Hi Leah, Sorry to have taken so long to respond to your very thoughtful and articulate postings. I visited Chandigarh in the 90's, and I went to the rock garden, and I agree that it is an amazing monument to one guy's obsession (I also liked the Punjabi government buildings by Le Corbusier in Chardigarh: did you go there?) There are other places like that around the world. One of my favorites is the Watts Tower in LA, which a man built as a private hobby over a long period, and that is now a public landmark that people come from all over the world to see.
There is a whole movement in the art world that studies and appreciates these examples of "outsider art", including this nice website from the Tate Modern in UK.
When I went to India, I had a very different impression than you, but that might be because my knowledge was limited. I thought that recycling was so deeply ingrained in the culture, but was understood differently than in the US. Because many people were poor there, anything that could be reused was collected, fixed and often reused in very interesting and creative ways. Things that in the US would never be reused, like disposable lighters, were taken apart, cleaned, repaired, refilled and sold again. there were vendors that made very nice lanterns and other things out of discarded cans. That always struck me as being a great system, and one that we should emulate here. But you are saying that our approach to recycling is superior to what happens in India, so I need to rethink my position on that.
In your bibliography, you mention a number of sources, but you don't explain why you believe that these will be useful to you as you develop your hypothesis and build arguments to support your design decisions. I would like you to go back and complete that exercise if you can. I provided an example of how I would like that formatted.
Thanks, and I look forward to speaking with on Monday Steven