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Round About Karachi- Website Design

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  • 'Round About Karachi'
     
    Brief
    The assignment required the students to take up a certain aspect of Karachi and present it in a form that they have not done before.  The students could focus on the cultural, political, social or geographical aspect of this cosmopolitan city.
     
    A Website Design
     
    I chose to focus on the Round Abouts around Karachi. The 'chawks' or 'chowrangis' as they are called in Urdu, have always fasinated me and have always made me wonder about the histroy behind them. From the Victorian sculptures which were once placed on the round abouts in the early years after Independence (which are now in the backyard of Mohatta Palace) to the  modern ones built in the recent years such as Shahi Chawk. The controversial ones like the Muqqa Chawk to the historical ones like Teen Talwar. The roundabouts are not only markers for directions  and a means of controlling traffic flow but also serve to improve the visual scenery of the city and effects the culture of the area it is located in. The idea was to document all the roundabouts around the city along with the history behind them.
     
    INTRODUCTION
     
    'Round About Karachi' as the name suggests is a website based on the monuments and sculptures placed on the roundabouts of the ever wide awake, city of lights- Karachi. It is a website that provides you all the information you need about these roundabouts including their location, the sculpture/ monument displayed, the political/ social and monetary significance of the monument, the time frame of a particular monument and also includes information about the old, still standing and newly put up and roundabouts across the city. It is a complete guide for students as well as anyone who is interested in the architecture of the city about why the monument was put up and how it has shaped the area around it. The website has a news column which updates the viewers about the latest developments on the monuments. It also has a discussion forum where important questions such as what is the significance of a roundabout is? do we need to care about this aspect of design and architecture or not? and what should be done inorder to make the roundabouts a part of beautification of the city.
  • When you click on the red circle on the Introduction Page, it takes you to the Home Page, where a column provides a written introduction about the websiteto othe. There are 5 interactive buttons on this page, which takes you to other pages. There are animated crows on the wire and  the image of the busy main road has a red car which is an interactive button that plays a animated video providing the idea of the website in a  visual form. 
  • The Animated Video about the website
  • The Rickshaw icon takes you from the 'Home' Page to the 'Directions' page. This page has the map of Karachi with all the roundabouts (called Chowk or Chowrangi in Urdu) marked with a red mark. If you hover over the roundabout, the name of the monument appears on the billboard on the side of the webpage. If you click on a particular mark, it takes you to the information page of that particular roundabout. for e.g: Teen Talwar, Globe Chowk, Mukka Chowk, Allah Wala Chowrangi
  • Teen Talwar information page
  • Globe Chowk Page
  • Mukka Wala Chowk Page
  • Allah Wala Chowrangi Page
  • On the 'Directions' page if you hover over the traffic signal lights, it will provide you with an interesting 'Do you Know' fact. The facts keep changing after every 10 mins.
  • On the Directions page, if you click on the Newspaper icon, it takes you to the 'News' page which provides latest new on the development and maintenance of the sculptures / monuments on the round abouts. The 'Older Post' takes you to older news feeds.
  • If you click on the Camera icon, it will take you to the 'Images' gallery, which has more than 500 pictures of different round abouts all over Karachi. 
  • If you click on the Two Faces icon, it will take you to the 'Interact' page, where you can find links to the Discussion Forum, you can upload your own images or video and can comment on the News Feed. 
  • All the research was conducted by going around the city and documenting the round abouts. The information was collected through various sources such as books on Karachi from Sindh Library and IVS Library and professors who had knowledge about these round abouts.
     
    The most interesting experience was going to take pictures of Muqqa Chawk which is highly controversial because of its location which is 9.0,  MQM controlled area. The area police was not too keen on cameras and I had to take special permission as a student inorder to take pictures of it because journalists are not allowed in this area. Interesting, how a Round About contributes to the socio political thinking of people.