No Strings Attached: Reimagining the Redevelopment of Delhi's Kathputli Colony

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Walczak, Gillian




The Kathputli Colony in Delhi is filled with the spirit of gypsy lifestyle and magic. These people used to live in tents that were easily packed up and moved as circumstances conspired. They used their tents both to adapt to, and transform the environments that they inhabited. As the world continued to urbanize, temporary settlements became more permanent. Tents gave way first to metal sheds then warrens of tiny dwellings constructed of brick.

Over the years, cities have grappled with what to do with makeshift settlements. Recently cities in India have launched programs to construct new homes for these colonies. The unfamiliar challenge for gypsies is how to adapt to standardized housing and lifestyles it implies.

This thesis explores this dilemma and questions the limits of a colony of gypsies to adapt to sedentary and normative environments. In so doing, it questions what it means to be a gypsy.






Carleton University

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Master of Architecture: 

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Theses and Dissertations

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