dharavi kolimesh : an internet network for Koliwada
kolimesh is a kind of net, made out of lines of infrared and ultraviolet threaded through the dense spaces of koliwada.
It functions as a wireless infrastructure for koliwada providing internet access and telephony services.
kolimesh is a way of symbolising the invisible informal networks that make the dense associational life of Koliwada.

As an integral part of Dharavi with its complex mix of 'nagars' or communities, Koliwada may be classified as a slum or informal settlement through the eyes of officialdom.
However, through the eyes of the residents of this 500 year old former fishing village, it is a goathan, village settlement.
Irrespective of what happens to Koliwada in the future, the social networks form a mesh that can be perpetuated.
kolimesh is a way of extrapolating the way of life that Koliwada exemplifies into the future.
The corrugated steel roof lining the skyline and crumbling sewers below the ground will by necessity go in the near future but the way of life can continue and evolve.

The concept of kolimesh  emerges from the social imaginary of the so called 'slum', the dense multi-rhythmic patterns of human formations, not so much outside of modernity but beyond modernity. This is metaphorically described by a research project at pukar with term infracity as  means of visualizing 'a city beyond maps'. 
Infracity describes 'the new emergent landscapes in the city at the conjuncture of space, technology and human activity'.
kolimesh is an attempt to replicate the infracity as a working mesh operating at social frequencies at extreme ends of visual spectrum: using infrared and ultraviolet.

Wireless internet mesh nodes connect with each other across the roofline of Koliwada about 50 metres apart from each other.
Infrared light sensors provide a monitor and security network, ultraviolet marks out the position of each node.


mesh layout across Koliwada:
24 x 25 metre radius mesh clusters centred around internet mesh nodes
Multiple or single internet access point depending on site survey
Nodes located at public halls, shops and homes
Access: wireless access to internet anywhere in Koliwada
By ethernet and multiport hubs near node points.
 image: Key Mesh node points
kolimesh provides a valuable resource for informal self learning for the children of Koliwada. Internet literacy is essential if the children of Koliwada are to compete on a level playing field with children from nearby areas like Bandra for future access to the job market.

kolimesh is an affordable and incrementally growing social resource. Subject to site surveys the mesh lines fit into narrow byways of Koliwada where the informal spaces in the vicinity of each house is as used as the house itself, making the shared used of clusters of computers around each mesh node a way of reinforcing the sociality of Koliwada. 
The kolimesh infrastructure once set up can progressively grow into the rest of Dharavi as to add an additional internet node costs $100 at most, and each node would supply internet to multiple computers.

Mesh lines beyond the visible.

Siraj Izhar 2008