NASA! GSEN Trophy! – Hearing the words, architectural students are more excited as the students of various colleges meet and celebrate together in various events. NASA includes distinct competitions for them to participate in and win trophies. The events enhance knowledge, explore new opportunities, and craft unique experiences – all under one roof. The design concept introduces students to think innovatively.
The Archspace team presents you with the works of students of Aditya College of Architecture, who have participated in the NASA competition. Their concepts and final presentations achieved a Special Mention in GSEN 2020-21.
Name of the participants: Atharva Mahamunkar, Sarvesh Bhosle, Rahul Parmar, Riya Thakkar, Vini Thakker, Mehak Gupta, Palak Joshi, Swaraj Kelaskar, Vedanti Mandala, Prachi Shah, Tithi Vanarase.
Brief of the Design Competition
NASA (National Association of Students of Architecture) has hosted this competition titled – PRODUCTIVE URBANISM. The competition invites students to generate innovative ideas for a productive public realm with improved agricultural productivity, enhancement of bio-diversity, and ecologically sensitive urban designs in the city.
To exhibit the idea of food and its productivity students’ team has to choose a site within 1-2 sq.m of the city limit. The competition aims to work on themes such as vertical farming, backyard food growing systems, edible food parks, etc.- options for various types of farming in city areas. The concept design also has to integrate with the recreational activities and landscape. The students have to submit in the form of sheets and postcards.
Design Concept Sheets by Students
The central district of Mumbai consists of six hundred acres of defunct mill lands that represent the textile era of the city this means a boon to Mumbai if developed in the right way. The site is being chosen to keep in mind the needs of a growing population. The site is located in Lalbaug, Mumbai.
The design incorporates the concept of street farming, edible food parks, and transforming unused spaces into live food gardens. The structure is been made up of bamboo as it has sustainable qualities and hardwearing characteristics and has a higher compressive strength than concrete or wood. Food is grown in a space where it is directly made available to consumers. Bringing food production closer, in addition, to making the process easy.
Growing plants using the technique of Aeroponic plantation where aeroponics is the process of growing plants with only water and nutrients this process is used due to space constraints and so has been constructed under the bridges and on roads. Workshop stands are designed so, that people can get a view of food farms and urban organic farming done and create innovative indoor gardens.
Vertical workshop stands provided with plantation conventionally produced and teaches people about organic farming.
A small Discussion between The ArchSpace team and student Atharva Mahamunkar:
Atharva Mahamunkar is currently studying in the 4th year of B.Arch. from Aditya College of Architecture and he is the Union Secretary of the College.
1. What was your approach to Site selection?
“We had to select a site within a radius of 1 km, divided into three parts, and the basic concept involved in the design of gardens where the system of “hydroponics” replaces conventional farming methods. To overcome the shortage of food, we thought about farming culture in a city. We have selected a site in Lower Parel, where there were cotton mills, which are of no use currently. We have proposed this design in that area so that the area can be reused for growing plants.
2. How did you select this theme for the design concept?
There are various options mentioned in the brief of the competition. So we have chosen one among them.
3. What is the aspect that you have given Prominence in Designing spaces:
The project to design was on a larger scale, so the micro-level planning is not considered here at this level. Importance is given to space planning to properly divide the spaces of workshops, farming, breakout spaces, markets, parking areas – zoning of spaces.
Climate change and its various aspects are studied, and the theme of hydroponics itself creates a micro-level climate.
4. What are the Challenges faced during the design process?
The major challenge is that the concept of hydroponics is entirely new to us which we didn’t know, and we have to research much about it by case studies of various themes. The other is the approach to the site where there were restrictions due to Covid.
Design Concept views
The break-out spaces are useful for various functions- to go from one place to another and hang-out spaces.
People can go around the shopping area and use the market for fruits and vegetables.
Tree Frame Concept:
“On the road/street level, we have proposed the tree frame concept in which an artificial tree is created which will have planters and a light facility that helps plants grow.
- The system is centered around a subscription service model.
- Embedded cavities and terraces invite the community to explore the interior of the structure.
- Utilizing drone technology.
- Material ensures minimal waste and is cost-effective.
- The structure encourages physical planning and exploration.
- Seating of the base enhances interactivity.
Lighting for the trees has been taken care for the proper and fast growth of the plants.
Planters below Flyover
The design concept also involves the proposal of planters below the flyover in Lower Parel to convert the less usable spaces to functional spaces.
In this way, they completed the project for the competition using three different parts of the land; one is the proposed land in Lower Parel, the second is the street area and the other one is the areas under the flyover.