The Lab

The Chandigarh Urban Lab

India’s exceptional economic growth has sparked an urban boom which, as the China example shows, will effect global architecture and urbanism.  This project is an investigation into issues of globalization, urbanization and preservation that are at play in Chandigarh today. What is to be preserved and what not? Should Chandigarh apply for world heritage status? These are key questions both in the local press as also in the new master-plan document that is being prepared in Chandigarh today. Preservation, or conservation as it is called in India, was coupled with the idea of ‘uncertainty’, an exploration of the intuition that globalization created the conditions of such uncertainty about the future, that preservation, the creation of a ring around the perception of essentials, was the only cogent response to that uncertainty.

Many mid-size Indian cities face similar uncertainty today. But what makes Chandigarh unique and more interesting to a student of architecture, is that Chandigarh’s distinctive architecture and urbanism functions as a template against which one can measure the new. This is what makes Chandigarh a great urban laboratory in the ‘age of globalization.’ This is why we are here. What follows is our field report: our readings of a city struggling to invent its future, organized in six registers – the master plan, the periphery, the capitol complex, frame control, theatres and furniture.

The Chandigarh Urban Lab is dedicated to creating a forum to understanding the contemporary Indian city in transformation. It is designed to support Indian and international students and scholars of architecture and urbanism interested in studying Chandigarh as a case-study in the above context. Besides infrastructural and logistical support, the Lab offers linkages with local and national architects, academics, activists and citizens. The Lab is conducted in collaboration with the Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA) with the support of The Aditya Prakash Foundation (APF).

Collaboration

The Chandigarh Urban Lab is conceived as a ongoing forum on contemporary Indian architecture and urbanism. The Lab invites interested academic and research organizations to engage the Lab, either to simply access our facilities and framework and/or to propose full- fledged collaborations. Please feel free to contact us.

Dr. Vikramaditya Prakash, Director Chandigarh Urban Lab
Professor of Architecture,
Adjunct Professor of Landscape Architecture, Adjunct Professor of Urban Design and Planning
University of Washington, Box 355720, Seattle WA 98195-5720
tel: 206 616 9091 fax: 206 616 4992 Office: Arch Hall 170H

12 Responses to The Lab

  1. Pingback: VIAVOX: Seattle to Chandigarh – A Local/Global Dialogue » VIA Architecture

  2. Hitanshu Jishtu says:

    Hello,

    I had been a student at the Chandigarh college of Architecture and currently enrolled in a masters program in urban design at the Universität Liechtenstein, (Switzerland).

    I am doing a design research project under the guidance of professor Peter Droege, ( http://www.uni.li/tabid/264/id/23149.67/default.aspx ) to see how urban design in Chandigarh could be modified to run it on renewable energies.

    I wanted to explore possibilities of collaboration with the initiative that you have taken up here for the future urban planning of the city.

    Sincerely,
    Hitanshu Jishtu

    • Vikram says:

      Hi Hitanshu. Yes, this would certainly be of interest to us. Let’s talk. We are going to be back in Chandigarh from January to March 2014. Please contact me by email at vprakash@uw.edu

  3. Justin Sogo says:

    Dear Dr Prakash.
    I studied Information and Network Security at CDAC Mohali in Chandigarh, i’m also interesting for this forum .I would like to know if this forum is focus only on architecture and urbanism

    Thanks
    Justin

  4. ravinder singh atri says:

    Hi
    I got your reference from Google.
    May be you can help me to take my project forward.
    I am working in Travel Corporation (India) ltd which is part of Thomas Cook (India) and is based in Gurgaon. I am responsible for handling French tourists to India, Nepal and Bhutan.

    I have a very important client from France who will be brining in 20 architects from France in November 2013 and had recently visited Cape Town.

    What are interested is in modern architecture, urbanism, selling of properties, cities development. They might not be very excited by old buildings . So thought of Chandigarh and while through through google found your webpage. So I am not sure if I am at correct place !!!

    In Cape Town, we had meetings with architects, visited some top quality houses, but also some new development for poor people in the township. They also want to meet people, far from a touristic side.

    Can you help me in arranging this ?

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Best regards
    Ravinder (098107 20202)

  5. Prof. Mhoammad Reza Pourjafar says:

    It is too good. I am ready to collaborate.

    • Vikram says:

      Look forward to collaborating with you again, Reza. Your thesis was the original ‘rethinking’ of Chandigarh that I worked on!Vikram.

  6. Sahiba Duggal says:

    Hello,

    I had been a student at the Indo Global College Of Architecture,near Chandigarh and currently enrolled in a masters program in Landscape Architecture at the School of Planning and Architecture,New Delhi.
    I intend to undertake a design research project (3rd semester) which deals with Landscape Urbanism in Chandigarh.

    I wanted to explore possibilities of collaboration with the initiative that you have taken up here for the future urban scenario of the city.

    Sincerely,
    Sahiba Duggal

  7. Sahiba Duggal says:

    Hi,
    I had been a student at the Indo-Global college of Architecture and currently enrolled in a masters program in Landscape Architecture at the School of planning and Architecture,New Delhi.

    I intend to take up a design research project under the guidance of professor Surinder Suneja on Landscape Urbanism in Chandigarh.

    I wanted to explore possibilities of collaboration with the initiative that you have taken up here for the future urban scenario of the city.Hoping for a positive response.

    Regards
    Sahiba Duggal

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