BYPASSLAB is a one-week hack-lab organized by the Indo-German Centre for Sustainability IGCS, focusing on the peri-urban fringe of cities in India. Its current edition is devoted to Chennai’s peri-urban fringe, which is undergoing urbanization at a fast rate. We take this zone as being emblematic of a vast set of phenomena emerging all over urban India. Fly-overs, roads, zoning laws, gated townships, data networks, regulations, lapidary policies and bypasses, housing plots, SEZs, worker’s settlements, speculative investments, wastelands, farms and middle class aspirations are transforming the cities’ hinterlands into vast ambiguous zones of urbanization, strewn with infrastructures which are both scaling up and collapsing, both immaterial and real. In this lab, we see this ‘peri-urban’ condition not just as a challenge in terms of scale and ambiguity (is it urban or rural, center or periphery, linking-up or disconnecting, under threat or offering escape?), but also and predominantly as a challenge in terms of methodologies. How do we deal with the overwhelming scale of transformations and what sort of methods and technologies – both emergent and more established – can we embrace to rethink the role of fieldwork, reconnaissance and design? Can we go beyond the paradigms of urban design, on-site fieldwork, data analytics and GIS technologies to come up with more suiting and sensitive strategies of data collection? And can we come up with more intelligent mappings and forms of representation?

Date:   Sunday June 26 to Saturday July 2
Venue:   the Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development [RGNIYD], Sriperumbudur – 602 105, TN.
Contact:   for any queries regarding eligibility, accommodation, travel expenses and more, mail us at
bypasslab.igcs@gmail.com or call 044-2257 8447 | 91-76268947.

For more information, read our call-for-participation.

about IGCS

The Indo-German Centre for Sustainability (IGCS) is a centre for research, scholarship and academic exchange located at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IITM). Born out of an ongoing effort to strengthen Indo-German ties and to bring together German and Indian academe for furthering exchange of ideas and increased platforms for dialogue and discussion, this centre was created in 2008 to develop the capacity and the capability to promote sustainable development in Germany, India and South Asia. It taps into German expertise in the area of sustainability and the rigor and academic excellence of IITM, a top-ranked engineering and research institute in the Indian subcontinent. Currently, research is being carried out on issues such as peri-urban areas, designing sustainable waste management systems, as well as air-quality and water-resource management for the city of Chennai in the changing context of climate change.

For more information about IGCS, visit http://www.igcs-chennai.org