Shanghai Collage: Dinghai Qiao
2014 Same-Same Mumbai-Shanghai Urban Studies Workshop Lecture Series
Hosted by Fan Wenbing
Speakers: Zhao Dongmei, Kalpit Ashar
Participants: Students from KRVIA, Mumbai and Jiaotong University, Shanghai; Participants of Dinghai Qiao Project
Zhao Dongmei: Reading Shanghai Architecture from the History of the City
Shanghai is a unique city which is developed under colonial modern China. It plays an important role in Chinese modernization process. It is considered as a "key" in research of modern China because its process of development and evolution is the epitome of modern China.
From a typical Chinese traditional “water town” before the Opium War ，Shanghai rose in accordance with the western urban model and became a modern metropolis in modern China. It experienced governed by Qing dynasty and republic of China, management by colonists, occupation by Japan till the establishment of the People's Republic of China. Shanghai architecture shows the character of inter-influence of east and west. The lecture focuses on how to understand Shanghai architecture from the history of the city.
Kalpit Ashar: Symbiotic Communes
The city of Mumbai as continued to expand in order to negotiate with the waves of rural migration. The housing for these migrants/workers which was initiated as temporary facility have grown over time into communities with its own histories, memory and the social realm. These sites often witness a sudden change due to the pressures of its impatient development resulting in schizophrenic landscapes. The future development of the city is often directed through its plan which becomes a legal instrument. It formulates a blueprint for zones based on prescribed standards as a blanket tool which misses out the nuances of the city’s diverse contexts. This process results in displaced patches within the city form with no space for its dwellers to undergo this ‘Transition’.
‘Symbiotic Communes’ investigates few of such rapidly transforming landscapes in India such as Inner city housing, market precincts, red-light precincts, post industrial landscapes and flood affected community. The space for the transition is often not part of the city’s blueprint which results in displacing its inhabitants. The presentation would look at few projects that attempts grassroots revival of a neighborhood that is currently at the edge of gentrification. The projects look at devising a method to activate connections between the disconnected realities. ‘Symbiotic Communes’ investigates methods that could allow refuge for its displaced ‘Urban Nomads’.