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Research

One of the manners in which the Foundation adds to the available knowledge, and hence to the tools of assessment for the world within which we live, is by facilitating independent research projects.

We realized that there is very little by way of text, for landscape design studies, as also for architecture in India. There is even less, by way of a body of knowledge with which to theorize.Then we have forgotten how to see. And when we do know how to see, we know very few ways to do so.

LEAF studies were born out of these concerns; and through many research projects we look at things that no one often cares to; how birds fly? Can we show sound graphically? Or smell? How does a cow in a city move differently from one in the village?

What really happens in the small cracks and pores of the ground on which we walk? Can we find a structure in natural landscape? The research is always primary; always things we can sit and observe - the ways of representing being greatly debated and experimented.


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Seeing The City
(2009; Parin Shah)

'Where do Amdavadis go out?'
Watercolours allow the fusion of observations and empirical sharpness in response to this question.



Seeing The City
(2009; Parin Shah)

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Observations along the Sabarmati
(2009, Ritesh Kamdar)

What are the ways in which we record natural elements that have shaped our civilization? This document, empirically, maps the Sabarmati River - an element that is synonymous with the city of Ahmedabad.



Observations along the Sabarmati
(2009, Ritesh Kamdar)

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Understanding the idea of Nature in the City
(2010; Ritu Rawat)

Where, in the city, can the sense of the wild, the natural be found? The document proposes a quantifiable method in which such natural tracts can be mapped to understand their seminal appeal, and structure.



Understanding the idea of Nature in the City
(2010; Ritu Rawat)

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Observing the Ground in the City
(2010; Mrunmayee Pande)

We interact with the ground - the topsoil - daily. The document assesses the top 20 cms of soil; the layer within which most life occurs.



Observing the Ground in the City
(2010; Mrunmayee Pande)

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Art & Landscape
(2010; Background Notes)

A compiled document of notes for a lecture that looks at ideas of engagement with art through various lenses.



Art & Landscape
(2010; Background Notes)

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City Sounds
(2011; Kauseen Motiwala)

This document encompasses small scale, pragmatic observations for the city of Ahmedabad - studying movement of sound, amount of sound, and sound penetration.



City Sounds
(2011; Kauseen Motiwala)

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Birds in the City
(2011; Jobin Varughese)

The document is a result of the careful observation of birds - the outcome being graphically vibrant bird maps.



Birds in the City
(2011; Jobin Varughese)

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Cow Day & Slum Ventures
(2011; Rebecca Hui)

How has the pace of urbanity impacted people across economic scales, and a diverse geographical range? The document attempts to assess this through an almost everyday phenomenon - that of observing cows and their movement.



Cow Day & Slum Ventures
(2011; Rebecca Hui)

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Summer Smells
(2012; Swati Noble)

The document attempts to understand the idea of the city through the various smells that are so prototypical of specific areas within the city.



Summer Smells
(2012; Swati Noble)

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Open Spaces in Mumbai
(2012; Sushmita Paul)

With an over-bearing, and dense urbanity, the need for open spaces is ever-growing. This document looks at a set of open spaces in Mumbai, making pertinent observations regarding their use.



Open Spaces in Mumbai
(2012; Sushmita Paul)

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Behind Closed Doors
Architect's Retreat (2014)

This book is an outcome of a day spent with practitioners, and academicians across the country debating the many facets of the profession, and ideas that influence it - ranging from patronage, to technology, to pedagogy, and means of learning.



Behind Closed Doors
Architect's Retreat (2014)

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A Million Gardens
(2014)

A transcript of a lecture that started out by attempting to define the 'garden', and then looking for the many forms that the Indian Garden takes.



A Million Gardens
(2014)

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Forest for the Trees,Trees for the Forest
(2015)

A book depicting the journey of the studio over the last five decades with honest admissions and reflections on the process.



Forest for the Trees,Trees for the Forest
(2015)

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Tracing Narratives
(2017)

Gardens have long functioned as apparatuses by which to assess ourselves. This exhibition, that travelled the country for almost 13 months, was an endeavour in answering one simple question - what is the Indian Garden, and what are the lenses through which one can assess the Garden?



Tracing Narratives
(2017)

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Death Of Architecture
(2018)

What does one make of the slow ebbing away of the significance and import of a discipline by which we are surrounded; one whose impact subconsciously guides the everyday conversations that we engage in. Undertaken in 2018, Death of Architecture was an exhibition wherein 13 firms came together to understand and demonstrate the past, present, and future of the profession in the country. The Monograph is a precise summation of the conversations that the exhibition has facilitated in the process of making.



Death Of Architecture
(2018)

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Beyond the Manifest
(2018; Shalini Prakash)

What is the connection between memory, nostalgia, and space? This document that started out as an understanding between the name of the space, and the space itself, took Serkhej Roza as an example to answer this question, and hence look at how the idea of a space is constructed.



