Project
The Design Comes as We Build

urbz invited local builders from Dharavi to design the best possible house they could imagine. These designs were translated into physical models by artisans. 

Photos taken at urbz' gallery in Dharavi, Mumbai by Dayanita Singh.

"The Design Comes as We Build" puts the spotlight on small building contractors in Mumbai who are collectively responsible for construction the tens of thousands of small homes, which accommodate a majority of the city's population.

urbz invited local builders from Dharavi with a vast experience in construction and asked them to design the best possible house they could imagine. These designs were built into physical models by artisans with expertise in carpentry, welding, pottery, glass cutting and plexiglas.

In a context where houses are made without plans and drawings, the designs and models aim at making legible the local construction practices that serve millions of people in Mumbai and throughout the world.

Some of these models have travelled from Dharavi to Europe where they were exhibited at the Maxxi in Rome and at Spring House in Amsterdam. A new series was then presented at the Bhau Daji Lad City Museum in Mumbai as part of urbz' Mumbai Return exhibition.