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Through the Lens of Gender and Spatial Design:
The Wadas of Pune, Maharashtra, India
Aditi Sharma


An understanding of gender & gender relations within the family is assimilated by the way these relations define spatial orientation within a household. The research puts forth the negotiation of gender and space by taking an example of the traditional residential archetype of Maharashtra i.e. Wadas in Pune, India. Wadas are defensive structures with courtyards, which guard within them the families of noblemen with up to 20-30 residents at a time. By taking case studies of three notable wadas of Pune, the research portrays the example of different families and their experiences which ardently signify the role of gender throughout their lives in wadas. Furthermore, historians and architects associated with the history of wadas have been interviewed to integrate a framework of gender and space at a micro and macro level in society. Also a series of anecdotes by 19th century women and interviews conducted with inherited owners of wadas have been used to recreate the routine and lifestyle in wadas. With the latter as a key guide and space and spatial design as a critical medium of expression the paper maps the presence and nature of gender differences and their impact on the spatial orientation. Due consideration is given to the system of caste and class, an important criterion in defining the meaning of this space. The study underscores the historical and cultural background of the society which discusses the traditions and rituals followed within and outside the household.


Zur Person

Aditi Sharma is an architect based in Mumbai, India. After completing her Bachelor’s in Architecture from CSPA, Punjab, India she attained her Masters in Interior Architecture and Design with specialization in History, Theory and Criticism from CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India. Her research interests include design research, ethnography, Cultural Studies, and the intersection of gender and space.


Panel 03: Vergeschlechtlichte Biographien im Raum

Zeit: Donnerstag, 07. November 2019, 14:30-16:00 Uhr
Raum: Unterrichtsraum 3, Universitätsstraße 15, UG WEST


Veranstaltet von der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Geschlechterforschung und der FP Center Interdisziplinäre Geschlechterforschung Innsbruck (CGI) in Kooperation mit dem Büro für Gleichstellung und Gender Studies der Universität Innsbruck.





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