THE IDEA OF INCLUSIVENESS AS A SUBVERSION OF MONUMENTALITY: Vaishnavi Gondane

THE IDEA OF INCLUSIVENESS AS A SUBVERSION OF MONUMENTALITY
Bridging identities – Spatial identities of Neo-Buddhists

The drawing is a part of the miniature drawing for my thesis on bridging identities between Neo-Buddhists and the urban public. Subverting the concept of a monument, the Neo-Buddhist intervention is reimagined. The underground floor, which is anchored by a flag-hoisting amphitheater, comprises primarily of silent activities such as meditation and worship spaces that open up into the courtyards, creating a greater sense of community. One could imagine a body walking through the building and experiencing different blocks connected by various transitional spaces. This public space is intended to be a place where people may learn and express themselves. The different wind catchers define the flow of people, just as they define the movement of the wind in the scorching heat in Nagpur.

Therefore, the thesis looks at the identity crisis of Neo-Buddhists in Nagpur, India. It questions the nature of interaction and constant negotiation of the community with the city. Buddhists have followed a pattern to be an exclusive community and for a very long time wanted to assert their place in Indian society. The design intervention tries to subvert the idea of assertion and monumentality. It aims to become memorable through grounding its experience to the Shastri Nagar(the site) where Buddhism is on the verge of disappearing. The project tries to enquire how social spaces can be created that aid to lessen the bridge between the Neo-Buddhists and urban public. The gap is mainly due to some preconceived notions that are then discerned through the intervention.

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