Case Design

In Mumbai, a team of international architects have found a way of alchemizing the city’s chaotic spirit into crisp designs.

Mumbai is a city that requires some measure of humor to survive. It’s a place that fills you with optimism and the sense that you are in a rising part of the world, but it’s also bursting with frustrations and creative subversions of the law. It has a brand of maddening chaos all its own.

“If you can’t accept and adapt and go with that flow, you are constantly going to be frustrated,” says Samuel Barclay, an American architect. We’re sitting in the Case Design studio, an architecture and design practice he founded, inside an industrial complex in north Mumbai, beside a factory producing auto parts and a workshop making plastic cups.

The studio suggests its own version of organized chaos. In the back room, carpenters and designers are at work creating miniature models of ...

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