A N U G R A H A/ apart from
at Anugraha, we’d be delighted to work on anything apart from luxury brands and things that promote consumerism in general.
All difficult things have their origin in that which is easy, and great things in that which is small.
- Lao Tzu
Everything you see has its roots in the unseen world.
An ocean of ink in a single drop,
Trembling at the tip of my brush.
Poised above stark white paper,
A universe waits for existence.
- Lao Tzu
My experience at Unbox for the Kyoorius magazine
Unbox literally began on being greeted by a thoughtful, personally addressed hamper to be opened at the Delhi airport comprising of cookies and a map of the city. The Bombay folk (Sameer, Ruchita, Lokesh and myself) participating in Unbox congregated at the Delhi airport ready to be driven to our allocated accommodation by a welcoming Pramod Ji who very briefly described Zorba (the festival venue) after having completed an array of pick-ups and drops as “mujhe pata nahin kya ho rahan hain par jo bhi ho raha hain accha ho rahan hain .” (“I don’t know what is going on, but whatever it is seems nice.”)
Lights being strung, canopies and scaffoldings of various materials (bamboo, fabric) being erected, music systems being tested, wires, smell of paint, sleepy eyes, tired but happy faces, sounds of drills characterised the silently buzzing Zorba space in pre-preparation of the three-day festival which was to start the following day. The ‘making’ couldn’t have been more obvious. Despite the chaos, there was a calm, an ease and an informality in the air which allowed me to acquaint myself very quickly with people who I had never met before over what they called ‘workers lunch’. The ‘Zine Press’ room is where I was ushered in. Mentored by Prof Teal Triggs (RCA, London) and comprising of a diverse core team of seven of us, in conjunction with Teal’s design writing workshops, a 40 page zine was conceived, designed and printed in an edition of 400 at the end of the festival to give away to all the participants. We as a team wondered how much of ’doing’ was involved as most of it seemed to have ‘happened.’ The content of the zine comprised of our experiences and experiments with everything we witnessed and individually decided to engage with at UnBox. The choices we made here were clearly linked to our own individual interests, questions and concerns in our independent design practices finding context within the festival space.
Fellowships, talks, open labs, field visits, social food experiments, showcases, exhibitions and performances facilitating interactions at an individual as well as at a group level typified the UnBox space. Of these, Ben and Sam’s (PAN studios) engaging workshop ‘New Perceptions’ on creating memories through smell (targetting a re - assessing of human perception to re-imagine daily experiences) and the VELOWALA PROJECT ( an evolution of a project developed by John Thackara and BLOT! that was facilitated as a workshop on new opportunities for ‘velocommerce’ by Arjun Mehta, founder of the Shuruat project) was where I spent most of my time apart from the press room. Interviewing John and Arjun individually (along with Ruchita) made evident the different angles and approaches adopted by each of them to address the same subject matter. John from his expertise on design strategy addressed Arjun’s on-ground, grass root problems in implementing cycle commerce for the physically challenged in semi-urban and rural India. Sameer Kulavoor had a copy of his GhodaCycle zine on display in the Zine Press reading room. He seemed to be exploring and expressing the varied uses of a cycle in an Indian context through his powerful illustrations which we shared with John. A string of potential transformative networks and connections emerged. Everyone had a role to play. The dots were simply connected.
Dropping in and out of the rapid - paced chaotic mess of the hands-on screen-printing unit for T-shirts in Levis’ print lab with a variety of designs being generated from designers and artists of the likes of Lokesh Karekar and Hanif Kureshi was almost like a stress buster and a visual treat to re-energise and grasp the more profound conversations floating at UnBox. Infact, a lot of our Zine pages were adorned with tangible traces and remnants of patterns and ink lifted from this lab by some of our team members who focussed on exploring and experimenting through the sheer act of making. Some of the seminars and showcases by John Thackara, Teal Triggs, PAN studios, Sandeep Sangaru, Bespoke and Mozilla along with the very stimulating presentations by the fellowship groups (unbuild, unmap, unplay, untill, unveil) got me thinking and questioning my own ideas and perceptions of design.
The carefully planned, imaginative lunches (curating novel Delhi street foods, the UnBox Winter Picnic and the South Indian langar) on the back lawns of the Zorba venue amidst the bright sunshine added to the flavours and fragrances of the festival. The venue with its brilliant lighting and installations unveiled a glorious night ambience which staged mesmerising performances (a complete assault on the senses) by Soumik Datta, Saskia Rao, Gwyneth Wentink and Indian Ocean, to name a few.
