Dye & Dustscapes provides a methodology for the urban design of Ahmedabad, responding to the arid desert of the Gujurat climate, the new imperforate edges of the Sabarmati Riverfront Development and the desire to redistribute the water, economy, and culture according to enriched ecological relations.
A city regarded as one of India’s industrial and economic hubs is at risk of submitting to the abysmal edge of its New Walled City. The Riverfront project has created a void in the terra, overwriting the temporal flows and fluctuations of the Sabarmati River during the three main seasons, of Summer (March to June), Monsoon (July to September) and Winter (November to February), to a static condition of wet-dry opposition.
Nicknamed ‘The Manchester of the East’, we understand the significance of the traditional processes used in the manufacture of textiles, and the natural dye processes which have been lost with the introduction of automation and synthetic dyes. We use Madder, a plant dye native to Gujarat, as an apparatus to realise a new enzymatic urbanism that reinvests in the textile industry and the historical rhythms of the now overly regulated Sabarmati.
We view Ahmedabad as a cloud of dust, exacerbated by both the crumbling walls of the Old City and the dry landscape of the New Walls. The dust cloud is harnessed by rhythmic redistribution of wetness, with patterns of adherences formed by fragments of the Old Walls, kite strings and stained ground. Through the process of tooling and wetting the dust, the Dustscape becomes a sublime, moist, fecund, and yet productive landscape.