Friday, 5 June 2009

What happened?

The fieldtrip is over and the only thing that is still going on is the preparation of the presentation and the final report.

What changed from before the fieldtrip? What difference the fieldtrip made?

Two main points could be highlighted: first our different perception of Dharavi and second the experience we gained.

Our perception of Dharavi has definitely changed from before the trip: before, we considered our area of analysis as many outsiders and government officers as “Asia’s largest slum”. But after our walks throughout Chambda Bazaar, we all recognised that there is much more: there are centennial residential buildings, old stone religious buildings, labyrinthic streets, small secret courtyards, a very broad variety of residential and commercial typologies and especially the built form of the concept of “adaptation”. That’s Dharavi.

About our experience it is possible to divide it on experience gained from the field work and from the team work. Through the field work and the interviews I have been able to get a deeper understanding of the residents’ real aspirations and concerns; also it was possible for me to define a set of priorities that the Dharavi’s residents expressed in their narratives. Key outcomes of the interviews were the need of services such as hospitals and schools, the difference between the presence of home-based activities in Chambda Bazaar and the lack of them in Bharat Janata, the residents’ desire for the DRP to happen and the multiple links between business owners and migrant workers.

Regarding the team work it has to be said that as a promoters of the “participative method” we could not carried out all the work unless we reached the total and unconditional agreement of all the 16 members (and it did not mean that after the agreement was reached we all worked consistently on the same way). This process of agreement was undoubtedly amazing, but in my opinion it was excessive and of course extremely slow; the result of that is that the presentation for SPARC was materially done in one day and now the report has to be done in 5 days. Sometimes it is necessary to be “strategic” and to split, even if it means that not all the 16 of us will participate on fundamental tasks such as the selection of the font for the presentation.

One of the lessons that I’ve learnt from the team group is that to coordinate the group is very difficult, but to maximize the individual skills is not: without any previous preparation the tasks were distributed and each of us gave the best of him/herself to contribute to the final result in the way that was more suitable to him/her. Our group of thinkers, writers, graphics and presenter has done a great job!


No comments:

Post a Comment