Manek Chowk

On every place we have been during the 3 weeks there was a market. As a tourist and foreigner indian markets are fascinating. Everyone seems to be in a rush or busy working. You can see unnumerous strong colors and smell tons of different spices you have never experienced before. Even though the all those markets are selling totally different items and are based placed far away from eachother, we recognized some similarilties which we couldn’t name at the beginning. So we decided to take a closer look on a typical indian market through our western eyes.

We have chosen the Manek Chowk, a big market in Ahmedabad.

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Since we spent only a few days in this place we had to choose some methods to quickly gather sufficient informations for an analysis. So we have chosen a geographical and quantitative research to start with. We gathered informations about the shops on the market. Where are they geographically placed in the market and what kind of items do they sell. These informations we visualized on our previously created map.

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With these informations we could see that similar shops are mostly based right next to eachother. We could clearly see where the centre of particular items were.

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We wondered how this happened. In Switzerland a shop wouldn’t be opened right to another similar one. So we started asking people from Ahmedabad. We finally found out that those markets have a long history. Same goods were always placed in the same area.
For generations people of the same family, community or caste lived together and worked in the same profession. So that they still have a product specific order of the market.

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We realized that it’s simply not possible to break out of that order. People are used to it and they even appreciate to know from the beginning where to find the goods they look for.

So we had an idea to let those areas of similar goods together how they are. But instead we resettle the entire areas. At the moment those areas do not have an order that makes sense. For example we placed food shops right next to the shops with kitchen tools, etc.

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Liliane, Dondup, Alain

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2 thoughts on “Manek Chowk

  1. kanika says:

    It is a really interesting project and observation that you have here. i wish you had also observed how manek chowk transforms into a big open air food court in the night when all shops shut down. i wonder if that would affect your market plan/design.

  2. dondi says:

    hi kanika! thanks for your feedback.
    yes, we wish we could have stayed longer there. unfortunately we didn’t go to the manek chowk at night time. we didn’t even know about this open air food court.

    anyways we had a great time in this beautiful city.
    you take care.

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