Madhubani artist, Chandra Bhushan Kumar (Bihar) from the Artisan Node (a platform where Indian Artisans collaborated with artists and designers at UnBox to take craft-design intervention in new directions) made his drawing of the packed picnic lunch boxes to add to the zine.
All of these diverse offerings set within inspiring contexts exemplified and facilitated “action at the intersections” with take-aways in the form of conversations and collaborations which will definitely extend beyond the time and space of the festival. Hands On, Minds On, Hearts On - there couldn’t be a more apt tag to describe the intensity of engagement in the making, seeing, absorbing of all that transpired at Unbox 2013, Zorba, Delhi. The festival for me was a revelation of what the ‘making’ makes of itself in the right environment, with the right people at the right time. Talent-spotting, looking into real social environments, making a habit of connecting with people, franchising ideas and trying stuff out; as John Thackara summarised in his closing address emerged as the way forward. It all came a full circle at UnBox.
In conclusion, for me, what made Unbox different from other design events and conferences was that it exemplified what Patti Smith once said, “Make your interactions with people transformational, not just transactional.”
By no means is this piece comprehensive or exhaustive of what Unbox was, but only very personal with intimate take-aways. In fact, my experience of Unbox was the same, where it was impossible to see and do everything around me; but all that I was able to engage with had a significant impact which will and has certainly influenced the way I think and what I do, work-wise and otherwise.
(Detailed account of everything that happened at Unbox)
http://zinepress.unboxfestival.com/ (Zine Press Blog)
(The entire zine can be viewed here)
Anugraha workspaces for the Kumbh Mela project/ Mumbai/ Allahabad
Anugraha is a design and publishing initiative undertaken by Deshna Mehta, Leena Mehta and Deven Shah. It aspires to adopt an inclusive approach aimed at developing a mass appeal. This platform encourages collaborative practices deriving from and contributing to elusive aspects of cultures, philosophies and ideas in general. By experimenting with and incorporating patterns and paradigms to express the intangible, it aims to weave a dynamic fabric of awareness leaving insiders and onlookers with a sense of connect.
The intention is to communicate, elevate and inspire. Deshna’s creative strengths amalgamated with Deven’s print production and finishing expertise; spearheaded by Leena’s efficient management, client servicing skills and passion for creativity makes them complement each other effectively to produce compelling deliverables.
The Kumbh Mela Project is Anugraha’s first publishing endeavour. Skilled photographers, writers, film-makers and designers proficient in today’s technology have come together to collaborate with Anugraha to work on the Kumbh Mela book and film. This heterogenous group resonates with a zeal and enthusiasm to explore, understand and creatively express the essence of this massive spiritual gathering by spending a little over 6 weeks at the Mahakumbh held in January/ February 2013 at Allahabad, India.
Co-founding ‘Anugraha’ with its first project:
The making of a contemporary visual handbook and a documentary on the Kumbh Mela.
Design, content, photography, film, publishing: Anugraha
Funded and commissioned by: Madhoor Builders
Team: DESHNA MEHTA, SUDHANVA ATRI, YASHODARA UDUPA, DILIP SHIWALKAR, LEENA MEHTA, DEVEN SHAH, JEZREEL NATHAN, VIDHI SHAH, POOJA AGARWALA, MEGHANA JOG, SHEBANI SHAH
The team will visited Kumbh at Allahabad in Jan/Feb 2013 (spent 6 weeks) to gather data first-hand from the field. Myths, stories, and experiences were collected through interviews with a myriad of people involved in this massive event. We hope our own “outside” perspective will be balanced through an honest and clear rendering of collected anecdotes and experiences. The result is to be an expression of the collective, spiritual consciousness of a people. The book and film will be particularly though not exclusively targeted at a young, uninformed yet interested audience.
We are doing this project out of our deep-rooted passion for creative communication through design, writing, photography, and film. What holds the team together is our common quest to find meaning and reason within our experiences of India and its culture.
WRITING FOR IDF (With Bindu Maitra and Jeanne Tan)
I had the opportunity to pen down my take-aways from a few talks/ discussions/ presentations at (the two intense and inspiring days) the IDF/ NCPA, Mumbai for their blog.
