How is water visualized and engaged in ways that lead to conditions of its excess and scarcity? What are the opportunities that its fluidity offers for new visualizations of terrain, design imagination, and design practice? Anuradha Mathur, an architect and landscape architect, is Professor in the Landscape Architecture Department, University of Pennsylvania; Dilip da Cunha, an architect and planner, is Adjunct Professor at the School of Design, University of Pennsylvania, and Visiting Faculty at Srishti School of Art, Design, and Technology in Bangalore, and Harvard GSD. For decades, a concern with the the problems and possibilities of fluidity have guided their teaching and design studios, most recently in Mumbai, Jerusalem, the Western Ghats of India, Sundarbans, and along the US – Mexico border. In 2013/14 they led a PennDesign Team for a project titled Structures of Coastal Resilience supported by the Rockefeller Foundation. They are authors of Mississippi Floods: Designing a Shifting Landscape (Yale University Press, 2001), Deccan Traverses: the Making of Bangalore’s Terrain (Delhi: Rupa & Co., 2006), Soak: Mumbai in an Estuary (Delhi: NGMA and Rupa & Co., 2009), Splice: The Iconic Joint (Blurb, 2016), and co-editors of Design in the Terrain of Water (A+RD Publishers, San Francisco, 2014). Dilip’s new book titled The Invention of Rivers: Alexanders’s Eye and Ganga’s Descent is forthcoming from University of Pennsylvania Press.

GIDEST is a Mellon-funded research institute based at The New School that incubates transdisciplinary research at the intersection of social theory, art, and design. As well as our faculty, artist-in-residence, and doctoral fellows’ programs, we run a series of biweekly public seminars that feature both prominent and emerging scholars and practitioners. Our seminars are devoted to discussion of pre-circulated materials.

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