• PhotoStories | The Streets of Marrakesh

    Thursday, August 7, 2014 Permalink

    Continued from here. The streets of Marrakesh are chaotic, sure, but they aren't threatening. The men of Marrakesh do return your curiosity in healthy measure, especially if you are a woman with a camera. There are those who like to try and make an unfair profit on your foreign naiveté - as an Indian though, I come with an inbuilt con-radar. Then there are others who painstakingly explain their craft to you and then give you a discount they can barely afford, just because you listened. The women mostly huddle about in groups, or go about their business in measured, somewhat wary ...

  • PhotoStories | Chaos in Marrakesh

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014 Permalink

    Coming as I do from India, chaos is something I'm quite familiar with. Familiarity though, does not imply intimacy, or even comfort. Familiarity just makes you less afraid of chaos - it ceases to be the "other", something to be intrinsically distrusted. Chaos makes me uncomfortable but curious. It's when I start to channel that curiosity into looking closely, I start to see the parts that make up the whole, I begin to find a place of relative comfort. Three days aren't enough to go much deeper than the surface - I'm but a flaneuse, a watcher, a voyeur - but three days are enough to ...

  • Urbanism | The themes for 2014 (and beyond) Part 1

    Thursday, April 3, 2014 Permalink

    This has been sitting in my writing notes ever since the first week of January when, satiated with a wonderful year-end trip deep in southeast Asia, I sat down to think about what 2014 is going to be like in this all-encompassing, jargon-filled world of urbanism. I was going to call these the top buzzwords in urbanism initially, but I couldn't help but admit that leaving aside the compelling twenty-first century urbanist propensity to jargonise everything, it is hard to ignore that this is what's happening in the world of thinking about cities and places and that at least a ...

  • Design | Re-Imagining a Co-Working Space

    Thursday, October 17, 2013 Permalink

    While I am an urban planner + place brander by day, long time readers of this blog would know that I'm always seeking out interesting side projects that exercise my creative muscles in some way. So when in August, good friend Anjali Ramachandran, who works as the Head of Innovation at PHD, invited me to collaborate with her for the David Pilton Hub Challenge at NABS, I all but jumped at the opportunity. Our entry was shortlisted as one of the finalists in the competition, but to our disappointment, we didn't win! Anjali and I spent a lot of time in August ...

  • Urbanism | Place Engagement through Art at Bankside

    Monday, September 23, 2013 Permalink

    I have written about Candy Chang's thoughtful urban installations before, and therefore I am delighted to hear that she is bringing her work to London through the next few weeks as part of the Merge Festival at Bankside. The festival is a celebration of the rich cultural heritage of the area, and it aims to encourage public engagement with the place through a series of installations and art projects and performances over the next few weeks. Candy Chang brings her "Before I Die" installation to the festival - the installation has travelled to several cities around the world and has always brought ...

  • On Photography

    Sunday, September 15, 2013 Permalink

    “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst” – Henri Cartier Bresson.

    True, very true.

    If you started with a digital camera, make that your first 30,000. Perhaps even 50,000.

  • PhotoStories | Snippets from Rome

    Wednesday, July 31, 2013 Permalink

    OK, this has got to be the longest break I have taken from the blog! The last few months have been crazy busy - mostly in a good way. I travelled to Crete, Rome and New York, got my knee sorted, took one of the biggest plunges of my life and launched my own consultancy, and also managed to work on a couple of really cool projects. It's August now and it is time to take a breather. Just for a bit, though - I have more exciting things happening and I will be sure to share them with you when ...

  • PhotoStories | A little over four years’ worth

    Sunday, March 3, 2013 Permalink

    If you are wondering why this blog has seen such little photography action over the last few months, please put down those protest banners and please don't demand your money back*. The reason for this state of affairs is that back in December, The Flaneurbanite's knee threw a tantrum and has since been acting like a  total brat. So there has been very little walking, no flanerie whatsoever, and as a result, very little photography (apart from random instagrams, which I wouldn't  want to waste your time with). But then I also realised that it's been four years and a bit since I first ...

  • Urbanism | Book Reviews

    Monday, February 25, 2013 Permalink

    1. A Guide to Archigram 1961-74 | Dennis Crompton Princeton Architectural Press, Bilingual Edition, 2012Paperback, 447 pages             A radical group of young architects - Warren Chalk, Peter Cook, Dennis Crompton, David Greene, Ron Herron and Michael Webb - burst onto the British architectural scene in the 1960's with a rather futuristic and technocratic manifesto for building, which they called Archigram. Archigram was a movement, a philosophy that  sought to reinvent the 'Modern', and at the same time reject the prevailing post-war British interpretation of it. The stocky book, the second edition, has been compiled by one of those architects, Dennis Crompton and and is essentuially ...

  • Urbanism | City At Play – Of Talking Lamp Posts And Whispering Mailboxes

    Monday, January 28, 2013 Permalink

    Does this blog need one more wonderful example of using creativity, art and technology to to foster engagement with the city? Of course it does! Watershed, a cross-platform cultural and art production agency based in Bristol, UK,  recently commissioned a competitive award called the Playable City Award 2013. The idea was to encourage the use of creative technology and art to create a sense of challenge and surprise to encourage people to interact with the city - in this case, Bristol itself. The winning entry by London based experience design studio PAN, does exactly that, and how! Titled "Hello, Lamp Post!", it will enable citizens to use ...

  • Urbanism*Design | Two fantastic LED interventions

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013 Permalink

    If you've been following this blog, you would know that in keeping with my interest in place making and destination branding,  I am a keen follower of art / design based interventions in public spaces that foster new interest in, and therefore engagement with the space - you'd remember I highlighted this in Candy Chang's work last summer and in this fabulous temporary landscape intervention in Jaujac, France. But what you probably don't know is that I also have a personal love affair with lighting - I think I might have some moth genes in me, as I am drawn to ...

  • Urbanism | Exploring London’s layers through The Blitz

    Monday, January 14, 2013 Permalink

    I have a deep fascination with maps and mapping and am always on the lookout for interesting ones. So I was delighted, when thanks to The Monocle (one of my all time favourite magazines) I came across this interactive map at bombsight.org that shows every single bomb that was dropped on London by the Luftwaffe during The Blitz in the Second World War between 7th October 1940 and 6th June 1941. (click to enlarge screenshot or go to www.bombsight.org) At its zoomed out version, it shocks and boggles the mind, because it looks like not one inch of London was spared ...

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