Monsoon Assemblages 1:

Mashlands - 2016/17
Chennai, India
Lindsay Bremner & Roberto Bottazzi

Between 2016 and 2019, DS18 is participating in the research agenda of Monsoon Assemblages, a five-year ERC funded research project working in three cities in South Asia: Chennai, Dhaka and Yangon. These cities are places where neo-liberal development is conspiring with changing monsoon patterns to produce floods, heatwaves, outbreaks of disease or water shortages and making urban life increasingly vulnerable. By exploring the multiple ways in which the monsoon has historically been woven into the fabric of urban life and the forms of knowledge that have been formulated around it (scientific, cultural, everyday), the project aims to explicate experimental approaches to architecture and urban planning to challenge neo-liberal protocols and better co-habit with monsoonal excesses. It is this agenda that DS 18 is advancing.

‘In the context of urban and architectural processes driven almost exclusively by economic and political interests and concerns, what might it mean to develop urban and architectural strategies for and with the monsoon, a global system massively dispersed in space and time, yet with profoundly local consequences and cultures?'

In 2016/17, the studio began by simulating monsoon rain as a way to develop its programme and aesthetic. Students visit ed Chennai where they were hosted by the School of Architecture and Planning at Anna University. They under took field work along a 9km transect through the Pallikaranai Marsh, a large water body in South Chennai encroached on by an IT corridor, and identified a site on this transect to engage with the studio 's research questions and methods. In 2017/18, the studio will explore this agenda further in Dhaka and in 20 18/19 in Yangon.
Guest Critics:
Laura Allen (Smout Allen Architects), Karl Beelen (University of Karlsruhe) , Harshavardhan Bhat, Nerea Calvillo (University of Warwick), Beth Cullen, Richard Difford, Francois Girardin, Susannah Hagan, Jane MacAllister (London Metropolitan University), Oscar McDonald (Wilkinson Eyre Architects), Michel O' Hanlon (DSDHA Architects), Sowmya Parthasarathy (ARUP), Ben Pollock (Fletcher Priest Architects), Anthony Powis, Alfredo Ramirez (AA), Alice Thompson ( Dan Marks Studio), Alex Watts (Eric Perry Architects)

Special Thanks:
Pushpa Arabindoo , Beth Cullen, Cath Hassell, Priti Narayan, Sekar Raghavan, Rajeswari Ravi, Ranee Vedamuthu, Jayshree Ven katesan and Michele Vianello for studio inputs in London and Chennai.

Monsoon Assemblages: Monsoon Assemblages is a research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant Agreement No. 679873)