Design, heritage and Khotachiwadi
Sign up for a workshop that will document the SoBo heritage precinct
URBZ, an organisation co-founded by Rahul Srivastava and Matias Echanove, organises collaborative workshops and research projects on urban spaces. In an effort to preserve the heritage and improve the standard of living, the organisation has been working in Khotachiwadi, a heritage village in Girgaum, for almost a decade now. Srivastava was also instrumental in setting up the Khotachiwadi Welfare and Heritage Trust, which is run by residents.
"What makes Khotachiwadi interesting to us is not just the bungalows but also the diversity of the demographics," informs Echanove. As part of their constant efforts to understand and preserve the locality, URBZ has organised a four-day workshop.
An illustration that shows the view from 'The Blue Bungalow'. Courtesy/urbz.net
The workshop will feature Niklas Fanelsa, Marius Helten, Bjorn Martenson and Leonard Wertgen, of Berlin-based architect and designers' collective, called ARA. They are currently in the city for the launch of their book Architecture Reading Aid Ahmedabad.
"Their style of work is clean, descriptive and has an analytical approach. It represents the city and connects various aspects of architecture to the lively streetscape, such as the chaiwallah on the road. This is what we liked and thought it would be perfect to get their perspective on Khotachiwadi too," explains Echanove.
Khotachiwadi. File pic
The workshop is open for 15 to 20 participants. Interested candidates can send them their portfolio and state the reason why the workshop interests them. The workshop will be conducted in two steps: the first includes field report, observations and interactions with residents. For the second step, the participants will be encouraged to go wild, where they are free to present their idea of how the heritage locality would be in future in best case scenario.
An aerial view. Pic courtesy/urbz.net
"We don't want to create Khotachiwadi as an urban museum. It is the evolving that makes the place nice. If you see the space there are rats and pipes running everywhere. Even the residents are supporters of positive change. We need to improve yet preserve what is beautiful," says Echanove who is an urbanologist. Like Mumbai, URBZ has worked in various cities like Istanbul, Delhi, Konkan coast and Sao Paolo.
Rahul Srivastava and Matias Echanove
What excites him is the interest the topic has generated among a young audience, with 90% of the requests for the workshop coming in from an age group of 20 to 30. On the final day, the team will present a 3D model of Khotachiwadi, the results of the workshop and a report created by URBZ at the Catholic Club. This exhibition will be open for everyone. "We want to envision the future and play the role of facilitators," Echanove signs off.
To Sign up Check Khotachiwadi Imaginaries event page on Facebook
Log on to www.facebook.com/urbz.org