station and the yet to be redesigned city bus station. The design objective is to work out a space [-system] which streamlines the movements of agencies by predetermining desired/undesired encounters derived from site analysis and strategized with emergence logic, to eliminate unnecessary chaos.



Android Walk In CEPT

Android Behavior. Artificial intelligence?

Human behavior is nothing but the response to random encounters that take place in the complex system following very simple rules, most of the times, rules of survival.

This is an illustrated map of CEPT on a rainy and non-rainy day, understanding the Android behavior of humans through movements.

Sim city + Emergence

•If emergence is setting rules for a larger logic, what are the set of rules with which you walked or you played?

•If emergence is an accumulation of crude knowledge to become normalized then when and what things became normalized for you.

•If emergence is about “more is different,” enlist as many “more-s” you encountered and illustrate their differences

•If emergence is about encouraging “random encounters,” illustrate those moments when random encounters led to new rules (the same ways in point no.1 above) being formed.

•If emergence is about looking for patterns, illustrate as many of those you encountered. Comment through illustrations if these patterns are an exercise in the accumulation of knowledge leading to normalization, or not. If not, then illustrate what are the patterns doing to your setting a design stance.

•If emergence is about self-organization, what would be the components that self-organize (in the context of the android diagram and SimCity), for example, things that move? Also, what makes them self-organize, for example, indirect methods of interaction or rhythms of movement.

•Sidewalk—as a philosophical entity: illustrate those examples in your android-walk where either you or the walk or the experience embodied the philosophical construct of a sidewalk.

•If emergence is about “ignorance is useful,” enlist those moments when you experienced an epiphany because of your ignorance. Also, illustrate a design learning moment from this.

•If emergence is about paying attention to neighbors, then illustrate how affected decisions and established relationships alter the normalized behavior.

Eliminate to Streamline

Unpacking traffic system at crossroads filmed in a video ‘baraka’.

link to the video: https://youtu.be/NiXzdXbyjMw


By eliminating some possible movements, the chaos decreases and the system becomes streamlined. To take such conscious design decisions, “emergence theory can be a tool to understand complex urban movements” and develop a method of processing the project.






This drawing represents and identifies different movement groups and maps their routes to locate movements of conflicts, streamlining, and pause points. The vertical lines depict the encounters being created across space allowing to visualize the number of encounters.

i.e. the hot spots due to the varying density of lines.



Problems and Strategies



Sequence of Activities

A passenger’s path for the bus to the pedestrian sidewalk and the other way taking each of the agencies’ view, pause, experience and comfort in consideration.

Nodes of streamline diagram here become the junction where a person gets to choose one from many and where all different people with different purposes come together.









Pedestrian network and hotspots





Elevated cycle paths and ‘my bike’ stands







Pedestrian sidewalk







No place space plaza







Underground busway

Sequence of Activity

Passengers’ journey from bus to pedestrian and the other way.

Passengers’ journey from railway station to pedestrian and the other way.

Proximate Use of Space

Public open space, city bus station

Railway Station

CBT- Kadakbazar


MS University

Edge Conditions

a.   Busway – Road Junction

b.   Roadside Experience