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Vandalism and Heritage



A remote research study conducted to understand the intention of a tourist/ visitor behind vandalizing a heritage site/city in India which may provide awareness and develop sensitivity towards a more sustainable tourist/visitor experience. 

- Qualitative Research
- Behavior Analysis
- Identifying root cause of behaviors
- Ways to mitigate vandalism

Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation
Ahmedabad World Heritage Trust

April 2020-June 2020



The research process involved a thorough Literature Review on related subjects. A MACRO to MICRO approach was taken to funnel the subject of study.

- Methodology

DP-1 Final Presentation Research Methodo

- Research Inquiries

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Who is responsible?

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Why is the spirit being lost?

What triggers tourist actions?

Hypo Brief

- Hypothesis and Brief

- Stakeholders

DP-1 Final Presentation Stakeholder map.

To study what the intention of a tourist/ visitor behind vandalizing a heritage landscape in India which may provide awareness and develop sensitivity towards a more sustainable tourist/visitor experiences.

  • Understanding multiple perspectives on Vandalism

  • Local and Visitor interactions, expectations

  • Place Identity, vandalism and  communication

  • Inter-stakeholder awareness and dependencies

- Research Tools

Research Tools

The data collection for this project had mixed media tools to optimize all available resources(qualitative and quantitative). The research was conducted online and offline. Data collected from each tool was used to inform and customize the structure of the next tool to funnel research


1. Semantic Differential Survey


Semantic differential is a rating scale designed to measure the connotative meaning of objects, events, and concepts. The connotations were used to derive the attitude of the general audience towards tourism and vandalism. This tool was incorporated into an online survey format.

3. Photo Elicitation Tool

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The phone interviews for locals incorporated the photo elicitation method. The interviewees were asked to mark, identify, describe and reflect upon images provided. Visual Sociology was used to extract perceptions and understand perspectives and awareness. This was used as physical presence on sites were not possible.

2. Phone Interviews 


Interviews were conducted with a fixed set of questions with tourists who had visited Ahmedabad before and with locals of Ahmedabad. The same set of questions were used to understand multiple perspectives of different stakeholders.

4. Virtual Ethnography


It is an online research method that adapts ethnographic methods to the study of the communities and cultures created through computer-mediated social interaction. This tool helped us understand the online environment and discussions surrounding vandalism, tourism and heritage in India.

Data Analysis

- Data Analysis

Brainstorming - Heritage - Copy of data
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Heat Map Analysis - Vandalism

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Semantic Word Pair Trend Analysis

Insights & Directions

Affinity Diagramming

Analysis and synthesis technique to externalize and meaningfully cluster observations and insights from our research.  It helped us capture research -backed insights, observations, concerns, or requirements.

DP-1 Final Presentation kj.png

1. Vandalism is an act of seeking attention and self immortalization, mimicking our ancestors.


- Inferences & Insights

2. Geographic Location plays a key role in Vandalism of sites 

3. Rituals and Superstitions are guardians of heritage,due to an inherent sense of Loss Aversion.

4.Waste Disposal is a primary issue, not Waste Management.

Way Forward

- Way Forward

The Research concluded with new directions for this study to be carried forward with the help of questions leading to the future aspects of this study.


Does Vandalism have anything in common with other site behaviors?

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What are the behavioral and societal factors that really drive Vandalism?


How does the environment of heritage sites act as a trigger for Vandalism?


What role does the context of Ahmedabad play in the state of vandalised landscapes of the city?


Thrishall S - Ankita B. -Shubham M


The findings are yet to be proposed to the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation for feedback. All project findings and discovery are property of the

National Institute of Design, Gandhinagar, India.

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