Ocean of Rain makes the case that the names Ganges and Ganga, even though often used interchangeably, refer to different realities, each articulated in a distinct moment of the hydrologic cycle. Ganges is a river and Ganga is rain. They are the basis of two places: India, a geographic surface drained by rivers; Sindhu, an ocean of rain. Each is the basis of a distinct language of design. The more one is pursued, the more it diverges from the other.
Soak is a new visualization of Mumbai. It seeks to change the image of Mumbai from an ‘island city’ once called Bombay to an ‘estuary’ and further, to an estuary in the monsoon. It does so by changing the terms of discourse and design from spatial land uses to temporal practices, from draining water to holding rain in multiple ways, from separating land and water to negotiating rain and tide. It proposes projects that recover the many worlds of soak.
Deccan Traverses peels back layers of contemporary Bangalore to reveal how the 18th and 19th century colonial enterprises of surveying, triangulating, picturing and botanizing constructed the ‘Garden City of India.’ These enterprises continue to rule the disciplinary imagination, in particular that of the historian and planner. They also work to marginalize local practices that are easily dismissed as informal, primitive, or ‘other’.
Mississippi Floods calls attention to the role of visual representation in turning the Lower Mississippi into a ‘landscape of flood’ with levees, revetments, pumps, and gates that work to hold a river to a course within two lines. It documents and constructs the lower Mississippi landscape through places defined by measures of flood, but also places of cultural richness and material depth that do not always conform to lines drawn.
These projects were published by the Architectural League of New York in 2001 as part of their Young Architects Forum that sought works exemplifying environmental sensitivity and design excellence—works that responded to today’s environment and its altered or ‘second nature.’