Nishita Mohta, Karishma Sehgal, Shamita Chaudhry, Tanvi Goel

Volume 4, Issue 1, March 2017
pp. 8 – 27

The authors of this paper are young architects based in the city of Delhi. They completed their degree of Bachelors in Architecture from the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi. A sensitisation towards the issues of the urban environment over the course of their education, coupled with their collective experiences as residents of this bustling city, prompted them to initiate research in this field. It is their mutual aspiration to contribute towards the creation of better user-centric urban environments in the country through continued research and design activities.


Based on Edward Hall’s theory of proxemics, this study delves into the interdisciplinary sciences that link architecture with human psychology and urban design to look at how human behaviour, spatial configurations and prevalent urban condition of crowding affect each other. Recognizing the western base of the literature in hand, the present study appropriates Hall’s theory to suit the present day context of Delhi. Taking transit systems of Delhi as a case in point to investigate how people respond to crowding and how crowds hold the potential to be a bane or a boon for the city, the study brings forward certain aspects of design often overlooked while designing urban public spaces. It challenges certain notions about the design of public spaces and throws a new light.

Crowding, Proxemics, Coping, User Behaviour, Spatial Appropriation, Delhi, Public Transport.