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Based in Chennai.

Lost Opportunities, Mixed Priorities, Resilient Communities

The exhibit is a critical narrative on the politics of development that define our cities using Mattancherry as a case example. Apart from chronocling the history of development from as far back as was possible, the investigation for this exhibit is positioned on the premise of there being more than what meets the eye and gradually but strongly, the other side of the story emerged. Over time and across various sectors of development, Mattancherry has constantly been at the centre of multiple government initiatives but with very limited results to show on the ground. A parallel narrative also emerged with projects that did get implemented but which did not necessarily respond to the dire needs of the residents. And lastly, a third storyline revealed that irrespective of the state intervention (or lack thereof), the various individuals and communities of Mattancherry have always demonstrated the ability to organise themselves to produce or co-produce the city for its residents.


Urban Design Collective (UDC) is a Chennai-based research collective and a collaborative platform. UDC is engaged with creating livable & sustainable cities through participatory planning and community engagement. Their approach is best defined as a mix of storytelling, advocacy and demonstration through practice.

Team: Vidhya Mohankumar, Abinaya Rajavelu, Sivagami Periannan, Devangi Ramakrishnan, Shruti Shankar and Brandon Persico.