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KRVIA (Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture and Environmental Studies)
The Design Cell is the research and consultancy division of the KRVIA and was started in 1995 with an intention to connect the theoretical and research agendas of the school with the practice of architecture and development in the city. The Cell interacts with various agencies concerned with development and explores methods of understanding and intervening in the metropolis. It works with a team of architects and other consultants regarding history, economy, social geography, infrastructure and planning. The process of consultancy helps the Institute engage with the actors and agencies involved with architectural production. The Cell has created an independent research on the city and has created an archive of maps, images, and documents on various aspects of the city of Mumbai.
The Research and Design Cell has worked with many organisations in the city and has helped shape policy as well as community initiatives in the city. The government organisations it has worked with include The Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA), the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA, Al India Institute of Local Self Government (AIILSG) among others. It has also worked with community based organisations and non governmental organizations like the Juhu Residents organisation, the National Fishworkers Forum, Majlis, the Aga Khan Planning and Building Services, India (AIILSG), among others.
The Research and Design Cell is integrated with the Academic Space in the school. It draws in faculty and students from there to conduct research and consultancy projects. The KRVIA has a faculty of over 20 full time teachers and researchers; along with a large number of visiting and guest faculties. The KRVIA has also, over the years, developed a strong network with academics, artists, activists and architects within the city. It draws on their expertise as and when required.