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Interactive Session with Mr. Azhar Tyabji

  Interactive Session with Mr. Azhar Tyabji

Aayojan School of Architecture, Jaipur,believes in educating students in an all-inclusive manner. This approach is manifested in the initiatives to search and invite the Exert Resources from various domains to share their knowledge and experience with students. The session with Mr. Tyabji was organized in the same spirit, another feather in the cap.


Community Planner and Anthropologist by training and a philanthropherby heart, Mr. Tyabji pursue photography and writing for interest. A Fulbright-Nehru Research Fellow, Azhar is presently Consultant Planner to development aid agencies in India and US. The rich work experience spreads out in various domains, academics, research documentation, publications, consultancy in urban planning, disaster mitigation and cultural heritage.


The session at ASA, Jaipur was a description of seven year long process of cultural documentation and grass root advocacy post-earthquake in 2001, at Bhuj, Gujarat. The session aimed to answer the question posed at the beginning, “How do you do meaningful, qualitative field research in a real-time planning environment, where time and budgets are scarce, and where clients often have little patience for context, research and even public dialogue?”The experiences collected while working with EPC (Environmental Planning Collaborative), Ahmedabad, for preparing an official Draft Development Plan for Bhuj, commissioned by the State of Gujarat, were used through photo mode presentation to express and explain the suggestive solutions to question posed. To come up with a feasible solution in the emergency situation, in fixed time period and working limitations as per the signed contract is a real challenge. In the devastated Urbanscape, to trace out the history, heritage, culture and societal value systems is like finding the treasure in debris. The consultative process of working upon the design concepts and approaches to address the cultural and social aspirations along with economic feasibility in rehabilitation projects was elaborately discussed. With anotherexample of Sardar Nagar Low-Cost Housing Development by the Hunar Shala Foundation in Bhujfor Urban Poor, the significance of consultative process was again highlighted. Housing is the essence of social stability and this justifies the need of careful assessment of user’s needs for present as well as future, especially in rehabilitation projects.


The interactive session post presentation raised many relevant questions on stages to involve the stakeholders’ views, methods of negotiation, approaches to generate culturally suitable housing typologies and many. The efficiency of speaker was well appreciated by the audience, a 120 minute session, without a single interruption!! Kudos…

Mr. Azhar Tayabj