Collaborators - SpaceMatters, Aarohi, Jesper Dano Architects
An intensive 6-day workshop was conducted in October 2015, based out of the Aarohi Headquarters in Satoli village, Kumaon for students and young professionals of design and architecture.
The workshop aimed to support Aarohi’s initiatives in augmenting livelihood in the local village families by generating design schemes for additive structures to their dwellings, to be let-out as ‘homestays’. For the participants, the workshop compressed wide-ranging knowledge and understanding of the local architecture, building traditions and crafts. This was facilitated by multiple interactions with various stakeholder groups of builders, craftsmen, residents, as well as diverse site visits.
As the workshop progressed, two sites were carefully selected for the purpose of designing homestays. While the first site is the bakhli of ‘Chachaji’, the second is a recently-built concrete and brick dwelling (itself an extension to an older bakhli) owned and occupied by Jiwan and his family.
The formal design education of the participants was merged with local community skills and traditions at every step of design development. Multiple conceptual schemes, one by each participant, were generated at the end of four rigorous days of engagement with the site, context and most importantly, the stakeholder groups.
The Jiwan’s homestay was built and is operational. It has hosted multiple guests, both Indians and foreign nationals. The interns documenting Likhai were also hosted there. Since the homestays have been designed using local building techniques, they instigate a sense of empowerment among the locals while also promoting a sense of cultural pride. Apart from providing monetary benefits to the hosts, the homestays also act as a window to observe the local culture for the visitors, and also allowing them to become a part of it.