A Study on Design intervention towards experiencing unexplored destinations: A case study of North Guwahati

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With modernisation in transport and communication in the Globalised society travel is changing the motives of man, who used to do so initially for acquisition of food, water, shelter or trade in the past to a perception centric travel which consists of more leisure, pleasure, acquiring knowledge, recreational and explorative. The traveler builds his own perception in order to visit a place according to various push motive and following the push he/she is pulled towards the destination place. Scholars, travelers and traders from far west saw India as a place of immense potential in terms of trade, wealth, pilgrimages and natural beauty. The growth of society and development of urban forms started shaping the economy of a place and gave meaning to the place through the intrinsic characteristics it owned which is what turned into images that was projected to people. India is regarded as a land of mysticism and deities since time immemorial. But what the traveler misses out that there is lot other than just the few known parts of the country being branded as the image of India. To India, it expands beyond, such images to a more exotic yet historical and bestowed by natural charms, i.e. the North East region of India. Although Incredible India brands the region as a place to visit for tranquility and exposure to cultural vividness, the region is yet to face such immense changes in the tourism sectors compared to other places of the country. Assam the pioneering state of North East consists many such unexplored places waiting for it to be discovered by the modern day travelers. The population and the people of Assamese scattered around rural and semi urban settings. The economy is slowly rising but needs more support through projection of their practices various arts, crafts, musical instruments and Handloom in the form of tourism and find further potential. The unknown destinations and peripheral areas in major towns and cities are merely tapped despite its full potential of being converted into a major tourist spot, especially for nature lovers. Assam despite having potential to motivate people. Christaller, 1995 stated “tourism is a brand of economy which avoids central place and the agglomeration of economy”, which means as a sector of economy it has an inherent tendency to improve the conditions of otherwise backward peripheral areas. The present study reviews the status on the studies so far carried out on history of Cultural and sustainable tourism and tries to link them with Guwahati’s peripheral identities across Brahmaputra River on the north bank, for pragmatic theme based circuit tourism. The Thesis embarks with literature study to understand tourism and its aspects and a designer’s role in the context. Literature study is carried out in order to support the need of study associated to Identities which relates to countless places. Through the literature it is revealed that how various elements of place, their image and identities created through landscapes, branding of these place through identities and motivating people to visit them based on their intrinsic characteristics. Case studies were looked upon and studied in order to understand and get exposure of the subject matter based on tourism, tourist behaviour and along with beautification around riversides. Three studies and surveys were conducted related to the Location in two phases. Literature study, the possibility of socio-cultural ethnicity of cultural and heritage based landscapes were studied using methodology multi-staged sampling technique in two phases. In the first phase Study and Analysis of tourists and locals’ visits were studied on purposive basis. Their push and pull motives and components of places based studies were conducted through questionnaire and sample selection of 35 participants. Through the analysis of Phase 1 study, phase 2 was being formulated where design solutions and analysis of the solutions were carried via another 15 samples across various backgrounds and job profile. The thesis is divided into four parts Chapter 1 being the Introduction to the background, Need of the Study and the methodology thus followed to conduct the Study to fulfil the aim; chapter 2 is Possibility Exploration Study: socio-cultural ethnicity and Heritage Landscape Identities and it explores the possibility through conducting study in 4 phases; Chapter 3 is Possibilities explained in North Guwahati-Design Proposal where the possibilities to propose design solutions will be explained through the study and Chapter 4 includes the Design Decision and conclusion where a Micro-tourism concept is designed along with the proposed solutions and framework. In a very conceptual approach, this study scrutinize identity in place making as vital matters in achieving good public realm design for tourist seeking for leisure, variety and newness in their journey interacting with local people. The thesis work stands on the visitors of North East. Their use of Guwahati city as a gateway to other parts of North-eastern region and places are covered under the study. Through the study of tourism in north east, including Guwahati, it appears that it’s development and the facilities are created by corporates and government. Hence, the proposals and schemes are developed so that newer places may be inducted to facilitate Visitors and local’s interaction that would explore nearby areas of Guwahati where North Guwahati is taken as a case study. In the Design proposal, the original historical and mythological places and landscape identities are also considered viewing Micro-tourism aspects. The thesis looks into feasibility facets of showcasing North Guwahati distinctiveness of Guwahati on the north bank of Brahmaputra. The literature and work in support of the design proposal may be referred in the succeeding work.e.
Supervisor: Debkumar Chakrabarti