Environmental Design Research Conference in Brooklyn, New York

I’ve spent the last ten days in Brooklyn to attend the EDRA50 conference at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering.

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I presented a paper titled ‘What Village Are You From? Understanding the origins and morphology of informal settlements in Ahmedabad, India’ which won the best student paper prize! My paper examined the morphology and housing in informal settlements in Ahmedabad using an architectural and ethnographic case study approach. To write this paper, I collected data during three fieldwork periods totalling six months over two years and used methods such as settlement mapping, architectural documentation, community immersion, observation and interviews across four informal settlements.

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I also presented a poster titled ‘Incremental Change: Understanding the morphology of informal settlements in Ahmedabad, India’. The poster documented how informal dwellings have physically occurred and are continually negotiated in two informal settlements in Ahmedabad.

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New Build Brisbane VOL.04

New Build Brisbane is a network of new studios, trades and consultants that are shaping the built environment in Queensland. It provides a platform for emerging practices in the fields of architecture, landscape, planning, construction, research and development to present their story, vision and process. This generates exposure to a vibrant aspect of the local industry and allows us to connect across disciplines as well as to media, publishers and more established practices in the industry.

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New Build Brisbane VOL.03

We recently held our third New Build forum, a talk series that aims to create a network of studios, trades and consultants shaping the built environment of Brisbane. It was great to catch up with everyone and discuss the future of Brisbane.

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Service in India

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Back to Ahmedabad

I am back in India to learn about the informal communities in which people live in Ahmedabad. In order to give back to the people I am learning from, I am volunteering again with Manav Sadhna to coordinate arts and crafts activities in one of their newest centres. Teaching art to students of all ages provides a way for me to transfer knowledge, get to know the families who live here and understand the community's daily rhythms.

Something I am struck with almost every day here is how difficult it is to keep clean. It is dusty and the pollution is extreme, many roads are unpaved and water only comes on for 2 hours per day. And yet, every day I see sparkling men, women and children heading out to jobs, school and chores. Who is responsible for the enormous feat of collecting, storing and boiling water on the stove every single day for each family member to bathe? Who washes their clothes by hand? Women. The incredible women of these communities have an emotional and physical strength that can sometimes defy belief. 

Each trip to India teaches me more and more. I am so grateful to the communities I work with for providing such an important opportunity for me to learn and for extending the warm hand of friendship. I'm looking forward to getting stuck into the data and sharing what I learn!

Ideas for Change winner

My submission for the Global Change Scholars 'Idea's For Change' independent project won first prize! The task was to demonstrate the ways in which my academic work speaks to global trends, and how that work might drive some aspect of global change.

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Thanks to Will Harvey-Jones and Sam Rogers for the animation and Ben Marnane for the music!

New Build Brisbane VOL.02

New Build Brisbane is an interdisciplinary panel event that helps to form a network of new studios, trades and consultants that are shaping the built environment in Queensland. It provides a platform for emerging practices in the fields of architecture, landscape, planning, construction, research and development to present their story, vision and process.

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