Kaiwan Mehta, Curator
The Urban Design and Architecture section at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2017 will explore the multifaceted nature of architectural practice and building in the cities of India today.Architecture Studios, not only from metros such as Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore but also Nasik and Kolhapur will present the relationship of design to context, space to technology, as well as questions of labour and art. One conversation specifically will focus on the exchanges between architecture and engineering and the ethics of good practice. At the same time design and practice will get into more comples zones such as river-ship building on the Ganges or developing a state-of-the-art airport in Mumbai which also doubles as one of the larges museums of varied artistic works in the world.
Urbanity and especially Housing is a major concern at this edition of the festival. The festival begins with a 2-day seminar on the State of Housing in India with keynote speakers and practitioners presenting case studies from all across India, and then the section closes with an artist collective discussing the issue of housing through film and other cultural as well as legal narratives. In the meanwhile we not only pick up on the growth and planning of cities such as Mumbai (specially focusing on the debates around the recent drafting of the Development Plan) and Chennai (where the question of past and Modernity still struggles over the shape of the city), as well as Delhi where an artist critiques the state of urban affairs and the experience of living in a Metropolis today through his long running artistic practice across many media. Two other cultural theorist will explore the works of specific and many artists engaging with questions of Dwelling and Abode, Homing and Space, Gender and Memory – expanding the idea of Home and Dwelling to a larger philosophical but also political realm.
And finally a full evening and more is devoted to architectural research and publications, where recently published books as well as exhibitions based on archives will be discussed for the way they may redraw for us the history of architecture in twentieth century India.
The UDA section also presents PechaKucha Nights Mumbai which will see a series of rapid-fire presentations in the 20X20 PKN format, from artists, designers, photographers, and many others working in the space of the arts and the culture.
Acknowledgements: Hena Kapadia, DOMUS India, Urban Design Research Institute, the Architecture Foundation and Khorshed Deboo.