In order to boost the innovation that already exists in Kumbharwada, a number of small interventions could be made, contributing to this incremental development. First of all, biomass pellets should be made available at a subsidised rate, as happens in Gujarat. This means that there will be less pressure to fire the kilns as quickly as possible, allowing potters to be more patient, producing much better fired pots. On top of that, an investment might be made towards increasing the capacity of community banking and lending in the area – allowing potters to take out larger loans (with low interest rates) to cover construction costs, thereby relieving the pressure to recoup costs immediately.
Another way to take the pressure off a little bit would be to further optimise the traditional kiln design in order to reduce its emissions. This would give local entrepreneurs a little longer to resolve the issues with the new kilns, while being seen to take steps to reduce pollution. After our joint workshop at the beginning of March, students from NYU Abu Dhabi have been thinking about this, and spoke to Ashwin about designing a hood for his kiln. Since returning from India, they’ve produced a design for a chimney which redirects the smoke away from the ground. This could also include a filter to remove some toxic contents of the smoke. Part 3 of this series will talk about these developments as part of a wider culture of innovation and design, connected by local and global networks.
Recommended reading / references:
Dovey, K. (2013). Informalising Architecture: The Challenge of Informal Settlements. Architectural Design, 83(6), pp.82-89.
Dovey, K. and Tomlinson, R. (2012). Dharavi. [Melbourne]: Melbourne School of Design.
Engqvist, J. and Lantz, M. (2009). Dharavi - Documenting Informalities. New Delhi: Academic Foundation.
Geddes, P. and Lanchester, H. (1917). Town Planning in Jubbulpore. A report to the Municipal Committee by Professor Geddes and H. V. Lanchester, F.R.I.B.A., 1917.
Geddes, P. and Tyrwhitt, J. (1947). Patrick Geddes in India.
Goldsmith, S. and Elizabeth, L. (2010). What we see. Oakland, CA: New Village Press.
Haworth, R. (2000). Patrick Geddes' concept of conservative surgery. Architectural Heritage, 11(1), pp.37-42.
Srivastava, R. and Echanove, M. (2014). The Slum Outside: Elusive Dharavi. Moscow: Strelka Press.