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Of Portable Toolsheds

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Based in Bhid bazaar (Bhuj, Gujarat), this project investigates the intricate urban tapestry of historic marketplaces, blending architectural heritage, dense demographics, and complex ownership structures. At its heart lies a collaboration with the Sathwara community, who are predominantly women street vendors driving circular economies by exchanging vessels for old clothes while facing extreme weather conditions and severe economic unsafety. The project therefore focused on crafting a series of portable toolsheds for them in order to facilitate the generation of alternatives: unfixed architectures that would either contain or embody tools for spatial transformation and the manufacture of climatic and economic safety.

Through inclusive processes of co-mapping and co-design driven by the women, the project redefined the idea of safety in the context of Bhid bazaar as a way to give way to renewed urban design imaginations. This was promoted through small-scale toolsheds that led to the design of larger-scale ones, and that was employed by the Sathwara women themselves. In order to do this, we partnered with local vendor organizations as well as municipal bodies, in the outlook of implementing what could be considered as urban furniture designs, as scalable solutions for similar contextual situations.

Ultimately, the project aspired to pilot a renewed urban landscape for Bhid bazaar, by reconstituting the light infrastructures of the Sathwara women in order to foster grassroots climate resilience and economic safety.

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