Decoding Indian Suburbia : Imaginations and Realities of Gated Communities
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Gated Communities (GCs) are a housing typology in which entry/exit is restricted, the perimeter is walled off, common infrastructure and services within are privatized, and the development is privately governed by a residents' association. GCs are the predominant housing typology in peri-urban areas of Tier-II cities in India. They are also heavily advertised across different forms of media - newspaper ads, billboards on streets, Instagram and Facebook posts, YouTube videos, and printed brochures. Their visual presence dominates not only the skyline of our peri-urban areas but also our traffic islands and junctions, phone screens, and newspaper supplements. An examination of these advertisements reveals that certain socio-cultural norms and architectural/spatial imaginations are created and reinforced - the idea of exclusivity and eliteness, closeness to nature, the idea of security and privacy, the imagination of happy family life, vibrant community life, and so on. This course deconstructs visual, text, and thematic elements in advertisements of GCs across their various media representations, highlighting their politics and biases, and reimagines them as truly inclusive places.

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