The idea of the weekend workshop is to receive training in and to use methods of oral narratives and urban ethnography to begin ‘reading’ a neighboorhood. Contemporary cities are changing at such a rapid pace that it is critical to document people’s perceptions of transformation and habitation of urban spaces through their memories. To that end, the field immersion module includes hands-on aspects of mapping a neighbourhood, that draw attention to: a) social layers occupying urban spaces (b) natural and living environment, and (c) heritage mapping – built structures and local skills, occupation, knowledge.Encountering different layers of city life through people, building and craft practices allow researchers to get insights of how the city functions, both historically and in the present.

Students of MA Urban Studies at AUD are from diverse backgrounds, with strong training in basic concepts in urban planning, policy and ecology, as well as grounding in issues of power, discrimination and justice. It is the effort of the programme team to build a spatial view on the urban, which the third semester studio aims to do. This workshop will help students develop a sensitivity to the human experience as a constitutive unit of urban processes. 

On day 1, students will receive hands-on training in the methods and will design the study; and on day 2, a pilot study will be conducted at the chosen site. Participating students will, then, present the work in an audio/visual format. Throughout the workshop, emphasis will be on the process through which local histories and everyday lives, which are typically glossed over in mainstream ideas of cities, may be captured through sensitivity and nuance. The workshop will encourage students to think of the city beyond the confines and conformities of the official/published narrative, by highlighting the convergence, difference and diversity, interdependence and inequality – all of which exist in the everyday city, and can help start conversations in a multi layered city.