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Travelling studios are working laboratories for design thought and production, and involve the exploration of complex, real-life issues. They expose students to unfamiliar cultures, places and people, and stimulate their ability to think creatively and solve problems. These studios aim to bring together students from architecture, urban design, landscape and planning streams and encourage an interdisciplinary focus. Pre-trip briefings or seminars will precede the travel component of the studio. The studio will incur travel costs, in addition to tuition fees. Faculty subsidies will, however, be available.
SPECIFIC INFORMATION ABOUT TRAVELLING STUDIO (AHMEDABAD)
Following its independence in 1947, from the 1950s to 70s India underwent a period of rapid change with the simultaneous reclamation of a national Indian identity and the striving for inclusion in the western economically developed world. These forces coalesced in the architecture at the time, which simultaneously sought internationally modern characteristics but with reverence to the distinct Indian climate, cultural modes of occupation and available materials and technologies.
Ahmedabad is a city that bears a living vestige to some of the most prominent Indian modernist buildings of this time including those designed by internationally acclaimed architects, such as Le Corbusier’s Mill Owner’s Association Building (1954) and Louis Kahn’s Indian Institute of Management (1974). Likewise, the old city of Ahmedabad has a traditional fabric of courtyard houses with small alleys and secret pathways built from local materials that contain rich domestic modes of occupation particular to the city. Integral to this were innovative infrastructure support systems, such as those related to water management dating to the 1700’s.
While Ahmedabad has iconic modernist and traditional architectural and urban planning typologies, the majority of the city’s structures built from 1950-70 neither contain the ingenious technologies derived from their context, as witnessed in the old city, nor the scale of Corbusier or Kahn’s grandiose modernist structures. This begs the question of what was contributed to the built fabric and identity of Ahmedabad? And how is this adapted to enable and support the 21st century needs and aspirations for the rapidly growing metropolis of Ahmedabad, a city whose population has doubled in the last ten years and now faces a housing availability crisis.
This travelling studio offers students the great opportunity to learn, alongside their CEPT university peers, about Ahmedabad’s modernist multilevel residential typologies and the craft/trade-based systems and technologies that were adapted or discarded within this period of architectural transition. The purpose of the studio is to undertake research into a selection of crafts, trades and technologies that supported Ahmedabad’s modernist housing; and to survey, analyse and design/document the eventual restoration of one of these residences to reflect the values of its original construction in a contemporary context. The proposed case study site is a multilevel house designed by a builder for a traditional joint family structure that is constructed in 1960s-70s Ahmedabad modernist concrete. The house includes features such as site made blockwork, extensive stone surfaces, and encaustic wall finishes, all of which are becoming less dominant in the 21st century’s increasingly prefabricated and standardised construction. Using a case study enables students to develop understandings of a fledgling modernist construction industry and the interaction between design and construction in the post-independence modern regionalist era. It also offers the opportunity to investigate what happened to that industry and whether it is still economically, socially and environmentally possible to design and build utilising local craft/trade-based systems today.
Return Flights: $2000
Local Travel: $500
Living expenses (meals and incidentals): $650
Note: Participating students will receive a one-off subsidy of $800 from the Faculty - utilised towards student’s accommodation costs. Prices listed are subject to change.
For further information please check the following link: http://edsc.unimelb.edu.au/travelling-studios
Intended learning outcomes
- To provide students with an experience in international collaboration.
- To encourage students to identify and engage critically with specific cultural practices, industrial contexts and socio-technical traditions.
- To stimulate systematic/creative thinking and problem solving within students through their experiences of how local issues govern planning, design and construction processes in a particular location.
- Interdisciplinary teamwork.
- Understanding and navigating social and cultural difference.
- Knowledge transfer.
- Organisational collaboration.
- Managing risk.
Last updated: 18 December 2020