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Design Cell


Perhaps the most exciting thing about the KRVIA-Grids project is that it begins with an observation of the off-grid. Acts of denial of access and appropriation of identity are observed in the context of the national park in Mumbai. Stories of claim to the grid, its accompanying infrastructure, of resistance to the grid, are examined, to theorise the ways in which claim is staked through various acts of representation in the Grid City.

In Mumbai, three dazzling decades of urban development and steady economic growth has been accompanied by the steady deterioration – and sometimes the spectacular breakdown – of the city’s infrastructural grids. This sub-project explores the recursive relationship between infrastructural practices and their representations. 

Our focus will be the competing images, discourses, and conceptualizations of infrastructural grids that circulate in the city, paying attention to the way infrastructural representations are bound up to imaginations and ideas of urban difference and hierarchy – spatial, gendered, racialized, casted, as well as the intersectional interactions among all these structures of inclusion and exclusion.

Project Objectives

To bring to light the competing representations of ‘urban problems’ and ‘grid-based solutions’ that underpin urban infrastructure and ‘world class’ development initiatives and projects.

Focus ethnographic attention on the “phatic labour” involved in mitigating the problems of formal grid-based ‘solutions,’ to understand other ways that urban problems are framed and represented, as well as the solutions that these representations suggest.

Reimagine ‘solutions’ by attending to competing representations of urban problems

Project Team

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