Neville Mars is the founder of MARS Architects. In his talk, Mars will focus on water issues in the city of Mumbai, India.
For the BMW Guggenheim Lab Mumbai, MARS Architects has developed an extensive and radical urban vision. Charting long-term solutions, surprisingly it wasn’t Mumbai’s infamous gridlock that emerged as the critical issue, but rather the need for new tools effective in an environment that is both socially and spatially fragmented. Clearly even in the world’s densest city, congestion is a symptom more than a fundamental problem. And yet, for any proposal to gain traction the problems Mumbaikars encounter on a daily basis must be addressed. Investigating Mumbai’s urgent water woes reveals the intricate nature of modern metropolitan challenges. From safe drinking water to pollution and flooding, the issues are all closely linked. Increasingly large-scale infrastructure fails to meet demand. Water passes through the system steadily turning from blue to black. Fortunately, the city has seen the emergence of hundreds of grass roots efforts. However, it is has become apparent that a long-term vision can only be truly successful if efforts at these two ends of the scale are aligned to support each other. The Water Bench is the first outcome of what is designed to be an ecology of solutions.
MARS Architects is a boutique design studio that specializes in complex, site-specific construction projects. Sustainability and functionality drive our passionate multidisciplinary team in developing intricate spatial solutions. With over ten years of experience in China, we have fine-tuned a unique design methodology that delivers distinctively integrated projects on all scales, from ecocities to smart buildings and evocative interior furnishings. Spearheaded by Dutch architect Neville Mars, MARS Architects is a Sino-Dutch company, with subsidiaries in Mumbai and Shanghai. For this year’s Beijing Design Week MARS Architects introduces two new product lines: the Water Bench and the luxury furniture line BARK.