Composing Contexts

Architecture and beyond…

How can architects in India make themselves relevant in the future?

Four years ago, on my first day at School of Planning and Architecture, I was told during the campus tour, that a lot of graduates don’t become architects. They become photographers, artists, furniture designers among other endless possibilities of profession. I was puzzled. I thought to myself “How does one get into the best architecture school and not end up pursuing architecture?” Continue reading “How can architects in India make themselves relevant in the future?”

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Why Loiter?

Imagine an Indian city with street corners full of women: chatting, laughing, breast-feeding, exchanging corporate notes or planning protest meetings. Imagine footpaths spilling over with old and young women watching the world go by as they sip tea, and discuss love, cricket and the latest blockbuster. Imagine women in saris, jeans, salwars and skirts sitting at the nukkad and dissecting the rising sensex. If you can imagine this, you’re imagining a radically different city.

This is how ‘Why Loiter’ starts, and I’ve made many of my friends read this as I strutted around carrying the book with red post-it flags poking out from its pages. Having postponed my eager entry into the domain of ‘gender and space’, I finally picked up this book in December last year as a starting point, strongly recommended by a friend who wrote a dissertation on “Safety of Women in Markets”. In fact, my procrastination worked out well because the timing was in sync with an ongoing project which required me to be involved in intense field work in Delhi and Noida. I was spending my days hopping on and off five modes of transport including my feet, accessing local markets, metal and wood workshops, government schools and even the nukkad chaiwaala.  Continue reading “Why Loiter?”

Chicken /aur/ Chikan

Here’s kicking off this year with a sneak peak into my sketchbook 🙂 A cozy, comfortable end to 2016. Continue reading “Chicken /aur/ Chikan”


(In)formal= (Il)legal= (Un)planned: a story of negatives


Informal= Local= Informed: one of many positives

This post focuses on the informal sector in cities and it’s many positive contributions. It is a continuation from “Whose side are we on?”– a post that talks about what seeing like the State means and its impact on design of cities. It navigates through topics of formal/ informal and legibility/illegibility as well. Continue reading “Informal=Intelligent”

Whose side are we on?

What do we see? The formal or informal?

How do we read cities? Like the State or like the people?

What is the agency of design? An exercise in activism or authority?

Continue reading “Whose side are we on?”

Slum Upgradation

Up and Down.


Continue reading “Up and Down.”


Here’s the 2nd in the series ‘On Pages’. These are some books right from the beginner level to hard core texts by famous philosophers. I’m working my way in this order. 🙂

(P.s.- Recommendations are welcome! Comment below or contact me, I’ll keep this list updated 🙂

Continue reading “PHILOSOPHY on pages”

PLACES on pages

Books. Second-hand, dusty or brand new.

Pages. Doodled on, yellow or sparkling white.

And at SPA Delhi’s library, red and hardbound with gold embossed serif letters. Continue reading “PLACES on pages”

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