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Promising Architectural Practices of India

Sensing Local, Bangalore

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Co-building our cities of tomorrow, today- Sensing Local, Architects in Bangalore

Sensing Local is an Urban Living Lab based out of Bengaluru, focused on tackling environmental challenges in Indian cities to improve the quality of everyday life for all. The multi-disciplinary practise works with a range of stakeholders – government bodies, NGOs, community organisations and private institutions offering support in strategy development, systems thinking, evidence collation, consensus building and visioning to nudge decision making towards a more sustainable and inclusive future. The prime thrust of the Living Lab is to behave as a catalyst to accelerate problem-solving and break through the trap of repetitive, fragmented, myopic actions.

Our approach focuses on the commons, breaking down the complexity & scale of these ‘wicked problems’, inclusive planning and building shared knowledge to accelerate learning.

We have 3 key initiatives:

1. Strategy & Consulting: We provide technical support to government agencies and private organisations
2. Neighbourhood Living lab: We set up local hubs for co-creation, co-learning and experimentation in collaboration with active members/representatives of a ward/neighbourhood. The hubs act as community anchors and catalysts to tackle developmental challenges and create local projects.
3. Citizen University: We help build civic muscle by training citizens and community groups. via knowledge sharing, capacity building workshops to augment participation in urban governance and to solve civic issues


Sobia Rafiq is an Architect and Urban Planner. A self-driven individual, she is committed to solving complex environmental issues in Indian Cities, which has led to her working with various actors ranging from city municipalities and state-level government bodies to private organisations and local communities. She has graduated from Manipal University and worked as a project architect on the redevelopment of villages and setting up an interdisciplinary lab to tackle urban poverty. She did her Masters programme from LSE Cities and has since worked on various city development projects like Smart City Proposals. Over the years, she has specifically gathered an expertise in the Solid Waste Management sector. She co-founded Sensing Local, an urban living lab through which she anchors projects related to sustainable mobility, waste management, water management, and governance.

Ankit Bhargava is an architect and urban planner with over 12 years of experience working on spatial planning, urban governance, system design, and architecture projects. His core interest is in understanding how to disrupt the trajectory of development of Indian cities that invariably perpetuates environmental exploitation and deepen social and economic inequalities. He is also deeply interested in using systems thinking and participatory processes to unpack complex systems and shape new perspectives that drive systemic change. He has completed his Masters in Urbanism from TU Delft, Netherlands. He co-founded Sensing Local, an urban living lab through which she anchors projects related to air pollution, wayfinding systems, water management, and governance.

Key works by Sensing Local :

Sensing Local, Bangalore 1
Way-finding and information signage at Cubbon Park
Sensing Local, Bangalore 3
Re-Visioning Bengaluru’s DWCCs: Integrated audit and strategies for streamlining the system
Sensing Local, Bangalore 5
Walkable Malleswaram

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