Thursday, October 7, 2010


Gaadiyya is the Maldivian local term for cart. It used to have the same function as any other cart - carry goods from one place to the other. It always had two wheels around the middle for it to move, two legs when it needed to be parked and two handles to pull it. Then there is of course the cargo compartment. Interestingly, it always had yellow as its colour.

Over time Gaadiyaa has gone through an important transformation. Motorized vehicles took over Gaadiyaa's original function and they eventually turned to mobile shops. Mobile because they still have those wheels, not because they are moved.

Scattered along the perimeter road that stretches from east to west of Male', these Gaadiyaa's are hot spots at nights - especially during weekends. If you are looking fresh air in Male' you'd probably be riding along this road passing a lot of these Gaadiyaas. All of the favourite local snacks are available at these spots.

Gaadiyaas have the potential to become something more than what it currently is. They could contribute to the aesthetics of the urban fabric. They could be lanterns that light up the coastline. Kiosks that add meaning to its current purpose. Icons that attract people and, architecture that is sustainable.