The Dream Catchers are not a group. The Dream Catchers are an expanding forum for heart-storming ideas and pertinent questions, leading to a richer, wider, all-encompassing vision of Auroville through the elaboration of the Galaxy concept. No ideas are censored in the Dream Catchers, no matter how seemingly impossible, stupid or utopian (especially utopian). No input is demanded from any of the participants, as we believe inspiration flows at its own pace.
This forum is not the place to be ‘against’ anything (as there is more than enough opportunity for this in other gatherings) – it is simply a place for openness, spontaneity, vision and joy. To this end we recognise the importance of maintaining the interaction as much as possible at the rarefied heights of dream and postponing our descent into the tangle of reality for as long as possible (which of course doesn’t preclude heart-storming at the level of the micro as long as it is done from this higher altitude).
Ideas for where all this dream-catching will lead are also always welcome, but at present, they are to be considered as just one more dream and no decisions are to be made prematurely as this might also restrict the input from people entering the forum with fresh energy. The Dream Catchers meet every week from 6-8 am on a different roof in Auroville. This is to encourage an atmosphere of meditation and to discourage any sense of ‘meeting’ or ‘group’ as much as possible.
The ideas and dreams shared with you here are not necessarily new or revolutionary in and of themselves. They are the result of months of calling and receiving whatever wished to come, in an atmosphere of calm detachment, with the only desire being that of manifesting Mother’s dream of the Galaxy Plan for Auroville.
The Dream Catcher Forum has no other ‘agenda’ than this, and as a non-aligned gathering of ‘aspirational’ Aurovilians, we merely wish to offer these dreams for feedback from the larger community to see if avenues and paths of mutual consent can be teased out of the myriad possibilities which lead us ever on into our communal future. An open-source planning approach What is open-source planning? Utilising the concept of open-source, which the global software community has been using successfully since many years, we wish to stimulate a wide-ranging dialogue within the community as to the direction of development of the city the earth needs. Starting from the premise of the Galaxy, we are exploring how the ideals of Auroville could manifest in the three dimensions of our built environment, and we wish to do this in as inclusive, inspiring and beautiful a way as possible. We believe that Auroville's ideal of Human Unity is not merely a necessity in a world of ever greater fragmentation, but that it is in fact the solution to our ever more complex problems – that if we can nurture methodologies which tap into the wisdom of the collective, then we believe that not only will Auroville become a model for this earth on a physical level, but on an emotional, mental and spiritual one as well.
A number of different avenues of open-source planning are so far being explored, including the dreamcatcher forum itself, dreamweaving sessions (experiential) and the dreamweaving cafe (Co-creating Cafe), Dream Spaces as well as the Dream Boxes – one of which you have just opened. One aim of open-source planning is to receive feedback and input from the community (which includes you!) on the ideas presented, and to this end a pad of paper and a pen have been included for your comments, suggestions and constructive criticism. As opportunities of time and timing arise, we hope to synthesize and clarify those ideas which truly enrich Mother’s Dream and which have received sufficient positive feedback from the community, and to present these to the relevant planning group for their consideration.
Each Dreamspace is an opportunity to present the wide variety of dreams and concepts which have arisen through the dreamcatching and dreamweaving processes. The creation of each Dream Space is itself an exploration of how a group of people working together can begin to synthesise their different ideas and talents to achieve the 'highest common factor', rather than the 'lowest common denominator' which can be the common experience for many in such situations. Each Dream Space also gives the opportunity for people to give their feedback and add their ideas to the ever-expanding body of work.
As the dreamcatching sessions evolved it became clear that another step was required, whose aim would be to explore different modalities of working together in groups to study more in depth some of the ideas that had come up in dreamcatchers. From this the idea of dreamweaving emerged. In the beginning, dreamweaving was merely a forum for more interactive discussion of the ideas emerging in dreamcatchers. The late afternoon timing of these sessions was more conducive to this. However, as it became clear that we wished to present some of the ideas to the community, the dream weaving sessions evolved to address the creation of Dream Spaces.
A tentative step has also been made with dreamweaving Cafes, where we have modified the popular concept of 'Conversation Cafes'. Instead of merely debating varying issues of global or local nature, the participants still divide themselves up into smaller groups, but they then address specific issues of planning and development in Auroville through sketches and drawings instead of just through conversation, and they then present these findings to the larger group for discussion.
The concept of Dream Boxes coalesced out of a number of different aims. The first and simplest of these was to record and share the wide variety of ideas and dreams which have emerged through each of the Dream Spaces, in a manner which would be engaging and thought-provoking. However, dreamcatchers also wished to inspire people to continue the dreaming on each of the themes covered in the Dream Spaces, and so the Dream Boxes also needed to address this in a manner conducive to such an open-source approach. Thus, since they are not intended to be seen as a finished product, we came up with the idea of boxes which could not only contain a wide range of initial material but would also allow new material to be added with ease. With these aims in mind, Dream Boxes on each Dream Space will be made available to each school in Auroville, as material for teachers to use with their students, as well as in the AV Library, the Laboratory of Evolution and L'Avenir d'Auroville to allow for wider public access. Over time there would also be the opportunity to update the Dream Boxes with new material collated from the input at the various locations – in this way it is hoped that people might re-visit the Boxes occasionally, on the chance that the content might well have changed, metamorphosed and transmogrified into something completely new.
Each Dream Box should be seen as a 'Pandora's Undo Box' – each one charged with the possibility to release 'good' into the world...
(Dreamcatcher was an experience that went on for a few years from around 2005 to 2014 basically, but was very influential on the future planning of Auroville and on developments that are still trying to find a solution)
See Also: The Dreamcatchers' experience: A Dream Space
Planning the City
A Model TownshipThrough its Master Plan, Auroville wants to break new ground in settlement-planning in such a way as to help other cities, both in India and abroad, which are experiencing high urbanisation trends. Auroville also hopes to demonstrate how 'urban' & 'rural' areas can complementarily develop in an integral and holistic way for their mutual benefit and well-being. We talk about an 'integrated' masterplan, implying here that both city and environment are integrally planned for, since Auroville has come to care for its 'hinterland'.
Auroville Town Development CouncilAuroville Town Development CouncilAuroville's Town Planning BodyL ‘avenir d’Auroville is based on the vision expressed by the Charter, set by the Founders, and its materialized expression in the Master Plan of Auroville. Its vocation is to plan, develop and construct the Auroville Township, not only materially but also fostering the socio-economic fabric of the city, resulting in a balanced, sustainable development, in all aspects – environmental, economic, social, physical.
The Master PlanBreaking New Ground in Settlement-PlanningThe Master Plan of Auroville would break new grounds in settlement planning which can help other cities in India and other countries experiencing high urbanisation trends. It would demonstrate how 'urban' and 'rural' areas can complementarily develop in an integral and holistic way for their mutual benefit and well-being.