Sonal Mithal, Visiting Faculty
Undergraduate, graduate architecture students

The course draws upon poststructuralist agendas in semiotics to explain the politics of space appropriation, and subsequently space re-production.
Project: From Context to Text

Visual essay by Naomy Parikh, Dhwani Patel, Kishan Shah

Using theories discussed in the course such as – walking as a method to read urban realms, flaneur-y as a method in exhibitionism in and consumption of urbanity, pedestrian speech-acts of Michel de Certeau, this project develops stories that would emerge in a specific place in Ahmedabad. Students create an imagined character through whom the stories become manifest. Students observe and record the ways in which people operate on a street [context] along a linear stretch in any area of Ahmedabad. They also interact with individuals to know the nature of each one’s journey to or on the street. Subsequently they develop a coherent narrative [text] of their own to showcase architectural conditions that offer opportunities to materialize people’s agendas.

Project: Visual Essay of Urban Edges

Narrative by Priyanka Awatramani, Nusaibah Khan, Aashini Sheth
Narrative by Priyanka Awatramani, Nusaibah Khan, Aashini Sheth

Using photographs and/or sketches, this project creates a visual essay that eulogizes ideas of enclosure, place, perforations, or territory as theorized in Gordon Cullen’s Townscape, while being critically aware of appropriation of spaces as a langue-parole negotiation. As a prelude, students compile a list of prepositions in pairs that allude to inherent interdependence, reciprocity, or simply obvious contradictions such as in-of, through-around, here-there, above-below, inside-outside, and so forth. Subsequently they photograph or sketch elements of urban streetscape, and building periphery that embody these prepositions—which later give form to the visual essays.