WADe India Special category award is for a woman designer, artist or architect who may or may not be practising design or architecture but contributing hugely to the design industry or society in general through her work. WADe believes in spreading the work of such women so that more can follow.
Pratima, a Masters of Architecture from Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning, University College (London) has worked in the area of sustainable low cost housing and sanitation for the urban poor for nearly 25 years. Using concepts like multi-stakeholder consultation, user-centered design and participative governance long before they were fashionable, her approach has evolved to include the following principles:
1. Understanding the true situation before making plans—collect data and speak with all involved parties
2. Designing spaces, whether building for the poor or toilets, must account for habits and ambitions of residents/users, rather than aiming for the lowest cost solution—this means engaging the final users rather than thrusting a well-meaning solution upon them
3. Managing infrastructure is more important than building it—hence, accountability and management systems must be put in place from the start, not as after-thought
She is widely recognized as a leading planner and designer of slum infrastructure, co-founding SA to convert slums into housing societies for the poor, to provide safer and cleaner environment that retains the community spirit and gives access to services like water, sanitation, electricity etc. which often urban slums lack. Over the last 24 years, SA has facilitated successful social housing projects and community sanitation. However based on the data that was collected for slums across cities, it was evident that access to safe sanitation was acutely missing. Also the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission in 2014, gave impetus to our work and hence SA focused attention to household sanitation in slums by launching its ‘One home one toilet’ (OHOT) model that was tried and tested over a decade.
In conversation with Surfaces Reporter...
What prompted you to take up the less trodden path of Slum/Shelter development?
There were early influences of eminent planners who taught us while I was studying architecture in School of Architecture and Planning in Chennai and later when I did a Masters program called ‘Building design for developing countries’ in Bartlett School of Architecture in London. By the time I finished my education I had decided that I will only work in the field of development.
Tell us about the most challenging experience in your career, and the winning moment.
We have been advocating for a data driven, citywide approach to planning rehabilitation strategies for the urban poor for over a decade. We had a chance in 2010, to demonstrate our citywide housing model for the poor of Sangli-Miraj city where we used GIS and Google map technology to plan rehab strategies.
To read more, please visit here... http://www.wadeasia.com/ar-pratima-joshi-wins-wade-india-2017-special-category-award-for-social-cause/