Sonam Ambe

Volume 1, Issue 1, September 2014
pp. 48 – 58

SonamAmbeSonam Ambe is Asst. Professor, AIKTC School of Architecture, Navi Mumbai. She is a designer at heart who loves to analyse and explore ideas. After her Bachelors in Architecture from Sir J.J. College of Architecture, she studied the social sciences and holds a silver medal in M.Phil (2013) from IIT- Bombay. The Social Sciences have cumulated upon and moulded her approach towards user- sensitive holistic designs. Presently, Sonam teaches at School of Architecture Anjuman-I-Islam’s Kalsekar Technical Campus.


The study of impact of built environment on People, Environmental Psychology (EP), is integral to design of ‘used’ spaces. People’s association and positive or negative reactions to certain colours, forms and orientations are aspects of design which have not been extensively studied by most designers. From the larger purview of EP, this paper focuses on the issues of density and crowding, specically the impact of crowding on urban female commuters travelling in the ladies compartment of Mumbai Local Trains. The paper looks at crowding and stimulus in local trains by studying the environment and design evolution of the train compartment and constructive coping mechanisms sought by the commuters.

The research follows a participative approach where the conclusions are drawn post interaction with commuters. Different aspects of train design like, seating, racks and bag holders, GPS announcements, etc. are highlighted and alternatives (some suggested by the commuters) are expressed. The study delves on seminal theories in crowding psychology to support the conclusions. The paper also advocates the importance of early intervention and need for study of environmental psychology in the pedagogy of architecture.

Crowding, Environmental Psychology, Design, Coping, Mumbai local train