The future of design lies in exploring of ways to accommodate people of different backgrounds and cultures and thereby creating a sustainable environment for all. This holistic approach towards design will help us achieve multi-culturism in different facets of design. Architecture is something that inculcates identity to the built forms and Built form is something that acts as backdrop for everyday lives of people. The world around has lot of such forms that have set stage to the everyday lives of people from different social and cultural identities. These spaces are the ones that provide a sense of belonging to all the people, gives them their space and allows them to exist in the space regardless of the differences. Public spaces play an important role in establishing multicultural designs. Let us understand more about the multi-cultural designs through the categories of these spaces and the examples that we can relate to.

Multicultural in Architecture - Sheet1
Image Courtesy Cienpies Design/123RF ©futurelearn.com

1. Market Places / Malls / Shopping Complexes

Multi-Cultural Marketplace in Barcelona, Spain © pps.org - Sheet1
Multi-Cultural Marketplace in Barcelona, Spain ©pps.org
Multi-Cultural Marketplace in Barcelona, Spain © pps.org - Sheet2
Shopping Complexes ©business-standard.com
Multi-Cultural Marketplace in Barcelona, Spain © pps.org - Sheet3
Food Court ©centralland.com

Public markets, Malls, Shopping complexes house a variety of outlets for people with different tastes, economic backgrounds and other preferences. Hence, these places often see a large chunk of people form varied social, cultural and economic backgrounds. Especially the present-day malls where the spaces are designed with the motto of ‘everything for everyone. These spaces offer something for all types of consumers.

Examples:

  • Malls housing different types of eating joints and outlets for people of different tastes and economic backgrounds under one roof.
  • Connaught place in Delhi facilitates shopping and social life for the people from different backgrounds in the city and tourists.

2. Boardwalks and Promenades

Boardwalks and Promenades - Sheet1
Equal Streets, Mumbai ©Theguardian.Com
Boardwalks and Promenades - Sheet2
Sabarmati Waterfront, Ahmedabad ©M.Dailyhunt.In
Boardwalks and Promenades - Sheet3
Marine Drives, Mumbai ©pinterest.com
Boardwalks and Promenades - Sheet4
St, Stephen’s Stairs, Mumbai ©google.com/maps

While the city might have different pockets of localities dominated by people of different castes, ethnicity, economic status etc. the public spaces like the promenades, waterfronts, broadwalks, public squares are all common to people of different sects and hence aid in social integration. These spaces act as buffer spaces and help people to vent out and gather. While some might want to simply walk by the promenade, some might want to enjoy the view by the water front, while some might like to meet new people and interact. The public spaces like these helps to bridge the gap and foster social diversity.

Examples:

  • The Marine Drive promenade in Mumbai has a daily foot fall of people of different strata of the society and different ethnic groups of the city as well as tourists from different parts of the country.
  • Stephens’s stairs in Bandra, Mumbai has become a pedestrian hotspot in the city with various events and workshop’s taking place on the stairs very weekend.

3. Beaches, Parks & Playgrounds

Beaches, Parks & Playgrounds - Sheet1
Rio De Janeiro Beach ©encirclephotos.com
Beaches, Parks & Playgrounds - Sheet2
Multicultural Groups ©briya.org
Beaches, Parks & Playgrounds - Sheet3
Central Park, Navi Mumbai ©youtube.com
Beaches, Parks & Playgrounds - Sheet4
Juhu Beach, Mumbai ©oyorooms.com

Playgrounds are found to promote interaction, exchange, and comfort for the children of varied age groups, making diverse communities more liveable and exciting for young people. Beaches too can be seen as a space where in different families and friends gather to experience a quality time. These spaces are open for all the people irrespective of their cultures and backgrounds and act as gathering spaces for all of these families from varied backgrounds.

Examples:

  • Central Park Kharghar in Navi Mumbai provides an equal opportunity for all the city dwellers an access to clean air and clean environment.
  • Mumbai being the coastal city has several beaches that offer everyone in the city the best space to vent out from the busy schedules and enjoy quality time.

 4. Spiritual Places&Religious Places

Spiritual Places&Religious Places - Sheet1
Satyam Shivam Sundaram Meditation Centre ©www.yogatrail.com
Spiritual Places&Religious Places - Sheet2
Lotus Temple, Delhi ©en.wikipedia.org
Spiritual Places&Religious Places - Sheet3
Benaras, Uttar Pradesh ©indianpanorama.in

When we talk about spiritual spaces, there is a thin line of difference that distinguishes it from religious places. Religious places facilitate gathering of different types of people but mostly of the same religion, unlike the spiritual places that offer an environment for different ethnic and religious groups to integrate, gather and thus discover their spirituality. These may include mediation centres, wellness centres, assemblies of holistic thinkers and preachers irrespective of the religious inclinations.

There have also been instances where religious places have also been frequenting by people of varied religious beliefs and tourists. These spaces usually exist in the secular and liberal environments and can be very well considered to be multicultural spaces.

Examples:

  • The Lotus temple is a place of worship that welcomes masses of all castes, creed and religions to come an experience the spirituality, worship their respective beliefs through meditation attain peace.
  • Though Benaras is highly related to religion, one way of looking at it could be as a creation of a space and environment that inspires people of all backgrounds to experience spirituality and peace and discover oneself, irrespective of their religious belief systems

Architectural Journalist

Rethinking The Future

Sudarshan is a ‘Jack of all trades, but a master of fun’. Apart from being an Architect he has a flair for writing, manages family business & is now trying his hand at UX Design as well. He strongly believes that whatever one does in life, one must do it with passion & be happy with it.

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