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Mumbai is a city that many people call their home, but for a large chunk of those “home” exists elsewhere too.

Urbz has thrown spotlight on the cyclical journey of urban families between their neighbourhoods in Mumbai and their villages in the Konkan region of India.

The exhibition consists of traditional artistic renderings, architectural drawings of vernacular houses and settlements, portraits of families and model homes made by contemporary artisans, and interactive digital installations and videos. The exhibition also consists of models of ideal homes conceived by local builders from Dharavi, made by artisans who live and work there and come from different parts of the country.

Rural and urban lives are intermeshed and have been so for a long time.

The work has been showcased at MOMA, Chicago Architecture Biennale, Centre for Contemporary Culture in Bordeaux and Maxxi in Rome.

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Updates 13 Jul 2017

Bhau Daji Lad Museum collaborates with urbz on Mumbai Return: Journey Beyond the City

Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum is hosting ‘Mumbai Return: Journeys beyond the City’ during July. The exhibition has been created in collaboration with urbz which is a collective of urban researchers, anthropologists, architects, designers and activists specialised in local development, mobility, participatory planning and governance. urbz is based in Mumbai, Goa, Geneva, Bogota, Sao Paulo and Seoul.

Mumbai is a city that many people call their home, but for a large chunk of those “home” exists elsewhere too. Through this research and exhibition, urbz has thrown spotlight on the cyclical journey of urban families between their neighbourhoods in Mumbai and their villages in the Konkan region of India.

Mumbai is a city that many people call their home, but for a large chunk of those “home” exists elsewhere too.

Talking about how the research got extended into this exhibition, Rahul Srivastava and Matias Echanove, co-directors of urbz, told Colour Quotient, “Our research process simultaneously works with action projects, direct engagements, data collection, social science research as well as use of quality artistic photographs, architectural drawings and working with artisans and others. So the output of the research was as much creative as it was scientific. The exhibition format has been part of our communication strategies along with online presentations. We have shown work previously at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (Architecture Forum), Chicago Architecture Biennale, Centre for Contemporary Culture in Bordeaux and Maxxi in Rome among other spaces. The opportunity to showcase it at the Bhau Daji Lad museum – our home city – is very special.”

Urbz has thrown spotlight on the cyclical journey of urban families between their neighbourhoods in Mumbai and their villages in the Konkan region of India.

"Mumbai is a city that many people call their home, but for a large chunk of those “home” exists elsewhere too."

The exhibition consists of traditional artistic renderings, architectural drawings of vernacular houses and settlements, portraits of families and model homes made by contemporary artisans, and interactive digital installations and videos.

The exhibition consists of traditional artistic renderings, architectural drawings of vernacular houses and settlements, portraits of families and model homes made by contemporary artisans, and interactive digital installations and videos. The exhibition also consists of models of ideal homes conceived by local builders from Dharavi, made by artisans who live and work there and come from different parts of the country.

Urbz has been doing extensive research about how many of the migrants are transforming villages across the country into a sort of lab for a new aesthetic and typology. Talking about this, they said, “Our study, done in association and support by the Forum For Mobile Lives, Paris, explored the circulatory patterns of migration that shape life on the Indian sub-continent. Rural and urban lives are intermeshed and have been so for a long time. Spotlighting this in architectural terms across rural and urban contexts takes the form of some fine architectural ethnography and drawing and photographs that are showcased in the exhibition.”

Rural and urban lives are intermeshed and have been so for a long time.

The exhibition also consists of models of ideal homes conceived by local builders from Dharavi, made by artisans who live and work there and come from different parts of the country. “These are representations of the tool house that is a dominant live-work typology in Mumbai - much like the shop-house of colonial Singapore and the home-factories of Tokyo. Unfortunately in Mumbai, it becomes absorbed into the slum narrative,” Rahul and Matias said.

The work has been showcased at MOMA, Chicago Architecture Biennale, Centre for Contemporary Culture in Bordeaux and Maxxi in Rome.

The exhibition will be on view at the Special Project Space, Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum in Mumbai from 1 July 2017 to 31 July 2017.