Volume 4, Issue 2, September 2017
pp. 54 – 69
Gunali Ajgaonkar is a recent graduate of Architecture from Sir J J College of Architecture, Mumbai. A sensitisation towards the issues of communities, environments and ecologies over the course of her education, urges her to contribute to architecture that is socially responsible and oriented towards upliftment in the country. She is currently further researching on designing community spaces for the Agariya salt pan farmers of Little Rann of Kutch.
The question of density occupies a lot of discourse on architecture and planning. However, submerged in questions surrounding critically high densities of metropolitan cities, we seemed to have grossly neglected the other extreme of the density scale. The imminent mass-urbanization of the Indian landscape omits the role of the marginalized areas that have been ignored as elements of a ‘un-developed’ past.
In this paper, I explore a landscape that is untouched by the questions of density, crowding and suffocation. The essay questions, documents and re-interprets the relevance of architecture in the Little Rann of Kutch, a landscape with a sparse, spread out ‘migrant’ population, comprising primarily of the salt workers who form the Agariya community. To bring to light the current apathy towards the community, a deep understanding of the activity of salt cultivation has been carried out and a framework of stakeholders and policies are identified. Change, as is prevalent in such an environment places the landscape at the heart and intervenes
with architecture as a tool to visualize the sheer magnitude of barren emptiness.
Little Rann of Kutch, Agariyas, Seasonal Wetland Ecosystem, Salt, Salt Farming