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Introducing | Urban Design Theory

Updated: Jul 4


Ayadi Mishra, Aishwarya Jadhav, Urban Design Theory, Architects, Architecting, Architecture, Architectural, Design, Planning, Urban, Urbanism, City, Cities, History, Zeyka, Zeyka India, Architecture, Interior Design, Home Renovation, Construction, Tech, Design, Project Management Consulting, Architect, Architects, Interior, Interiors, Interior Designer, Interior Designers, Modular Wardrobe, Modular Bathroom, Modular Kitchen, Living Room, Dining Room, Bedroom, Kid's Room, Pooja Room, Garden Design, Landscape Design, False Ceiling, Balcony, New Delhi, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad

Human lives have evolved through time. So there is a way of life, from hunters and gatherers to gigantic cultures. From riverbed settlements to organized governances and great empires. We have seen mankind grow and its surroundings with it. Amid the Industrial Revolution, civilisations began to scatter and empires fell. This gave rise to modern mechanist cities. The importance of cities has been growing ever since.


Ayadi Mishra, Aishwarya Jadhav, Urban Design Theory, Architects, Architecting, Architecture, Architectural, Design, Planning, Urban, Urbanism, City, Cities, History, Zeyka, Zeyka India, Architecture, Interior Design, Home Renovation, Construction, Tech, Design, Project Management Consulting, Architect, Architects, Interior, Interiors, Interior Designer, Interior Designers, Modular Wardrobe, Modular Bathroom, Modular Kitchen, Living Room, Dining Room, Bedroom, Kid's Room, Pooja Room, Garden Design, Landscape Design, False Ceiling, Balcony, New Delhi, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad

A city is the physical expression of spaces. It facilitates social and cultural interchange. In its highest order of form and symbolism. A city represents the relationship between religion, marketplace, banking, law, and academic research. It is also a product of time. It not only grows but also transforms itself to accommodate the needs of its people. A city enables a person to recognize spaces through vertical and horizontal scapes.


A city lets a person create and hold memories. It does this through the interplay of nature and archetypical forms, like domes and spires, avenues, and courts. It allows every successive human generation to renew its form. A form for broader participation, visible through time.


This conscious work of art reflects in the communal framework of a city. The mind of our civilisation takes from its cities. And as cities transform, they condition the mind.


Ayadi Mishra, Aishwarya Jadhav, Urban Design Theory, Architects, Architecting, Architecture, Architectural, Design, Planning, Urban, Urbanism, City, Cities, History, Zeyka, Zeyka India, Architecture, Interior Design, Home Renovation, Construction, Tech, Design, Project Management Consulting, Architect, Architects, Interior, Interiors, Interior Designer, Interior Designers, Modular Wardrobe, Modular Bathroom, Modular Kitchen, Living Room, Dining Room, Bedroom, Kid's Room, Pooja Room, Garden Design, Landscape Design, False Ceiling, Balcony, New Delhi, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad

For the last few centuries, cities have faced a stressful period. It is due to the influence of the mechanical organisation of industry. Our society focuses on this mechanistic view of the world. There has been a population explosion in the last century. The monopoly of industrialists over the market has lead to the exploitation of resources. Society has been harmfully patterned with the mechanical conquest of populist and fascists leaders. This has lead cities to their lowest forms.


Cities are so overpowered by the mechanical tools that civil engagement, as its primary driver, seems to have vanished. This has caused disassociation amongst people and their neighborhoods. Thus omitting the conventional definition of a city itself.


Ayadi Mishra, Aishwarya Jadhav, Urban Design Theory, Architects, Architecting, Architecture, Architectural, Design, Planning, Urban, Urbanism, City, Cities, History, Zeyka, Zeyka India, Architecture, Interior Design, Home Renovation, Construction, Tech, Design, Project Management Consulting, Architect, Architects, Interior, Interiors, Interior Designer, Interior Designers, Modular Wardrobe, Modular Bathroom, Modular Kitchen, Living Room, Dining Room, Bedroom, Kid's Room, Pooja Room, Garden Design, Landscape Design, False Ceiling, Balcony, New Delhi, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad

Today, cities around the globe are facing countless physical and social issues. Climate change, pandemics, economic inequalities, social injustice are to name a few. This will take over the existing civic sense of vulnerable geographies thus stressing the public institutions to a tipping point.


