A survey of the most creative neighborhoods in ten rapidly growing cities around the world includes Bandra.
Mumbai’s art scene traditionally revolved around the colonial neighborhoods in the far south of the city, but faraway Bandra has become the hip creative hub of India’s commercial capital in recent years. This suburb used to be known mostly for its prominent residents—a disproportionate number of Bollywood actors and political figures chose to make their home here. In the past decade, many emerging design and architecture studios have joined them, setting up amid the neighborhood’s genteel residences, while a number of media production houses are strung along the road that connects this area to the international airport, a mere 15-minute drive away. But postindustrial sites elsewhere in the city also beckon. “Lately there’s been activity around the old mills in Parel,” says Ruchita Madhok of Bandra-based studio Kahani Designworks, referring to textile factories that shuttered in the 1980s. “A gaggle of interior design brands run stores out of Lakshmi Mills, while media-based firms like OML are around Mathuradas Mills.”