architect | urban designer | researcher

Empowering the Informal: Create, Densify, Sustain

Darukhana/Dharavi, Mumbai, India

With Darys Avila, Hyo Youn Kwan and Sylvia Ng

Through analyzing and learning from Darukhana, in the Eastern waterfront of Mumbai, the project uses the existing work/live module and provides alternatives to informal settlement dwellers working and earning money for their families, who may live in states suffering from economic opportunities; however, their homes have neither a sense of permanence nor any real ownership. The intervention aims to trigger a process of change through micro interventions and utilizes a prototype to increase the housing stock. Furthermore, through the development of grassroots community-based organizations which mediate between informal settlement dwellers and stakeholders a different approach to ownership will be established. This project looked at aqueous transects and the vital role of water in the urban design field. The notion of time in terms of span and cycles was a crucial part of the development of the courtyards and cores as the came as a reaction to the development of chawls as an alternative to slum living; however, these dense vertical dwellings were crammed in space and lacked the needed access to the ground which is a vital element of Indian slum dwellers. This resulted in the abandonment of newly built chawls for the convenience of slums.