The disjunction between the designer and her space of intervention is central to the definition of the architect’s profession which is founded on shaping the space of others. The central theme of this studio is to address this disjunction by developing projects in places that are inaccessible to the students all around the world. Accordingly, the design process is not only a process of production of space but also a process of production of knowledge about the space of intervention. Hence, research, analysis and building (v.) are considered concurrent design activities that are closely related but not necessarily chronologically ordered.
This is a studio in which each person designed their own project, based on independent research. My project began with a fascination with dams. The Tehri Dam, near the source of the Ganges River in India, cut off thousands of people from their daily rituals and interferes with an important religious trek. The electricity and drinking water is carried far away to Dehli.
water – The Mother Ganga.
electricity – The grid created by the dam.
yatra – The religious trek.
The product that resulted is a hostel for pilgrims on the yatra. The hostel provides electricity to the local villages with a battery charging station that borrows electricity from the grid and holds it using a parallel capacitor. The cells of the hostel recreate the three steps of the morning puja, including the flow of the water, as the river has now been made inaccessible in areas by the Tehri dam.