The Street Corner
The street corner features in our conversations ever so often. One often hears someone say: "Go to the cobbler who sits at the main road junction." Or a friend who asks: "Let us go to the garden for a walk. From there, we can go to the pani puri vendor on the garden's corner, buy some vegetables from the vendor beside him and come back home." When you stop to ask for directions, you are told: "Take a right turn instead from the junction that has that bench under the pink bougainvillaea tree on the corner where one takes the bus from." You might overhear this on a street: "Let us just park our scooty under the tree at the corner of Bobby Tea Stall, relax, and have some chai."
In India, street corners are vibrant public spaces where the convergence of streets allows for interactions between people from everywhere. In this competition, we hope to capture the street corners' culture, the various interrelationships between users and the context in which they are situated in the neighbourhood. We urge you to think about street corners that are etched in your memories due to the everyday happenings there. Often, one finds that these corners provide the visibility that vendors and auto drivers desire the most for higher footfall. Sometimes, they are jam-packed with vehicles parked there; at other times, they are entirely pedestrianized, with people bumping into each other as they gather here to shop, eat, sit, chat, read and engage in other activities.
The entries explored a few of these questions: How do one or more street corners act as pause points? Who are the users of these spaces? What are the various activities that they engage in at this corner? Does this street corner serve as a landmark for your neighbourhood, and if so, how? Are there certain elements that support comfort and safety here? How does this corner transform through the day? If you have seen it transform over time, what are the changes that have happened here? Which street corners that you know about are devoid of activities, and what may be the reason for that? Do you think a network of safe and lively street corners can help make a neighbourhood better? If yes, how would one make this happen? The contributions reflected on the past and the present of the street corner in their neighbourhood and evehow they'd like it to be in the future!
Prize: The two best entries under this theme received a BOOK gift voucher of Rs.1500.
Each entry received a participation certificate, and a few selected entries have been shared here on the Decoding Everyday portal.
The Street Corner Competition @ Decoding Everyday
In India, street corners are vibrant public spaces that allow for interactions between people from a crossing of paths. In this competition, the attempt was to capture the street corner culture, the relationship between users and the context in which they were situated.
In this film, we interview the two prize-winners for this competition! Our research associate, Aparnaa C. in conversation with the prize-winners, Gautami Dakwale and Khyati Latkar.
Prize Winners' Bio
1st Prize Winner | Gautami Dakwale: Gautami is an architecture student at BNCA, Pune, currently, in her third year. She also holds a deep interest in journalism and hence, is always on the lookout for new opportunities that get her writing. She has grown up in Nagpur and shifted to Pune about 5 months ago for her education post lockdown. The change in the culture that is reflected through the city's landscape and infrastructure has been amazing to witness.
2nd Prize Winner | Khyati Latkar: Khyati is from Pune city. She has completed HSC from Pune and is currently a third-year Bachelor of Architecture student at Dr Bhanuben Nanavati College of Architecture for Women (BNCA) under Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU).
We received 8 citizen contributions for this competition. We would like to thank all the participants. THANK YOU Asees Prab, Gautami Dakwale, Khyati Latkar, Kshitija Ligam, Namita Sudheendhran, Parminder Kaur, Roshani Brahmanand Tiwari, Rupali Mahajan, Sushmita Deshmukh, and Sakshi Vijay Jadhav.
We have collated below a few articles and blog posts that reflect upon street corners from India and abroad. We hope that you will find these helpful as references. Below these are a few reference images of street corners that we found interesting, those that have innumerable activities that make our cities both socially and culturally vibrant!!