The urban realm today has no boundaries. It is emerging in new patterns transcending conventional notions of the city and metropolis in various scales, intensities and forms – as large infrastructure projects, as sites of redevelopment and rehabilitation, as luxury townships, special economic zones, call centers, malls, farmhouses, or even as enterprises within miniscule houses in a slum. These formations shape bizarre new patterns of work, living and leisure and create even more bizarre metropolitan psychologies. They operate with multiple logics involving large number of actors in complex arrangements. It is clear that this urbanism requires a fundamentally different interrogation and engagement – one that is not only able to deal with its complexities and messiness, thick histories, (dis)connected geographies, multifarious practices, complex claims, dynamic formlessness, intensities, absurdities and several realities; but also is multifaceted using multiple methods and producing multiple perspectives – all valid.
Collective Research Initiatives Trust (CRIT) is a network of individuals interested in developing critical understandings of, and responses to this urban realm. Since 2003, this amorphous group, which has constantly expanded and contracted as and when required, has been involved in research, pedagogy and intervention on/in the urban realm.