All posts by nb

Counter Institution – Book talk on WNYC

From – The Intersection of Activism and Architecture

This segment is guest hosted by Arun Venugopal. 

Nandini Bagchee discusses her book Counter Institution: Activist Estates of the Lower East Side. Intersecting architecture, urban design practices, geography, and cartography with history, politics, and sociology, the book deftly charts the history of activism in New York City and how the city can inspire and encourage political engagement. Using drawings, maps, timelines, and photographs to underline the connections between people, politics, and space, Bagchee offers new ways to imagine buildings as a critical part of the civic infrastructure and the activist history of New York.

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Counter Institutions – Book Talk at McNally Jackson (Prince St)

From – Counter Institution: Nandini Bagchee (PRINCE STREET)

In the midst of current debates about the accessibility of public spaces, resurfacing as a result of highly visible demonstrations and occupations, this book illuminates an overlooked domain of civic participation: the office, workshop, or building where activist groups meet to organize and plan acts of political dissent and collective participation. Author Nandini Bagchee examines three re-purposed buildings on the Lower East Side that have been used by activists to launch actions over the past forty years. The Peace Pentagon was the headquarters of the anti-war movement, El Bohio was a metaphoric “hut” that envisioned the Puerto Rican Community as a steward of the environment, and ABC No Rio, appropriated from a storefront sign with missing letters, was a catchy punk name. . .

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Studio Report – Design and Advocacy in the South Bronx

From – Studio Reports – Design and Advocacy in the South Bronx

This article was written by nandini bagchee. 

After a grueling battle with Fresh Direct for the environmental health of the South Bronx, the activists of South Bronx Unite (SBU) had their hearts set on securing permanent, community-controlled space in the neighborhood. A former health clinic that symbolized a history of neighborhood self-sufficiency could provide permanently affordable space for the community advocates and non-profit service and cultural organizations that help the neighborhood thrive.

So when Nandini Bagchee approached SBU about collaborating on a studio, they knew just what they needed: to prove that their visions of a community center on West 140th Street were achievable, and to find a way to extend the site’s radical past into a viable future in a changing neighborhood. . . 

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