Unpacking ‘Place’

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Workshop Description

What exactly is ‘place’ – say a neighbourhood in a city? How does one know its boundaries? Have boundaries vanished in a world where everything is interconnected through data flows? What lies beneath and between layers of history that make up the place? How do these layers change over time? Are places immutable? Can they change randomly? What laws govern this change?

This intensive two day workshop will give learners two tools – maps and stories – to enter, read, understand and unpack a place in a city. The specific neighbourhood chosen for the course is Bholakpur, a historic neighbourhood in Hyderabad which has emerged as a scrap market over the last 25 years. In exploring Bholakpur through maps and stories, learners will address three thematics – land, labour and waste.

Profile of Participants and Key Take-aways

While open to all, the course will be of particular interest to learners who want to understand how cities actually shape people’s lives and how people in turn shape cities. No disciplinary education or training is required or assumed. The course aims to seed an interdisciplinary approach to decoding the DNA of ‘place’ as it were, before one gets to interventions, plans, programmes and policies.

Pedagogical Format

The workshop requires two days of residence in Hyderabad. Formal hours will be from 9am to 7pm. Lunch, tea and local transport will be provided on both days. Participants are responsible for travel to Hyderabad as well as stay and for reaching the HUL offices near Masab Tank on both days. All participants must attend both days of the workshop. The course will be taught in English, but Urdu and Telugu speakers with basic knowledge of English are encouraged to apply.

Core Faculty

Anant Maringanti

Anant Maringanti is an geographer with a PhD from University of Minnesota and has taught graduate courses at the National University of Singapore and University of Hyderabad.His research and teaching interests centre on questions of urbanization and globalization from the South Asian vantage point. He is currently the director of Hyderabad Urban Lab, a multi disciplinary research programme run by the Right to the City Foundation. He is widely published in national and international academic journals on social movements, politics of development and urbanization.

Gautam Bhan

Gautam works on the politics of poverty, inequality and development in Indian cities with a focus on housing, social security, governance and urban and planning theory. He co-anchors on-going research at IIHS on “Reframing Urban Inclusion.” Most recently, he co-authored Swept off the Map: Surviving Eviction and Resettlement in Delhi as well as several journal articles

He has extensive experience in advising public institutions including providing inputs to the Rajiv Awas Yojana and the New Delhi Municipal Act. He is an active part of urban social movements as well as a frequent columnist and writer in diverse media.

Prasad Shetty

Prasad Shetty is an urbanist based in Mumbai. He has studied architecture (Mumbai) and urban management (Rotterdam). He is one of the founder members of Collective Research Initiatives Trust. He also works with the Mumbai Metropolitan Region – Environment Improvement and Heritage Conservation Society and teaches at the Rachana Sansad’s Academy of Architecture in Mumbai.

Earlier he has worked as an urban manager at the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority. He has also been a lecturer at the Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture; an Independent Fellow at the SARAI-CSDS, Delhi; a Consulting Urban Management expert to the Town Administration of Mendefera, Eritrea; and an Expert Member to the Dadra–Nagar Haveli Planning & Development Authority. His work involves research and teaching on contemporary Indian urbanism including architectural practices, studies of post-industrial landscapes, housing, archiving post liberalization developments, entrepreneurial practices and urban property.

His recent works include: De-Mapping: an installation emerging from the hyper-mapping tendencies of urban study practices (supported by Khoj, Delhi); Bombay Talkies and Other Stories of Malad: a research on the land politics in the suburb of Mumbai (supported by Majlis, Mumbai); Being Nicely Messy: a research on projecting future mobility of Mumbai (supported by the Audi Urban Futures Initiative); and Gurgaon Glossaries: compiling the terms that are getting formed when the new city of Gurgaon is settling (supported by SARAI, Delhi & the Devi Art Foundation).

Swastik Harish

Swastik is a part of the design and implementation team for the IIHS Urban Practitioners’ Programme, the executive and continuing education function at IIHS. His main area of work is around housing for the urban poor, with a special focus on rental housing mechanisms. Besides these, he is also involved in capacity building programmes around heritage planning and management, data visualization and green building technologies and concepts. Swastik has earlier been involved in the planning, research and execution the development of various IIHS campuses, and has also assisted in the financial modelling for IIHS long term financial projections. He has also contributed significantly to the IT-based Pedagogic and Project Technology Systems.

In his 12 years of work experience, Swastik has founded a start-up architectural consultancy, worked as an independent architectural consultant and installation artist, and been faculty at many architectural design studios. Besides his experience in his core areas of architecture and design as well as teaching and pedagogical design, Swastik has technical expertise in physical and virtual modelling (prototyping), and advanced proprietary and open source software. Swastik received his B.Arch from the School of Planning and Architecture in New Delhi.

Workshop Fee

Limited Seats
Fee: INR 1,000*

* Waivers and student discounts are available. Please indicate this in your application, and also do let us know why you need a waiver or discount.


Important Dates

Course date – 11-12 April , 2015 | 9 am – 7 pm
Last date of Registration and Payment: 31 March, 2015

Course fee will include reading material, refreshments and lunch for 2 days. Participants will have to make their own arrangements for travel to and from the venue, as well as their accommodation and dinner.