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A community challenge

"Decesions about what is to be built in Auroville must be made by Aurovilians"

"All decisions in Auroville must be made by community consensus"

These two statements played a vital role in shaping the social engagement platform for choosing the design of the gardens to be developed around the Matrimandir.

The Opportunity



Inviting community members as stakeholders in decision making

The design call was announced to invite designers to submit their design proposals. The final stage was organised so that interested community members learn about various aspects of a landscape design, reflect on the experts's choices and then send a vote on their final decision

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The Crux of Community design decision



An exhibition and public panel discussion was facilitated for the community members. The expert decision was reviewed and discussed by the public panel members and they were also given a framework of design points to consider to make their choice. The Public panel's choice of design differed slightly from the expert panel, and yet on popular demand the public called for a collaboration between the top three designers!

Adapting & Refining



The success of this process paved the way for it to be adopted for making another design call for the central gardens development