Mumbai mapped by a city designer

Sep 04, 2014, 09:11 IST | Kanika Sharma

What: Pranati Rele, a postgraduate in design for communication from the University of Westminster, London, has undertaken a design project on Mumbai, capturing how Bombay was formed after land reclamation and renamed Mumbai in 1995. The 25-year-old designer shares, “We had to design a book on any topic we wanted.

(Left to right) The project’s main focus is the changing faces/names of the city. With the help of this infographic that emulates sign posts, Rele traces the old and new names given to places in the city

Mumbai is the city where I was born and brought up, so, I roughly knew about the seven islands and its reclamations. As I started researching on the topic, I discovered that designing had not been explored much and not many are aware of its history.” The book contains interesting facts, information and designing elements.

cover of the book
Cover of the book

How: Titled, Old Bombay Modern Mumbai, the young talent has explored how the city can inspire and be explored in terms of minimalistic designs, capturing its colonisation, reclamation and renaming, in chronological order.

Rele probes reclamatio
Rele probes reclamation as a binding phenomenon for the city

Rele admits, “I did refer to many designing books. Paula Scher has done several map designs of many cities. I referred to her maps for inspiration. And, of course, as I was in London, I did refer to some books about London to find how the city changed over a period of time.” Having spent over two and a half months on research, Rele also pored over books and took the help of the internet. “I tried to search for many old maps of the city,” she says, asserting that these maps form an integral part of the book.

Bombay was under 128 years of Portuguese dominion, i.e. post 1543
Bombay was under 128 years of Portuguese dominion, i.e. post 1543

When: The project hasn’t been published yet and can be seen online. Rele optimistically concludes that after expert revisions and suggestions, she would like the book to take a physical form and eventually go places.

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