At this stage, rebuilding our cities would simply mean rebuilding the entire civilization on a planetary scale. It would mean rebuilding by eliminating parasitic and predatory systems of Modernism. And reworking mechanistic thinking and rebuilding regions based on symbiotic, cooperative, and naturalistic thinking.


Ayadi Mishra, Aishwarya Jadhav, Urban Design Theory, Architects, Architecting, Architecture, Architectural, Design, Planning, Urban, Urbanism, City, Cities, History, Zeyka, Zeyka India, Architecture, Interior Design, Home Renovation, Construction, Tech, Design, Project Management Consulting, Architect, Architects, Interior, Interiors, Interior Designer, Interior Designers, Modular Wardrobe, Modular Bathroom, Modular Kitchen, Living Room, Dining Room, Bedroom, Kid's Room, Pooja Room, Garden Design, Landscape Design, False Ceiling, Balcony, New Delhi, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad

The dominant urban environment of today has been a mere product of the past. A product of the mechanical order and machine ideology lead by Leonardo, Galileo, Newton, and Descartes. A significant part of it has already been proved obsolete by advancement in biological arts and sciences, technology, physics (thermodynamics) and sociological inquiry.


So then it becomes even crucial to reflect on fundamental questions on the identity of cities once more.


Ayadi Mishra, Aishwarya Jadhav, Urban Design Theory, Architects, Architecting, Architecture, Architectural, Design, Planning, Urban, Urbanism, City, Cities, History, Zeyka, Zeyka India, Architecture, Interior Design, Home Renovation, Construction, Tech, Design, Project Management Consulting, Architect, Architects, Interior, Interiors, Interior Designer, Interior Designers, Modular Wardrobe, Modular Bathroom, Modular Kitchen, Living Room, Dining Room, Bedroom, Kid's Room, Pooja Room, Garden Design, Landscape Design, False Ceiling, Balcony, New Delhi, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad

What is a city? How has 'the city' functioned in the past during Medieval times? What changes came up in the social and physical composition of cities due to the Industrial Revolution? What factors have conditioned the growth of cities, their order and planning? What altered the composition of their socio-economic demographics and culture and aesthetic style? What processes of federation, cooperation, and unity have existed? And which new forms of institutions and administration are being suggested by the current technological advancements? What will be the relationship between the city and its adjacent countryside moving forward? What will be an adequate urban form for this urban region, and what steps do we need to achieve it? What form and order will emerge for our civilization by the reform of our urban centers?


This column is an inquiry into the above raised questions. And we do so by tracing ideas and inspiration from the history of Medieval cities.



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About the Author

Aishwarya Jadhav is an architect, urban researcher, and software trainer by profession. She is a travel enthusiast, architectural photographer, and literary writer. She is a graduate of the School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University, UK and the Sir J.J. School of Architecture, Mumbai. She has experience working at Urban Liveability Forum, Dharmalaya Institute for Compassionate Living and Abhikalpan Architects and Planners.


About the Illustrator

Ayadi Mishra is an undergraduate architecture student at the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Bhopal. She is a writer, illustrator and graphic designer. She has experience working with An Architect, Ethos India, WPF Creatives, Nivedha Foundation, SkyManga. She has attended summer school at the Hunnarshala Foundation for Building Technology & Innovations, Bhuj, and has been a finalist in Solar Decathlon India.


About the Publication

Zeyka is a post Covid, tech-enabled Architecture and Interior Design startup. The architecture, interior design and renovation industries are opaque and hard to navigate markets. Zeyka provides knowledge and transparency to homeowners and designers, making their processes more informed and efficient.

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