Related Staff : Sony Devabhaktuni

Students: Law Hong Yan, Chen Jiaao, Chen Wei, Fan Pinyue, Fan Xinkai, Jiao Lei, Wu Xialin, Zhang Jie, Zhang Xiaoke, Zhang Xinyue
Year: MArch Fall 2019
Tutor: Sony Devabhaktuni

The studio looked at two modes of thinking through architecture: first, the back and forth between descriptive and analytical study that can be used to generate discursive, problematizing narratives; and second, the transformation of this narrative into a speculative fiction through projective design propositions.

The studio considered how these modes function when satellite images are initial sources of information. The context of the work was a new capital city designed for 3.2 million people on fertile, flood prone land for the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Construction of this new city began in 2016, based on a masterplan determined by a Singaporean engineering consultancy and with major government buildings designed by Norman Foster. Work on the project was halted in the summer of 2019 with a change in government, giving students the opportunity to project an alternative future for the site.

Even before its existence, Amaravati embodied the contradictions of growing cities in India. The brief yet consequent history of the project and its impact on land and livelihoods gives students an opportunity to consider the role architecture plays in complex processes where territorial, urban, infrastructural and ecological questions are at stake.