Street Architecture

Mumbai, Maharashtra
2005

A parallel world of informal businesses flourishes in the interstices between the formal structures of Indian streets. The 'architecture' of this street market emerges out of responses to multiple needs; displaying goods, attracting buyers, negotiating the legality of the shops, the security of the goods and so on. In Mumbai, where space is at a premium, the characteristic features of these shops emerge from acts of maximizing space in creative ways.

As the banal uniformity of the global aesthetic unquestioningly replaces the vibrant material culture of Indian cities, street markets with their unique visual assemblages remain valuable representatives of the dynamic and heterogeneous popular cultures of the city.

 

This ongoing research in DCOOP aims to document this unique 'architecture' of Mumbai street markets. It has evolved over the years from a simple documentation project to a complex cluster of multiple media explorations such as publications, exhibition panels, and most recently, an art installation.

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