Indigenous Spaces. Indigenous Traditions: An Immersive environmental education center in Kodagu, Karnataka, India.
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Located deep in the heart of the Western Ghat mountain range in the southern Indian state of Karnataka is Kodagu - a land and a tribe whose history goes back thousands of years in time. An ancient and elusive culture - a fierce martial forest tribe were the guardians of the great forests that lie in this region. They are the original protectors of the greatest South Indian river –the Cauvery – whose origin springs deep in these sacred mountains. Recognized as one of the 7 great hotspots of biodiversity in the world, today, this region faces unprecedented cultural and ecological impacts due to numerous internal and external influences. The aforementioned indigenous tribe of this region – the Kodavas , are a declining population. This thesis examines the current influences that potentially threaten the ecological future of this land. The thesis is grounded in the principle that environmental education via a built intervention could very well be the peaceful yet forceful catalyst for change that is much needed in this region today. This thesis proposes an immersive environmental center in the capital town of this district to regenerate the ecology and the ancient culture of the region. It proposes inclusivity in programming and involves locals, farmers and tourists participating in its environmental programs. Drawing from ancient vernacular architecture that was the foundation of this regions core community structure , this thesis explores a built project intervention that could have the potential to impact the attitudes of the people who live in, and visit the region; thereby having a permanent impact on the long-term sustainability and survival of this unique land and its people.
- Architecture