MONASS PhD researchers arrive

From this Thursday onwards, the MONASS research team will be expanded by the arrival of its two grant funded PhD fellowship holders, Harshavardhan Bhat and Anthony Powis.

Harshavardhan has a background in research and political practice, having previously worked on strategic consulting projects in South India and Rwanda. He’s an alumnus of the 2015/16 postgraduate programme at the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design in Moscow and holds an MSc in Comparative Politics (Conflict Studies) from the London School of Economics and a Bachelors in Business Management from Christ College (Autonomous) in Bangalore. He was previously a Senior Research Associate / CALACS Fellow at the Jindal School of International Affairs where he led a research cluster, during which he was also a Visiting Scholar with the School of Humanities at LUMS and in 2014 held the KN Raj Fellowship for Researchers at the Centre for Development Studies in Trivandrum.

For his PhD research, Harsh proposes to study  the ‘infrastructural condition’ and its manipulation in political, critical and strategic urban terms in the context of the lived monsoons in India. He plans to situate his field work in New Delhi and is interested in radically interdisciplinary work that is able to add new views and depth to issues of climate risk, design and politics.

Follow Harsh on twitter at @harsh_co

Anthony is an architect and researcher, having trained at Cardiff University, the University of Westminster and the Architectural Association. During his MArch at Westminster he received the Banister Fletcher Prize for his dissertation ‘The Production of Space in Protest, Law, and Police Action: London, winter 2010-2011’, which analysed spaces produced during a series of student-led demonstrations by conceiving them architecturally as ‘scenes’. Through a developed understanding of the social production of space in urban environments, the research examined the contradictions that occur in and between the legal representations of space, the spatial practices of the police and protestors, in their interaction and through associated acts of civil disobedience — exploring how urban public space is produced through these dual realms. The research connected the construction of spatial boundaries (through contest) and the production of political subjectivities, describing how the political and juridical are transformed in different ways in each protest site. Anthony has previously worked at muf architecture/art, leading public space projects in London; and has been an associate at Architecture Sans Frontieres-UK, undertaking practical research in Ghana and London. He is  a visiting lecturer in the Department of Architecture, co-teaching an undergraduate design studio.

For MONASS,  Anthony’s proposed project aims to explore ways in which processes of rapid urbanisation and accompanying expedient practices of occupying public and private space, describe possibilities for an alternative, ludic, and expressive urbanism.  By focusing on the form and production of urban culture that develops in the intersection of formal policy ambitions, extreme weather events, informal development, and competing models of globalisation — the project aims to understand how this ever unfinished socio-natural hybrid can form an alternative basis for urban development policy, and offer possible approaches to co-habiting cities with increasingly unpredictable weather events.

Follow Anthony on twitter at @anthonypowis