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CRIT (Collective Research Initiatives Trust)

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CRIT (Collective Research Initiatives Trust) is a group of architects, scholars, technicians and artists who have worked together over the past seven years in Mumbai. Our collective was established in early 2003 with the aim of undertaking research, pedagogy and intervention on urban spaces and contemporary cultural practices in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. CRIT regards this vast urban realm as its laboratory and terrain for articulating a collaborative and critical urbanism. Our understanding of urbanism is based on the recognition that everyday exchange between disciplines and across sectors is the basic condition of metropolitan environments, and that collective research is essential to transforming urban spaces and civic life.

Members and Advisors
CRIT is comprised of a core collective of ten executive members from the fields of architecture, urban design, information technology, fine arts, history, anthropology, and urban management, with members based in India, Africa and the U.S.A. CRIT also comprises a project cell of several young professionals who work on a flexible basis in its studio in Mumbai, and an advisory group of six prominent individuals from the fields of architecture and urban studies, history and anthropology, film and media studies, and civic administration and housing rights activism from India, China, Australia, and the U.S.A. CRIT was founded in 2002 by the original members of the Design Cell of the Kamala Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute of Architecture (KRVIA), Mumbai — the consultancy wing of the city’s most prestigious architecture college — to carry forward the experiments and interventions initiated within the academy by our members since 1997.

Partners and Sponsors
In the past three years, CRIT has successfully engaged and completed urban development, design and research projects for state agencies including the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA), and the Thane District Collectorate; international agencies such as the Asia-Pacific Development Information Program (APDIP) of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP); institutes and foundations including the Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI), Mumbai, the India Foundation for the Arts (IFA), Bangalore, and the SARAI New Media Initiative of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), New Delhi; academic bodies including the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen and the Kwan Fong Cultural Research and Development Programme, Lingnan University, Hong Kong; professional consultancies including Shirish Patel Associates (SPAPL), Mumbai and Taru Leading Edge Consultants, New Delhi; and community organisations including the Slum Rehabilitation Society (SRS), Mumbai, the Arun Kumar Vaidya Nagar Residents Association, Bandra West, Mumbai, the Mancherji Edulji Joshi Colony Residents Association, Dadar-Matunga, Mumbai, and the Mumbai Tenants Federation and its associated housing cooperatives throughout Greater Mumbai.

CRIT operates full-time from a studio in Malad West, in the Western Suburbs of Mumbai, and its finances and administration are collectively managed in a non-hierarchical spirit of voluntarism, mutual exchange and support by all its members. CRIT is registered as a public educational trust (E-29593) with the Charity Commissioner in the State of Maharashtra, India and is currently applying for tax exemption under Section 80G of the Indian Income Tax Act. Further information on our finances and administration are available upon request.

Projects and Interventions
CRIT undertakes research and activism throughout the Mumbai Metropolitan Region on housing, environment, heritage conservation, public spaces, and policy and planning issues in the context of urban development. We also occassionally produce print and web publications, curate exhibitions, organise workshops and public events on concerns ranging from urban spaces, to cultural practices, to new media technologies. Our current and completed projects are grouped within the following programmes:

Metropolitan Periphery
Akloli, Vajreshwari and Ganeshpuri: Tourism Development Plan (2004)
Vasai-Virar Sub-Region: Heritage Listing and Conservation Plan (2004)

Community Housing Support
Betwala Chawl at Foras Road: Community Housing Experiment (2004)
Mumbai’s Inner City: Study of Development Rights and Cessed Building Policies (2002–2004)

Public Spaces
Suburban Caves in Andheri, Jogeshwari and Borivali: Urban Archaeology Study (2004)
(Re-)Defining Public Spaces, Bandra Reclamation: Public Space Study and Plan (2003–2004)
Dadar-Matunga-Wadala Precincts: Heritage Conservation Plan (2001–2004)

Post-Industrial Landscapes
Mumbai’s Mill Lands: Industrial Museum Collaboration (2003–2004)
Mumbai’s Eastern Waterfront: Documentation of the Port and Dock Lands (2001–2005)

Sanitation and Waste Management

Slum Sanitation and Community Toilets: World Bank Programme Audit and Study (2005)
Kamathipura-Kumbharwada-Khetwadi Precincts: Solid Waste Management Plan (2003)

Archives and Publications

Mumbai Free Map Community GIS (Geographic Information System) (2004–2005)
Mumbai Map Archive (2005)
Tactical City: Tenali Rama & Other Stories of Mumbai’s Urbanism: Multimedia Novel (2004)

Curatorial Projects and Exhibitions

Image City: Formal and Informal Networks: Exhibition at Images of Asia, Copenhagen (2003)
Century City – Bombay/Mumbai, 1992–2001: Exhibition at the Tate Modern, London (2001)
Official Documents
CRIT Profile (PDF)
Brief Organisational Description (May 2005)

CRIT Registration
Certificate from Charity Commissioner (February 2003)

CRIT FCRA Documents
Permission and Registration under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (January 2005)
Audited Accounts

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