INDIA DESIGN FORUM
Design at Pentagram
William Russell & Domenic Lippa
Domenic from the duo representing Pentagram at IDF kick-started the presentation with a fact-packed, 50 visuals (in 3 minutes) slide-show of the history of the 41 year old world renowned, interdisciplinary design organisation. The work in and with Pentagram in William’s 7 year-old and Domenic’s 6 year-old association (as it continues) was summed up by a comprehensive address with both of them displaying befitting projects in an alternate fashion revolving around 5 common insights (e.g. Work with people better than you) which resonated with their individual work philosophies, concurrently suggesting the ethos of Pentagram’s very fluid, free and innovative platform which has emerged as one of the most successful design organisation models globally.
Domenic from the duo representing Pentagram at IDF kick-started the presentation with a fact-packed, 50 visuals (in 3 minutes) slide-show of the history of the 41 year old world renowned, interdisciplinary design organisation. The work in and with Pentagram in William’s 7 year-old and Domenic’s 6 year-old association (as it continues) was summed up by a comprehensive address with both of them displaying befitting projects in an alternate fashion revolving around five common insightswhich resonated with their individual work philosophies, concurrently suggesting the ethos of Pentagram’s very fluid, free and innovative platform which has emerged as one of the most successful design organisation models globally.
They called it ‘The five things we know’ . ‘Work with people better than you.’ William shared the journey of his valuable creative alliance with Alexander McQueen which manifested in the form of several flagship stores for McQueens label across the globe. From the point of view of a conceiver and designer, William displayed slides of visuals of his favorite LA store building constructed in its entirety out of a solid block like an ethereal cave. Domenic’s creative relationship with J+L Gribbons, a London-based landscape architect resulted in a beautiful open bound catalogue with a colour for every mood, interacting layers of type and textures celebrating J + L Gibbons’ 20th Anniversary.
William’s design for London’s largest night club, Matter in the Millenium Dome set in a monochromatic grey with a wide exploration of materiality and dynamic LED light displays re-enforced the second thing they knew ‘Keep things simple’. Domenic’s re-designed identity for the University of the Arts London (UAL) re-iterated this idea of boldness and paired-down simplicity with the use of a very basic graphic intervention of a colon, differentiating type hierarchy with variants of grey.
The other ‘we know’s’: ‘Never stop experimenting’, ‘Don’t be afraid of having little time and small budgets’, ‘Work with people you like’ followed suit setting templates to describe some more of their projects which included the design of Akrasia in West Africa, Typographic Circle’s circular, the exhibition design of ‘Global cities’ at Tate Modern, identity for the London Design festival, a pack of cards for ‘Shelter’, a UK based home charity and Will’s own house conceived with his wife.
With this juxtaposition of ideas, of two and three dimensions, of print and spatial designs, well - planned projects and projects that ‘designed itself’, the Pentagram duo engaged and held the attention of what seemed like a very receptive audience to this talk.
Italian Design, Models of Success
Roberto Gavazzi, CE0, Boffi
Armando Branchini, Executive Director, Fondazione Altagamma, Italy
An enterprising economist, a connoisseur of Italian luxury goods and the director of a trade body of 74 iconic Italian luxury brands, Armando Branchini shared his experienced views on business models of Italian manufacturing agencies in the form of eight comprehensible insights, each of which was spoken of with seemingly pertinent examples situating the competency of Italians within a global context. He set stage for Roberto, CEO of Boffi, to have a more elaborate and specific discussion on Boffi’s (best known for its kitchen, bathroom and wardrobe collections) brand as a whole (background, project, history, internationalisation, product, marketing, network, technology) which exemplified and fed back into the broader heads addressed by Armando.
An enterprising economist, a connoisseur of Italian luxury goods and the director of a trade body of 74 iconic Italian luxury brands, Armando Branchini shared his experienced views on business models of Italian manufacturing agencies in the form of eight exhaustive insights, each of which was elaborated with seemingly pertinent examples situating the competency of Italian manufacture within a global context.
A series of flashing images of several products and brands incepted or designed in Italy; (of the likes of Ferrari, Versage, La Perla, Fergio Rossi, Riva) played on a huge screen in the form of a slideshow in the background, with Armando taking centre stage presenting his observational and strategic comments on Italian manufacture coalesced with the business models that it thrives on. He spoke of design distribution, effective collaboration, exchange of technical know-how; with innovation being its inevitable consequence until it reached the market. With the parallel development of machinery, a great amount of energy is dedicated to product and process innovation for service products in particular. The ability of Italians to produce limited editions and cater to customised production coupled with an entrepreneurial approach and experience in the form of legacies: material culture, Renaissance of the Roman empire (to name a few) from a past which in Armando’s view is quite recent added great value contributing to this model. Their aptitude to manage intangible aspects such as brand value and symbolic content, to handle relationships at all levels and to interact constructively has contributed in creating a complete shopping experience leading to a significant development of the country’s participation in retail distribution across a range of stores and counters globally.
