Namita Dharia

Part of the MIT Fall 2023 Architecture Lecture Series. In collaboration with the History Theory Criticism group. 

ONLINE Webcast:

6:00 PM

Namita Dharia

The Labor of Architecture: the politics and materialities of Indian construction sites

Namita Dharia is a socio-cultural anthropologist and architect who does research on urban South Asia. Her interest in urban areas developed during her studies and career as an architect and urban designer in India in the late ’90s. Dharia moved to conduct ethnographic research on the construction industry in order to understand the field through a critical lens and challenge core assumptions of design and designers. Dharia researches urban areas through a scalar methodology. She moves between the scale of a single individual in the city to that of objects and architectures to urban infrastructures and regions.

An interdisciplinary scholar, Dharia is interested in bridging design, planning and social science methodologies and theories. Dharia works with students and studios in design departments to deepen the analytical and social justice aspects of projects. She experiments with the creative energies architecture and urban planning to challenge representation and form in anthropological thought.

Dharia conducted research in cities across northeast India, north India, central India and west India. Her research collaborations include a study of large-scale temporary cities and architectures such as the Kumbh Mela festival city that assembles and disassembles within the span of three months and ethnographic design projects in Detroit. 

This lecture will be held in person in Long Lounge, 7-429 and streamed online. 

Lectures are free and open to the public. Lectures will be held Thursdays at 6 PM ET in 7-429 (Long Lounge) and streamed online unless otherwise noted. Registration required to attend in-person. Register here or watch the webcast on Youtube.

The HTC Forum is sponsored by the Lipstadt-Stieber Fund, made possible with the generous support of Thomas Beischer.