Specialisation Studies | Ruturaj Parikh

Tactical Interventions : Light Infrastructures

Tanuja Vartak

The framework of the course intended to orient us towards public spaces in and around the city of Panjim in Goa in an attempt to rejuvenate them.

The entire first week of the 17 days that we spent in Goa was dedicated to visiting the 11 different sites of study and other regions  in order to get a general understanding of the context. We were divided into five groups of 4 based on the site we chose to intervene on. Campal Garden is a peaceful public park and my initial reaction on visiting the site was to question why such open greens needed any infrastructure to attract the public. Observation of the site at various times of the day and its specific location made me realize that the park needed activation in order to invite the stakeholders.

Reflecting back, we took quite some time to understand Panjim because we couldn't relate to the under-utilization of public spaces coming from a highly densely populated city such as Mumbai- where public areas are always populated with crowds of varying age groups. What might have helped was living in Goa for a prolonged period as it took time for us to de-fog our lens of the city through a tourist's viewpoint.

The intervention that my group worked on were follies that were - through the design process an attempt to be rooted to their immediate context. In the process of iterating forms for the follies, we tried to make the scale intimate but this actually did not account for the large crowds that actually do inhabit the site during season. This occurred because we visited Goa during the off-season and hence our experience of any site was entirely different from what one experiences the remaining eight months of the year. A site is more than just a parcel of land. It is most importantly its microclimate and what the people make of it. Hence to design or to intervene onto any site, one must have a clear understanding of how it responds throughout the year.

One of the important learnings for me throughout this course was that one need not problematise a site in order to design for it, Design can simply be an attempt to improve the existing.

Grid on Site Plan, Aditi Kawade

Pathway, Parth Kocharekar
Plan of Watercaves, Tanushree Bhagwat
Follies, Tanuja Vartak