The importance of Subversion in creating City Experiences

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by Ayaz Basrai on Sunday, January 19, 2014


Session type

Technical level


A DIY Toolkit to creating subversive / parallel agendas to most projects, in an aim to convert uni-dimensional project briefs into do-gooder initiatives. I would like to outline some of our Studio's experiments in examining play, fun and subversion as creativity generators, that form small steps in creating a larger, more eccentric city experience. To outline pointers for applying these principles to most projects.


Most of us living, loving and working in India inhabit a city experience entirely not of our choosing. We're surrounded by big political banners, politicians wishing each other happy Birthday on our streets, a chaotic and mad mix of rules and legislation, a seemingly insane work atmosphere and a huge list of reasons to prove beyond any doubt that nothing will ever work in our favour.

Anyone running a practice, or starting out in this mix will identify with this emotion.
We run a small design studio in Bombay, and are madly in love with the city we work in. The Busride handles space design, heritage conservation and on-ground research initiatives grounded in the city context. We've been experimenting with subversion and parallel agendas since we began practicing, and we'd like to outline some of the learnings from this rolleercoaster ride in an effort to create a DIY guide to activisim, optimism and a way forward to create a fun, inspiring and eccentric city experience totally of our own making.


An open mind.
A list of pet-peeves.
A metaphorical Bazooka.

Speaker bio

Studied Industrial Design at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.
Worked for 3 years at a Design / Brand consultancy in Dubai.
Moved back to India, best thing i ever did.
Set up The Busride Design Studio in 2008, towards handling all manner of strange projects.
Worked on a diverse set of projects, ranging from film production, making miniatures, Heritage documentation and conservation, running a pop-up Restaurant, Street art intiatives, Hospitality and Venue creation, Institutional design, and lots more.
In the process of creating a connect-the-dot map, and I'd like to present this at the Goa Project!