Beyond the Manifest
(2018; Shalini Prakash)

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Intramurals Of Ark
(2018)

A book that documents a process that allowed for a unique outcome - making art in all its various forms the basis for the interior design of an office space in Vadodara.



Intramurals Of Ark
(2018)

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The Gardens of Harmandir Sahib
(2018)

The studio was accorded the great responsibility of designing a Garden within the precinct of the Golden Temple. To support the design process, a document was prepared, outlining the historic significance of Harmandir Sahib, its relevance to the Sikh faith, and the values of the Sikh religion.



The Gardens of Harmandir Sahib
(2018)

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The Heat Story
(2019; Anahita Rajesh)

This study looks at how different densities, and materials impact our perception of heat by looking at different spatial typologies in the city of Ahmedabad.



The Heat Story
(2019; Anahita Rajesh)

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Life of a Sparrow
(2019; Rutuja Badve)

Why did the sparrow, once such a common sight within the city, disappear? What are the conditions that facilitated its return? This document looks at 5 spaces within the city, and assesses their specific physical characteristics that have led to the return of this bird.



Life of a Sparrow
(2019; Rutuja Badve)

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A Balloon Test
(2019; Samarth Vyas)

Using a simple devise - a balloon - the document maps wind patterns in the city, and looks at the elements that affect these patterns.



A Balloon Test
(2019; Samarth Vyas)

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Landscape of Waste
(2019; Kaustabh Banarjee)

Time and again, there has been a debate regarding the future of the Pirana Landfill site in Ahmedabad; these debates have had little practical impact. Using photography as a tool, the document is an attempt to communicate the social and environmental impact of this wasteland.



Landscape of Waste
(2019; Kaustabh Banarjee)

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Thol: Process Document
(2020)

A document outlining the detailed process that the studio undertook for the design of weekend homes on a land that sits between a bird sanctuary, Thol, and a deer park,
This book is now available to order.



Thol: Process Document
(2020)

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Design In The Times Of Covid - 19
(2020)

A document that explores the new principles, and adaptations the profession of design must make in terms of forging relationships, creating communities, and imagining spaces in a world that has been plagued by a Pandemic that has altered the everyday moments of the lives that we live.



Design In The Times Of Covid - 19
(2020)

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Transgressing Wilderness
Rushika Khanna (2020)

Where does wilderness occur; how does it flourish? Does it occur in demarcated, restricted areas? Or can it occur in smaller seemingly neglected parcels? The aim of the research is to decipher wilderness that occurs within our urban realm, extracting meanings from its context, positioning, and inherent characteristics by mapping and interpreting the many layered landscape construct.



Transgressing Wilderness
Rushika Khanna (2020)

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Outgrow
Dhara Mittal, Nishant Mittal, Parita Jani(2020)

A part of the LEAF Fellowship, this document is based in the concept of Matrix Planting - an approach that moves away from ordered groupings of single species (mono-cultural blocks) to designed intermingling. Inspired by the idea of what is termed as stylized nature, each palette is an effort at moving from absolute order to at least the appearance of spontaneity.



Outgrow
Dhara Mittal, Nishant Mittal, Parita Jani(2020)

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Redefining the Idea of a Park
(2021)

Undertaken by the students of the Manchester School of Architecture, and guided by the Foundation research was conducted to answer a question that continues to capture our imagination, and has the potential to inform the decisions one would take - How does one define a park? Is it an idea that is developed by an individual, or is it an idea that is developed by the collective?



Redefining the Idea of a Park
(2021)

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Into Our Whims
(2021)

Outlining the process of thinking undertaken to design a space for us; a space that will allow for conversation and collaboration; a space that facilitates thinking; a space that we will now call home for the years to come!



Into Our Whims
(2021)

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What Changed
Stories From A Year Gone By (2021)

There has been an attempt to understand the past year and a half from various angles; there is a need to provide personal context to the data that has thus been gathered. This document - a compilations of real, personal narratives - attempts to do just that, while inviting the reader to ponder over what has changed for them.



What Changed
Stories From A Year Gone By (2021)

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Reimagining History
The Restoration Of The Victoria Gardens; Ahmedabad (2022)

As part of the Pratiti Initiative, the studio undertook the task of restoring the Victoria Garden - also known as the Lokmanya Tilak Udyan - in Ahmedabad, in a manner that honoured not only the elemental history of the garden itself, but also of the urbanity that it is surrounded by.



Reimagining History
The Restoration Of The Victoria Gardens; Ahmedabad (2022)

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Within The Gardens We Walk
(2022)

A result of a competition the Foundation announced in 2021 - then called The Design Fractal - this is a compilation of essays by 12 contributors, looking at Gardens across the country through lenses of history, of experientiality, and ideas of urbanity along with narratives on personal relationships with these spaces.



Within The Gardens We Walk
(2022)