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.

KaliMarnane_MakingCities

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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Belonging

At Gandhi Ashram ice cream is for sale when a particular bell rings, and when “subjiiiiiiiiii!” is bellowed in the distance, it means it is either 8.30am or 5.30pm and fresh vegetables are available for sale. These sounds were foreign when I first arrived, but have worked their way into my daily routine here. Place identity involves all the senses, but does knowing how to behave mean that you belong?

Snow Capped Peaks

After inaugurating the preschool and finishing up my work I ascended into the cool of the Uttarakhand mountains. We walked through lush forests and alpine meadows, had chai with shepards and visited the worlds highest Shiva temple. A few days experiencing village life in Sari allowed me to witness the construction of a new house in dry stone. The intricate dry stone construction keeps interiors warm in winter, cool in summer and sits imbedded in its landscape. It takes a long time to construct using this method, so many people are changing to faster structures built of concrete and prefabricated blocks and bricks. 

Borrowed Space

The capacity for informal and borrowed use of space in India is an unusual and exciting experience for an architect used to restrictive planning controls. In a small civic space in Connaught Place, New Delhi, trees, garden beds and columns provide the moment to pause, to gather, to talk on the phone or to sit or lean on suitable ledges or tree trunks. Circulation weaves through leftover zones between groupings of activity. Arcades and broad tree canopies provide much needed shade.  People are drawn to spaces that provide shelter and amenity - in this case, shade from the searing heat and a place to sit or lean.

The activities that make Connaught Place a vibrant, interesting and appealing place to be are temporal, ephemeral: the meeting of people, the temporary stalls selling fruit, sunglasses and snacks, the communal water jug, the swapping of stories, the ability to temporarily park your bike. Although the built form provides an anchor it is the spaces between that provide the setting for life to happen.

Bholu 15 Preschool Opens

The Bholu 15 Inauguration was a beautiful event with over 100 children in attendance! 

There are many thank yous to go around: to Manav Sadhna for their incredible work in the Tekra community and in particular Harshaben, Ajaybhai, Shirishbhai, Maheshbhai and Himanshubhai. To our fantastic volunteers from Manav Sadhna and CEPT University, in particular Harshil and Shaialja who worked tirelessly with us to finish the project. Our Bholu 15 teachers Varshaben and Maduben who supplied us with chai, saris and teach the beautiful children of Bholu 15. The Paryavaran Mitra community and Rashmeben for helping us with our plastic rainbow and being so accommodating to sharing their work space with a construction site. A huge thank you to our construction team from Baka Constructions who worked tirelessly 7 days a week to create this building: Bakabhai, Hashmokbhai, Nitin, Hemant and Vishal. And, of course, our fantastic TAP mentors Jane J and Jane R for their enthusiasm, encouragement and advice.