The DIY workshop
a project by Vishal Rawlley
supported by Open Space

Group 5 
Vth year Architecture students from School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, take a course in DIY Urbanism, Jan 2013 onwards

DIY Urbanism
‘Do it Yourself’ (DIY) Urbanism provides a counterweight to traditional top-down urban planning processes. DIY urbanism empowers residents to make the changes they seek and create their own positive urban interventions.

These interventions can take various forms, ranging from planting your own city signage, to installing your own urban furniture, to building pop-up pavement kiosks, to making underground radio transmissions, to performing street theatre.

DIY efforts are not disruptive violations, or frivolous novelties. They are signs of true urban vitality. With a can-do attitude and a bit of playful mischievousness, these interventions illustrate that another type of city is possible.

Assignment 1 - Making a pop-up 'City Scale' image

The idea was to create an image/ structure/ installation which is of a scale, proportion and position to have a dialogue with the city. The idea was to make something quick and temporary yet massive and spectacular. The exercise was to create a pop-up city-scale image.

The assignment had the following aims:
1. Scale: Image should be of City Scale
2. Design and Concept: The image should have a meaningful interaction with the city/ its people
3. Construction: Fast and easy construction, DIY methods, Innovative materials and technique

For this the students used the facade of the College Planning Block as a canvas to construct a large graphic.
The Planning Block facade is visible from wide vistas and is of a scale which can interact with the city.

Below are a few images of the exercise:

The team of ten students created a massive graphic using balloons enmeshed in a fishing net . The massive 18 feet x 18 feet graphic was created in just one day and suspended from the college building facade facing the prominent ring road and was visible from great distances.

The graphic depicted a yin-yan with a house and leaf in suspended balance. It represented the quest for sustainability between the built environment and the natural environment.

Assignment 2 - Making an enduring 'City Scale' image

In contrast to the previous assignment, this assignment aims to create a lasting image in the city.

For this the students shall be painting a huge graphic on the large terrace of the hostel building. This graphic shall be of a scale that is visible on the satellite map of the city.

We commonly use web-based satellite maps to scan and interact with the city. Hence an image that is specially designed for a bird's eye view of the city shall be a valid 'city scale' image.

Furthermore, in keeping with the DIY ethos, this strategy shall allow us to make an enduring image of the city which is widely visible, yet independent of any restrictions and legislations.

Below are some of the initial sketches of the graphics planned by the students:

Above we see the satellite image of the college hostel building. The grid of the building plan has been mapped out and a large scale pixilated image is being planned which fits this grid.

Kindly watch this space for more...