Place as flux: A visual narrative as a tool for research

Activity: Talk or presentation typesConference presentation


A ​ Place generated through Architecture is a mirror of who we are and who we aspire to be as it embodies our cultural narrative in its physicality, i.e. its material configuration. In communities that adhere to traditions it acquires a character through sustained and gradual evolution, a cultural flux which reflects change in occupation, development in technology and infrastructure. This evolution is an intrinsic process within which varied localised indigenous practices are contested by new foreign ideas. Thus cultural flux is a reflection of this very contested space, which Martin Nakata refers to as Cultural Interface ( Nakata, 1997, 2007). Our aim in this paper is to investigate this contested interface as it gets manifested in the intense architectural configuration and in the practice of the communities that inhibit it.

We present here a research conducted in a three-hundred-years-old market square called, ‘Tapal-Naka’ in a suburban town of Panvel, Navi Mumbai, India. Last four generations of one of the authors of this paper have grown in this market square making this research auto ethnographic. It allowed us an unprecedented access to the community which was the primary source of our investigation.

This paper is an attempt in creating a visual narrative of the cultural interface in flux with the use of softwares. We have photo documented a selected stretch of the main streets crossing at the square for the purpose of photogrammetry. For this paper, we have chosen a specific example of adjacent plots in this market square. The mapping compiled in hard data will be presented as 2D layers in GIS. With the help of mesh modeling of the photogrammetry outputs we plan to portray the visual narrative as a progressive animation in a CG software suit called Blender.
Period26 Oct 2018
Event titleAnnual Symposium of Architectural Research in Finland: Global North – Global Challenges and Local Responses in Contemporary Architecture
Event typeConference
Conference number10
LocationEspoo, Finland
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • Place
  • Geospatial analysis
  • Cultural identity
  • Local history
  • Visual narrative