The work on Chandigarh will examine the city as a ‘post colonial’ place of encounter, as well as investigating the notion of the ‘modern’ city within India. Led by Dr. Iain Jackson, University of Liverpool, the main case-study will focus on the networks of tropical architecture, model housing proposals and utopian settlements, and will attempt to position Chandigarh within a broader context of planned settlements.

The main output of this study (beyond the rather Corbusier-centric history of the city) will be to investigate some of first built ‘sectors’ and to examine how some of the dwellings in the city have been modified to suit new requirements. Furthermore, how does the city and building design complement or contradict the development of ‘tropical architecture’ within the Indian subcontinent? Can we discern any concessions to health, hygiene and sanitation in the Chandigarh plan, which were considered so important by British architects operating in colonial India?

Archival work will include a review of material on Chandigarh held at the RIBA archive, the Colonial Office records at The National Archives and the archive of the School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool.

External collaborations are especially welcome from scholars investigating colonial and postcolonial India, as well as on notions of modernity, hygiene, progress and ‘development’ during the twentieth century. Additional collaboration is invited from scholars working on cross-cultural contact in Chandigarh as well as other planned settlements in earlier periods of encounter, particularly in the mid-nineteenth century onwards.

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