This paper is based on the studio on 'Informal marketplaces' taught in the Bachelors in Urban design program at CEPT University, Ahmedabad in 2017. It has just been published in the recent issue on architectural education of the journal 'New Design Ideas'. Sharing below an abstract of the paper:
Exploratory site - Secondhand books market under the Fernandes bridge (Students: Aryan Iyer & Meet Kakadia)
In the past, urban design teaching and practice have focused on the design of urban spaces as being the modulation of the physical aspects of the fabric while the complex social processes that contribute to its making have not been included. More recently, a few practitioners and educationists have voiced concern about this and suggested instead an alternative path where the design effort is based on field-intensive mapping exercises to understand the ground reality. With this background, the broader objective of this paper is to understand how an urban design studio can contribute to a pedagogy for a people-centric approach to urban design and planning.
Specifically, the paper draws upon learnings from a studio that focused on an informal marketplace in the city of Ahmedabad, India. It finds that understanding the everyday life of an urban space can reveal underlying patterns and systems that urban designers can incorporate into the planning of public spaces. The key contribution of this paper is to provide empirical evidence for these patterns and systems generated through studio exercises in order to show how they can contribute to a design language for developing sustainable urban spaces.