Workshop Observations and Findings:
The workshop was intentionally kept open ended as we looked at it as an opportunity to create a connect with the river and mature it into a constant engagement for its revival and rejuvenation. The group was new and not residents from Panvel. So the intuitive reactions were missing after the long river walk we all took on the first day. Thus, orientation of the participants become important as it is necessary to make a group of young Architects/Urban Designers understand the importance of such exploration. We had a group of B-Arch as well as M-Arch students to work with. Along the work we introduced to various methods of visual mapping one has to imbibe to understand water resources and the ecologies which exist in and around it. For Example we spotted two dysfunctional wells on our way which were evidence of river water being used as source of potable water by the villagers. The peculiar location of trees in the vicinity of the well area were evidence of good ground table and rich nutrient quality of soil. Chirping of birds and sounds of insects showed sign of bio diversity which exists. The water Hyacinth was an indicator of high level of biological mass in the river water and deteriorated state of river ecology.
With visual mapping we did introduce other survey techniques and various environmental screening considerations to prepare DPR (Detailed Project Report) in related projects. The challenge in such projects is to understand the political will and ways in which the river as an entity is perceived by the executing authority, the municipal corporation. The BRIMSTOWARD departments consist of only engineer; this leaves them completely unequipped to handle a living entity. A focussed discussion on mapping and listing stakeholders with their role and responsibility becomes essential. Narrative building to enforce and reinforce the idea of river being a living entity and the pool of expertise it requires is the next crucial step. We spend two days of the workshop to build this narratives. These narratives were the medium of communication to various stakeholders to initiate the initial dialogues for river Kalundre. The groups worked with three narratives.
- Journeys of and along Kalundre
- Death of symbiosis (सहजीवन जला समाधी)
- Reconnecting to the river Kalundre
We encourage the students to use various mediums of expressing their views and messages they would like to convey to the various stakeholders. They used Hindi, Marathi and English language to connect to people across different strata of society and toil on emotional connect they could revive with the river.
Consciously the team refrained students from designing or proposing any design intervention. After working for 7 years on Dahisar river the team strongly believed in creating awareness amongst the communities and various organisational bodies to register the river as an living body. Hence the design charette is looked as third step in series of workshop once the collective narrative and action plan is prepared.