The shared ecologies that human and more-than-human life inhabit in the face of today’s pervasive fossil fuel extraction, menacing deglaciation, rising oceanic acidification, spreading wildfires, intensifying suspended particulates, seeping toxins and amplified sound waves are cast as worlds in environmental ‘crises’ or climate ‘emergencies.’ We witness two widespread responses to the turbulences and uncertainties that threaten to transpose the shared ecologies of our worlds to a putative tipping point of ecological crises and climate emergencies. First, from their Enlightenment roots, the ‘nature-culture’ and ‘ecology-economics’ dualism has translated, over the course of the last three centuries, into the bureaucratic simplifications of complex knowledge systems into regulatory approaches to abate, regulate, protect, conserve and sustain our habitats. Such simplifications now find articulation visions based in large, centralized, quantitative data based, cartographic information systems to manage and re-engineer territories, resources and populations. Large data based information systems have found their zenith, so to speak, in calculations of carbon emissions whose monetary abstractions can now be traded for credit. Concurrently, there has been a proliferation of diverse activist engagements across the world whose protagonists aim to undo the injustices that, according to them, lie at the heart of the visions to regulate, manage and re-engineer territories. Advancing rights-based approaches to the environment, such activist engagements have been working towards strengthening or pushing back the forms of regulation, management and re-engineering embedded in the bureaucratic simplification of complex knowledge systems. As such, both tendencies expand or erode sociospatial claims on shared ecologies of the worlds that human and more-than-human life inhabit. This SEA Conversations lecture series is situated in a context shaped by the need to interrogate the expansion and erosion of sociospatial claims in the shared ecologies of the worlds that human and more-than-human life inhabit.


17/06 Fotini Takirdiki
01/07Lindsay Bremner
15/07 K. Sakthivel & Vibhavari Sarangan
29/07 Hemang Mistry
12/08 Thannal
09/09 Ignacio Farias
23/09 Maksud Ali Mondal

It has been co-curated and supported by Shared Ecologies program of the Shyama Foundation along with the ongoing support of Urban Centre Mumbai.
It is free and open to everyone across the world.

Session #1
Learning from/within Ecotones
Educational Experiments for a Critical Urban Pedagogy beyond Anthropocentrism
by Fotoni Takirdiki

on Fri., 17 June 2022 @ 5:30 PM IST
YouTube Link

What does it entail to regard the “Ecotone“ as a pedagogical framework and an experimental field for relearning urbanism? In her talk, Fotini Takirdiki discusses the ecological concept of the Ecotone (e.g. wetlands, mangrove forests or grasslands) as a facilitator of biodiversity and a vessel for imagination as well as the educational practices that might emerge from it. She does so by connecting ideas from educational philosopher Paulo Freire and from anthropologist Gregory Bateson with own ethnographic investigations of the swamp Briesetal in North Brandenburg, Germany.


Fotini Takirdiki is a doctoral student and program curator in the field of experimental learning spaces. Her phd project “Political Ecologies of Knowledge in the Anthropocene“ is embedded at the Institute of European Ethnology at the Humboldt University of Berlin as well as at the Institute of Arts and Media at the Potsdam University. In her work she focusses on a critical exploration of knowledge production in the Anthropocene, the transformation of human-environment-relations and urban ecologies.

Session #2
Monsoon as Method
by Lindsay Bremner

on Fri., 1 July 2022 @ 5:30 PM IST
YouTube Link

This presentation arises out of the work of Monsoon Assemblages, a research project funded by the European Research Council from 2016-2021. The presentation will think through what it means to reframe spatial research around the monsoon and to approach cities as monsoon assemblages or weather worlds. It will challenge ways of thinking cities and climate or society and nature as separate entities stacked up against one another, instead exploring the multiple ways they are entangled and co-produced.  


Professor Lindsay Bremner is a research architect and educator at the University of Westminster in London where she is Director of Research in the School of Architecture and Cities. She recently (2016-2021) held European Research Council grant no. 679873 for Monsoon Assemblages, a project exploring three Bay of Bengal cities - Chennai, Dhaka and Yangon, as monsoonal assemblages being disrupted and transformed by globalisation and climate change. She holds a B.Arch from the University of Cape Town and an M.Arch and DSc.Arch from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.  

Session #3
Afforesting Urban Landscape: Miyawaki Forest
by K Sakthivel and Vibhavari Sarangan

on Fri., 15 July 2022 @ 5:30 PM IST

This presentation discusses a collaborative experiment between architects, researchers and cultivators that aims at infusing the urban fabric with indigenous and fast growing forests. These environmental nodes or zones, we hope, shall act as resilient corridors towards alleviating the effects of climate change.


Sakthivel is a Madurai based environmentalist. He founded and manages RainMan Enviro Solutions, Madurai. He is renowned for creating Madurai's first Miywaki forest and has gone on to cultivate and care for many such large scale Miyawaki forests in Tamil Nadu.

Vibhavari is an architect from School of Environment & Architecture, Mumbai (2020). She has studied cultivation practices in dense urban areas and curated a greening project that aims to create environmentally-active social nodes in Padma Nagar and other such vulnerable settlements that dot the edges of the Deonar dumpyard.

Session #4
Architectural Innovations in Bamboo: Designing for Mainstream Futures

by Hemang Mistry

on Fri., 29 July 2022 @ 5:30 PM IST


The philosophy of Hemang Mistry's practice is to give back what one has borrowed from nature. While bamboo is categorised as grass, his works demonstrate how it can be one of the most promising materials for the future, that can be used in landscape, architecture and urban design projects.


Hemang Mistry is an architect and urban designer with an experience of 16 years in designing at varying scales from architectural to urban. His practice has been focusing on building with mud and bamboo over the last five years. He completed his architecture from SCET, Surat in 2006 and Urban Design from CEPT University, Ahmedabad in 2011. Hemang has won many national design competitions within his pursuit of ecological design. He is a bamboo enthusiast, as well as a member of IIA and the working committee of Bamboo Society of India.