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Lecture Series: Talk of the Town - Lecture 2: ACT
Through the window: Urbanity | © MOD Institute Metro Construction Site

BANGALORE29 Mar 2012 Click to view details

Venue Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, 716 CMH Road, Indiranagar 1st Stage, Bangalore - 560038
Opening Time6:00 PM
Entry All are Welcome!
SEE – ACT – BUILD | In collaboration with MOD Institute Bangalore/Berlin

The lectures series, under the banner of the year of Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities, is organized around the themes of ‘SEE’, 'ACT' and 'BUILD' respectively, to critically address various issues related to urban transformation in India in applied and innovative ways. 

The first lecture began with Richard Saul Wurman’s famous call for “making the city observable” to interrogate different practices of seeing the city through cartography and other visual means and how those shape our everyday urban experiences and decisions.  

The second lecture ‘ACT’ will gather urban practitioners and actors to discuss and compare various strategies and tactics undertaken by them to intervene in city processes. The discussion will focus on how specific ways of 'acting' or 'intervening' in the city can create or dismantle urban hierarchies, and also what examples of 'acting' in the city can be found in the urban discourse in India.

The third lecture will focus on the processes and politics of the built fabric of contemporary cities – addressing the current realities in Bangalore and also radically new ideas and methods for building cities.


Time  Details


6:00 pm


6:20 pm


Welcome by:

  • Christoph Bertrams, Director, Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore
  • V. Naresh Narasimhan, MOD-Institute Bangalore/Berlin
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm 


1. Lecture:

  • Bindu Nair, HCP Design and Project Management Pvt. Ltd., Ahmedabad
  • Dirk E. Hebel, ETH Zurich/Singapore
  • Ashwin Mahesh, Center for Public Policy/ Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore
  • Moderator: Vikhar Ahmed Sayeed, Frontline

2. Discussion.



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Information on the Speakers

Bindu Nair

Bindu Nair is Principal Planner at HCP Design and Project Management Pvt. Ltd.   She is a geographer, urban & regional planner with extensive experience in the field of statutory urban and regional planning.  Her areas of expertise include physical planning, building base maps, land use studies for statutory development plans and interpreting satellite imageries for urban land cover. She has undertaken preparation of several regional plans, statutory development plans and town planning schemes in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh under the provisions of the relevant Town Planning Acts. 

Some of her key urban planning projects include – Mapping and Action Plan for Environmental Resources for Greater Mumbai, Development Plan for Manori Gorai Uttan (to develop the Notified Area as a tourism destination), Development Plan for Tirupati (TUDA Region), Development Plan Junagadh & Veraval to facilitate economic development; several Town Planning Schemes for Ahmedabad & Gandhinagar; Listing and Grading of Heritage Structures and Precincts for Mumbai; Environmental Upgradation and Heritage Conservation of Erangal Precinct in Mumbai, Regional Plan for Jambusar – Padra and Regional Plan for Alang in Gujarat and Schematic Comprehensive Development Strategy for Musi Riverfront, Hyderabad.

Her key publications include ‘ Preserving and Revitalizing Mumbai’s Environmental Assets, An Approach‘ published in Journal of Landscape Architecture ( April 2011 issue) and ‘Application of Satellite Images and GIS in the Preparation of Development Plans: Case Study – Master Plan for TUDA Region and Zonal Development Plan for Tirupati Town’, presented at the Indian National Cartographers Association (INCA) Conference (November 2002).

She was selected for an International Visitors Program (IVP), by the US Department of State for a Special Program in Sustainable Economic Development and Environmental Protection, January 2003.  She is also visiting faculty at CEPT, Ahmedabad.

Dirk E. Hebel

Dirk E. Hebel is currently Assistant Professor for Architecture and Construction at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich. He is part of the research team at the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore, a cooperation between the National Research Fund Singapore and the ETH Zürich. Prior to that, he was Scientific Director of the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he placed emphasis on the understanding of the stock and flow model of building materials in developing territories. His research led to various implementation projects in the city of Addis Ababa and also rural areas in Ethiopia, introducing alternative building materials, construction methods and resulting urban concepts.

His research addresses conceptual transfers of technology and materials towards architecture and the contemporary city. His architectural experiments with air, light and water as building materials have won international recognition. The resulting work has been published in numerous academic journals and book publications, most recently Cities of Change: Addis Ababa with Marc Angélil and Bathroom Unplugged with Jörg Stollmann. Several of his Design Research Studios have won international recognition. In this line, together with Marc Angélil, he published Deviations in 2008, an experiment in architectural design pedagogy to initiate a plea for a new type of architectural practice.

Dirk E. Hebel practices architecture in Switzerland and Germany at his firm DRKH Architecture. Newer projects include the architectural design for Discoveries, an exhibition for the Foundation Lindau Nobel Prize Winners built out of air. Also, he recently completed Urban Laboratory ETHiopia, an exhibition building in Addis Ababa. After working for Diller + Scofidio in New York and being the project manager for the Blur Building for EXPO.02 in Switzerland, Dirk E. Hebel was one of the partners of Instant Architects (2002 and 2007). Projects include the award-winning project United_Bottle, the traveling exhibition Inventioneering_Architecture, and the pneumatic installation On_Air in Berlin. He received the Van Alen Institute Fellowship Award, the Red Dot Design Award for Best Conceptual Design, and the LANXESS Award Singapore.

Ashwin Mahesh

Ashwin Mahesh, Center for Public Policy at IIM Bangalore, has a Ph.D. in atmospheric remote sensing from the University of Washington. His research interests include application of technology in urban public administration, capacity building in government departments, and process re-engineering and reforms of administrative departments. His expertise lies in exploring the expanding role of technology and IT and its creative use in urban traffic management in the future.

In 1998, his exploration with social and development issues led him to co-found India Together, an online magazine that covers public affairs, policy and development in India. Ashwin discovered that most commercial technology companies fail to develop innovations that are affordable and accessible to the public sector. To address the need for technology to help the public with large scale and complex social challenges, he started Mapunity to deliver what the private sector did not. Mapunity, incubated at NSRCEL, IIM Bangalore and at IIIT Bangalore, is reversing the trend of a government lagging behind technology.

Vikhar Ahmed Sayeed

Vikhar Ahmed Sayeed is a journalist with Frontline, a fortnightly news magazine. He is based in Bangalore. Before joining Frontline he studied history at JNU, New Delhi and journalism at the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai. In his journalistic career he has covered a wide variety of issues ranging from state politics, religious other conflicts, and development issues and has also written regularly on film.