By Chelsea Mistretta

Alpa Nawre, an assistant professor at the University of Florida College of Design, Construction and Planning, recently delivered a lecture at the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley. Through recent architectural and landscape architectural projects from the portfolio of Critical Places + Alpa Nawre Design, Nawre’s lecture focused on what it takes to imagine and deliver an impact at a large scale while building both publics and places.

Critical Places is a group of architects, landscape architects, engineers, planners and urban designers who are committed to working with underdeveloped communities in India in order to design and create places critical to the well-being of its citizens.

Nawre discussed the lessons learned from working in the Dhamori village in Mahrashtra to develop landscape infrastructure-based solutions to the issues of the built environment of the village, such as water, waste management and public amenities. This initiative was funded by the Landscape Architecture Foundation.

 The second project Nawre discussed in her lecture was the design and construction of community halls in 57 villages throughout Maharashtra. The halls are being built in honor of Ahilyadevi Holkar, the revered 18th century warrior queen. These buildings will be used for community meetings and cultural events, such as weddings. Critical Places has engaged over 6,000 villages in the participatory exercises for this project.

The Punyashlok Ahilyadevi Holkar Community Halls have the potential to set a precedent for the entire country by becoming a landmark of community facilities that will hopefully form the foundation of participatory design and planning in the State of Maharashtra.

 If you wish to learn more about Critical Places and the work they do, visit: https://www.criticalplaces.org

If you wish to watch her full lecture, you can find it here https://vimeo.com/362673756

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