CHANDIGARH RETHINK captures the rich, ongoing discourse on radically transforming urbanities within the Global South with specific reference to India’s social, historical, economic and cultural repositioning. It examines urban edge figures and their rural grounds — relevant not just to Chandigarh, but also to cities in general — while suggesting narrative strategies via provocative design studio design work. These introspections are framed within themed contributions from a globally recognized group of scholars who represent the diverse disciplines of architecture, planning, urban design, landscape ecologies and the humanities. As a topical publication on global urbanities transforming a signature urban project, CHANDIGARH RETHINK anticipates the Buildings-Landscapes-Cultures (blc) program and SARUP’s efforts to uniquely aligning urban research, pedagogy and critical design practice towards examining global urbanities that continue to defy normative urban analysis. Beyond serving as an exemplar for globally aware architectural schools nationwide and beyond, it is also directed to serve as an instructive primer for design students and instructors examining global urban sites.
About the Author
Dr. Manu P. Sobti is Senior Lecturer and Researcher and Higher Degree Program Coordinator at the School of Architecture at the University of Queensland, Brisbane. He was previously an Associate Professor and PhD Program Chair in Buildings-Landscapes-Cultures (blc) at the School of Architecture & Urban Planning (SARUP) at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (2006-16). Besides the mappings of landscape histories of early-medieval, Islamic cities along the Silk Road and the Indian Subcontinent, the spatial and environmental humanities remain central to his ongoing work. He is the author of Urban Form and Space in the Islamic City: A Study of Morphology and Formal structures in the city of Bhopal (published by the School of Architecture, CEPT, 1993) and currently completing two book manuscripts – Space and Collective Identity in South Asia: Migration, Architecture and Urban Development (under contract with I. B. Tauris Press, completion Oct. 2017); and Riverine Landscapes, Urbanity and Conflict: Narratives from East and West (under contract with Routledge, completion May 2017). Sobti’s most ambitious project is The Sliver of the Oxus Borderland: Medieval Cultural Encounters between the Arabs and Persians, also the subject of his ongoing film project–Medieval Riverlogues (intended for Public Television)–which captures the “thick” histories of Eurasia’s Oxus River (the Amu Darya) via archival research, re-drawn maps, computer-generated renderings, and live footage. He has published widely and is the recipient of a number of prestigious research awards.