Speaker:Rajeev Thakker, Tang Min 

Guests:Zhao Yiren


Time:12th OCT(Thurs) 19:00-21:00

Location:PSA Theater 3F

Booking:Please click “Link” to scan the QR code on your wechat to register the lecture.

About the Lecture


The documentation explores perspectives of five architecture practices in Mumbai and five varied methodologies ofPedagogy, Activism, Research, Design and Conservation through which they choose to engage with the city. The ontological question of “What do we talk about when we talk about the practice of architecture?” aim to also address the other important urban issues in our contemporary cities such as social capital, culture, public spaces, heritage, interaction, complexity etc.  


Dharavi becomes an emblematic name of diversity and dynamics in the city of Mumbai, where almost 60% population live in a slum.  As one of Asian’s largest slum, a prototype of Slumdog Millionaire, a paradigm of a useful slum, a hub of micro-entrepreneurship, a gold mine of valuable land targeting redevelopment, and a favorite tourist spot, Dharavi itself grows with the urbanization process of Mumbai from the seven islands to the gigantesque metropolis. It is a paradigm of heterogeneity, symbiosis, as well as a hub of exchanges that emerges relations among different communities. 

In echoing to the demonstration of architecture practices, this lecture is based on first-hand materials of a recent six months’ fieldwork in Dharavi. Also as one of the shortlisted participant in the international competition-Reinventing Dharavi, whose outcome has been recently published by UDRI, TANG Min would like to take the audience go through the historical evolution and narratives of the urban now in Dharavi as the epitomized urbanization history of Mumbai. 

About Speakers


Principal Architect of a-RT

He received his BArch from Syracuse University and Masters in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University and has worked for several offices like S.O.M. & the Arnell Group in NY on conceptual & architectural projects . He currently also runs his own architectural design practice in Mumbai called a-RT. He has taught architectural design & theory at several institutions including KRVIA, NMIMS, Raffles, ISDI and from 2011-2017 curated Columbia University GSAPP’s Studio X Mumbai project focused on exploring the future of our cities. Most recently he has participated as an artist with his installation HOME at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016-17.


Urban researcher, PhD candidate at KU Leuven (Belgium) and Paris I Sorbonne Panthéon-Sorbonne (France)

Her research interest lies in Spontaneous Urbanism in the Global South, with the focuses on the common spaces that structure internally the (new)communities and their everyday life, as well as how they are interplaying externally with the broader urban system.

She is currently working on the 'South-South' comparison with case studies selected from Turkey, India, and China.

ZHAO Yiren

Urban Activist, On-site coordinator of Dinghaiqiao Mutual-aid Society

Born in Pudong, she holds a master degree of psychology. Together with Chen Yun as initiator and other comrades, she does voluntary pratices including daily observation, neighbooring network-making, events organizing and inter-asia networking. Dinghaiqiao Mutual Aid Society, located in a historical working-class neighbourhood with a new and vibrant migrant population in Shanghai, is a self-organised group and physical place for learning, proposing, inviting, reflecting, organising and creatively working together. By exploring ways of gathering and producing art/knowledge, it pursues interaction, assistance, and cooperation with neighbours and comrades under the principle of reciprocity.