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Vignesh Harikrishnan


Loca(l)motive is an attempt to understand the primary questions of what is local and what is modern? if vernacular could be flexible and dynamic? With a vast expanse of local wisdom and knowledge resources in the Indian Subcontinent, The Idea is to explore ways of not immortalising vernacular and making it inaccessible yet to put it into use.

For this, I propose to rethink one of the most modern and complex network of sharing resources - Trains! The Indian railways was bestowed by British to India, not as a gift but to channelise and send resources from India to England. It was the trade of cotton, among other things, that prompted the journey of the first ever train on the Indian sub-continent.

Indian Railways, which had a modest beginning in 1853, has since then been an integral part of the nation - a network of 121,407 kilometres and 7,349 stations that have held together with a population of one billion. A self-propelled social welfare system that has become the lifeline of a nation, Indian Railways has woven a sub-continent together and brought to life the concept of a united India. Given its strength to connect people and resources, What if this modern marvel could carry the very soul of India across its land. Connecting the masons of Auroville to the Potters of Dharavi, Mumbai to help reconstruct the school of Srilankan refugees in Chennai through a medium that is not a Static “centre” for vernacular architecture but the very lab that runs, settles, learns, shares craft, builds and of course honks.!


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