Monsoon Assemblages is an interdisciplinary, practice driven research project that draws on the environmental humanities (anthropology, environmental studies, political ecology, cultural geography and philosophy), the natural sciences (meteorology, climatology and climate science) and spatial design (architecture, landscape architecture, planning and urban design) to undertake research into the impacts of changing monsoon climates and rapid urbanisation in four of South and South-East Asia’s rapidly growing cities – Chennai, Delhi and Dhaka and Yangon.
THE PROJECT TEAM
To undertake the project, an unconventional interdisciplinary team has been assembled in the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at the University of Westminster comprising:
Exhibition Designer: Dr Jonathan Cane (2020-2021)
Exhibition Designer: Andrea Hayes (2020-2021)
DS18 Tutors: Roberto Bottazzi (2016-2018), John Cook (2018-2019), Ben Pollock (2018-2019)
Research Assistants: Georgia Trower (2017-2018), Tom Benson (2018), Thomas Blain (2018)
Business Support: Zahra Mohamed-Saleh (2016-2018)
Business Support: Aisha Forde (2018)
INTERNATIONAL ADVISORY BOARD
The project is advised by an international advisory board whose members include leading researchers and designers in the fields of anthropology, architecture, geography and environmental studies, landscape architecture, law, meteorology, planning, politics and international relations, social science and South Asian studies. Board members are:
Professor Simon Joss, Professor of Urban Futures in the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow
Professor Sunil Amrith, Department of History, Yale University.
Dr. Kazi Khaleed Ashraf, Director-General, Bengal Institute for Architecture, Landscapes and Settlements
Professor David Chandler, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster
Dr. Dilip Da Cunha, Department of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University; Department of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard Graduate School of Design; Srishti School of Art, Design, and Technology, Bangalore
Dr. Radha D’Souza, Law School, University of Westminster
Dr Pamila Gupta, Professor, Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Witwatersrand
Professor Kirsten Blinkenberg Hastrup, Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen
Professor Anuradha Mathur, Department of Landscape Architecture, PennDesign, University of Pennsylvania
Professor Chella Rajan, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
Dr. Andrew Turner, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading
Professor Johan Woltjer, School of Architecture and Cities, University of Westminster
The project is housed in the School of Architecture and Cities at the University of Westminster. It is currently partnered with:
In addition to partner institutions, Monsoon Assemblages also collaborates with and is assisted by other organisations in undertaking and disseminating its research. To date these are:
Care Earth Trust, a Chennai based technical Non-Governmental Organisation founded in 2000 with the mission of conserving biodiversity for human wellbeing through research, advocacy and capacity building.
Research Initiatives, Bangladesh (RIB), a Non-Governmental Organisation set up in 2002 to support research aimed at identifying strategies and programs that could ensure sustainable, progressive alleviation of poverty in Bangladesh.
DESIGN STUDIO 18
An unconventional aspect of Monsoon Assemblages is the alignment of DS18, the Master of Architecture (MArch) design studio at the University of Westminster tutored by Professor Lindsay Bremner and Roberto Bottazzi with the research project for three years (2016-2019). Masters level students will develop and test representational and design strategies and prototypes.
Yr 1: Constantina Avraamides, Sarah Bass, Charlotte Birch, Robert Fernandes-Dwyer, Rosanna Rolfe, Ben Street, Nora Szosznyak, Georgia Trower.
Yr 2: Tom Benson, Monica Cristu, Emma Hilton-Grange, Jeronimo Garcia, Seetul Ghattaora, Sebastien Monceaux, Laura Nica, Connor Page, Cid Schuler, Calvin Sin, Charles Weston-Smith.
Year 1: Raymonde Bieler, Thomas Blain, Aimee Cornelius, William Galloway, Lidia Gherghe, Fiona Grieve, Tahin Khan, Elisabetta Lafratta, Wendy Leung, Omar Monshi, James Purchon, Patricia Trivino, Rachel Wakelin, Qishuo Zhang.
Year 2: Constantina Avraamides, Anett Bako, Sarah Bass, Charlotte Birch, Robert Fernandes-Dwyer, Alexandra Horsman, Rosanna Rolfe, Georgia Trower, Costas Xenophontos.
Year 1: Tamanna Akhter, Jessmine Bath, Aimee Daniels, Katherine Dechow, Dagmara Dyner, Charlotte Grasselli,, Kate Hosking, Sara Kosanovic, Una Ledaal, Ioana Ungureanu.
Year 2:Raymonde Bieler, Thomas Blain, Aimee Cornelius, Lidia Gherghe, Fiona Grieve, Elisabetta Lafratta, Omar Monshi, James Purchon, Patricia Trivino, Rachel Wakelin.