A lecture by P.K. Das, Architect and Activist, Founder of P K Das and Associates, Mumbai; and Samarth Das, Architect and Urban Designer (GSAPP, MsAUD ‘13), Design Lead, PK Das & Associates
In their talk, Das & Das emphasized the need for organizing social movements to stop the ongoing destruction of natural systems and to achieve a sustainable ecology of cities. Reenvisioning cities through nature-based development plans and programs will unify the fragmented regional landscape and push urban design towards environmentally viable and just ways of life.
P.K. Das is widely known as an Architect–Activist. His priority has long been to establish a close relation between architecture and people by engaging them in participatory planning processes, and critically responding to the cry for sustainable ecology.
Das’ wide spectrum of work includes organizing slum dwellers for better living, developing affordable housing models, engaging in policy frameworks for public housing, reclaiming public spaces including protection of waterfronts, conservation of natural areas, and re-envisioning the city of Mumbai. Das’ practice involves urban planning, urban design, architecture, and interior design projects across India.
Das has authored several books and publications and has delivered talks and lectures across the world. His work on the development of Mumbai’s coastline and his slum rehabilitation projects have won him national and international awards including the first “Urban Age Award” instituted by the London School of Economics and Deutsche Bank, conferred upon the Mumbai Waterfronts Centre of which Das is the Chairperson. In 2016, he was awarded the prestigious and first “International Jane Jacobs Medal.”
Samarth Das is an Urban Designer and Architect based in Mumbai and a graduate of the Architecture and Urban Design Master’s program from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University. Samarth’s work focuses on engaging public and private sector actors to design and articulate shared spaces within cities that promote participation and interaction amongst people.
Since June 2014, Samarth has been working in Mumbai with PK Das & Associates. He is currently working on projects that include the rejuvenation of the Irla Nullah precinct in the Mumbai suburb of Juhu and comprehensive tourism plans for the City’s Juhu and Versova beaches. His work also includes the design of the new Government offices for the State of Maharashtra, master planning and design of the Motilal Nagar district in Goregaon in Mumbai – one of the city’s largest “cluster” redevelopment projects. Samarth is also one of the Founding Trustees of the “Equal Streets” Movement – a citizens group that promotes walking and cycling in Mumbai. Other engagements include co-scripting and co-directing a documentary film in 2017, entitled “Reading Architecture Practice: Mumbai.”
**Organized by Columbia University, GSAPP, Architecture and Urban Design Program .