Water Walkshop Chennai, 04-09 December 2016

Between 04 and 09 December 2016, the Monsoon Assemblages Team (Lindsay Bremner, Beth Cullen, Michele Vianello and PhD candidate Harshavardhan Bhat) will conduct a one week long ‘Water WalkShop’ at the School of Architecture and Planning at Anna University in Chennai. This will be attended by students from the School of Architecture and Planning  at Anna University and students in DS18 from the Department of Architecture at the University of Westminster, on their annual field trip. We have been assisted in setting up the workshop by Dr Ranee Vedamuthu (Director) and Rajeswari Ravi of the School of Architecture and Planning and will be joined during the week by Dr Jayshree Venkatesan of the Care Earth Trust, Dr Sekar Raghavan of the Rain Centre, Priti Narayan of Urban Inform and architect Mahesh Radhakrishnan, architect, amongst others.

The overall aim of the workshop will be to survey, record and map how monsoon rain is registered in material, social and political life on a transect from the Killkattalia ery to Neelangarai beach in south Chennai. We are interested in the topography, plants, animals, insects, people, surfaces, infrastructures institutions and practices that assemble, distribute, hold, mediate, manage and negotiate with monsoon rain; in the elements, institutions and practices that are indifferent or hostile to it; and the opportunities for design to intervene in these systems, for whom, how and why. We are interested in ways of registering, recording, gathering and mapping site data about these matters; and in how to select, reorder and re-represent these data to a target audience, as design.

The programme will be as follows: Day 1. Walking with water from the Killkattalai ery to Neelangarai beach.  Day 2. Introduction to Monsoon Assemblages, field work methodologies and techniques; student presentations and field surveys. Day 3. Presentations: Care Earth, Rain Centre, Urban Inform, site visits to the Rain Centre, a rainwater harvesting block, and the Chemancherry Slum Resettlement. Day 4. Studio 1: Selecting and analysis data. Day 5.  Studio 2: Re-representing data. Day 6. Studio 3: Review.

In the course of the week, we will also visit Kanchipuram, the Rajiv Ghandhi Memorial at Sriperumbudur; the Mahaballipuram World Heritage and take guided historic walks around Mylapore and the historical Chennai beachfront.