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Richmond Town Urban Research


Richmond Town, Bangalore


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When India Foundation for the Arts called for ‘Neighborhood Engagements’ proposals under the ‘Project 560’ banner, it got us thinking about the possibility of our children engaging with the landscape of their childhood years, an engagement deeper than merely remembering a few street names. This was the starting point that led Sharanya Iyer, our principal architect, to gather a set of ten mothers with children aged eight to nine years. Based on her urban design and research background she was keen to get children to explore the neighborhood and form a deeper emotional connection with the immediately available layers of the past in our very own community - potent study material generally excluded from most history texts and school curriculum.

The first phase of ‘Richmond Town Diaries’ that you see here thus emerged, with five art exhibits and a child-led heritage walk. The art installations as seen at the event emerged from the wanderings, interviews, sketches, and writings done by the children during the course of exploring five distinct settings in the area. The explored colonial bungalows, landmark religious places, parks and play areas, neighborhood markets, legendary eateries, and joints in the vicinity. Architecture and the planning of this neighborhood were key highlights as these features stand out in one’s memories and chalk the graph of the growth of any settlement.

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