Search Workshop 16
December 21-27 | 2016 | Kolkata
The whole span of the ‘Search Workshop 16’ on ‘Landscape Urbanism’ was a network of learning through exchanges within, with the subject and the context. The emerging discipline of Landscape Urbanism has been attempting to break into the consciousness of the planning and architecture academia and practice for the last ten years. Numerous opportunities for explorations do exist within such a sphere of operation, especially in the developing context of India. Any attempt to imagine 21st-century living, therefore, may very well acknowledge nature, and now urbanity, as the primary foundation of our existence. This idea could only be nurtured and practiced in a setting where informed and passionate minds come together to reposition the human life within the urban environment and vice-versa.
As an event, Search Workshop 16 offered a rare opportunity for professionals and students from disciplines of architecture, planning, design, and engineering to come together and initiate a discourse on the emerging discipline beyond its perceived hybridity of landscape and urbanism. No city in India could have been better working ground for the first in the series, but Kolkata. The City of Joy provided a rich contextual challenge for the participants with its layers of environmental and political history, a dense and varied range of users, and consequent urban forms.
The geographical representation of mentors and participants enriched the event further, through each one’s academic and lived experiences. Some of them were acquainted with political system but not with the environmental one, and for others, it was vice-versa. Like, with their cultural know-how of the language, food, and ecology, it was home-away-from-home for the seven participants from Bangladesh, who worked seamlessly with the city. However, participants from some other cities within the political boundary of India found the operational context different from what they have witnessed and experienced before.