Armando set stage for Roberto, CEO of Boffi, to have a more explicit discussion on ‘Boffi’ (best known for its kitchen, bathroom and wardrobe collections) the brand as a whole (background, project, history, internationalisation, product, marketing, network, technology) which exemplified and fed back into the broader heads addressed by Armando. Roberto presented a series of visuals of initiators, directors and creatives who were responsible for developments within the company’s histories at particular strategic points in time. Paolo Boffi, son of the founder and Picrolissoni, the lead architect and designer featured amongst these.
Boffi has mono-brand shops globally, with carefully chosen locations to match the image inside. Brompton in London is one such example. Speaking of Boffi’s philosophy to adapt and to deliver,Roberto cited an example of a 800 kg bath tub to be fitted in the centre of the living room of a house without damaging the constructed interiors in its vicinity, an order that was executed by Boffi’s Geneva shop with the aid of a helicopter dropping the bath-tub from top before the roofs were constructed. With branches all across the globe, a group of talented designers and a clear vision to produce tailored solutions (as opposed to singular products) has led to the inception and manufacture of some of Italy’s finest products which are competing at a global scale today.
On a lighter note, he concluded by saying, ‘never make a mistake or your are dead.’ Certainly Boffi and other Italians brands live up to this and more. Boffi’s first shop in India will be inaugurated at Studio Creo in Delhi on the following friday of the coming week.
The Indian Contemporary
An exploration by KAARU (supported by the Jindal foundation):
Sanjib Chatterjee & Anjalee Wakankar
Sanjib Chatterjee and Anjalee Wakankar, founders and directors of KAARU (a Delhi-based design studio) explored the notion of the Indian contemporary by presenting some of their work consisting of indigenous examples of sustainable design, embracing myths and natural landscapes, rooted in Indian thought. A rare occasion when the stage was shared by their patron, Sangita Jindal for one of their most significant commissions, Kaladham, an art and cultural precinct in Hampi, Karnataka. Sanjib shared his vision and approach developed at KAARU which encouraged and facilitated a design practice deriving from and contributing to local contexts at a tangible as well as an ephemeral level.
INDIA DESIGN FORUM
Dror Benshetrit - Founder, Studio Dror, USAhttp://www.indiadesignforum.com/2013/03/16/multi-disciplinary-design-dror-benshetrit
‘Our strength lies not in doing what we are doing but in what we have never done before’, was Dror Benshetrit’s (the founder and director of a 13,000 square feet space with 220 collaborators) opening note at the saturday morning address at IDF. Professing and exemplifying the importance of an inter-disciplinary collaborative practice, Dror unveiled successful examples of design projects undertaken by his studio spanning across a wide gamut: from designing basic geometrical units using triangulation principles (through playful experiments), to islands and canals in Abu Dabi and Turkey respectively. Be it dimensions, materiality or scale, the approach to embrace non-linear processes, create paths and expect the unexpected led to innovative design solutions realised over the years forming an unparalleled trajectory for a unique design practice
What is it that I do? Why am I doing what I do? What is multi - disciplinary? Why would a client come to me and not go elsewhere? A torrent of these questions were raised as Dror gave context to his design practice by answering them in the course of the gripping forty minute Saturday morning address at IDF.
Be it designing islands or architecture, bags or toys, Studio Dror believes in designing and creating everything that nature does not create. An enormous amounts of specialists thrive by adding value through their individual skills and disciplines. In this frame-work, it is cross - fertilisation that brings the unexpected to the table. Dror claimed to have started his career when he started ‘looking’; and his company when he started charging for it. He confidently expounded his belief that the company’s best strength is ‘not in doing what we are doing but in what we have never done before.’ Prior knowledge sometimes limits the imagination. The idea of collaboration is the basic premise governing the functioning of Dror’s realised dream: a 13,000 sq feet shared space with about 220 people working jointly.
He believes in the fact that one must create ones own paths, traversing through which the innovative design solutions emerge. His aspirations were exemplified by a simple analogy he shared of how he opens a fridge to find something there and then opens it again with the hope that it has transformed into something else. He likes to categorise his work as metaphorical and physical. One of the very dynamic, playful examples of his work comprises of a chair which unfolds into a flat canvas with hinges and is then hung on a wall and can be wrapped into a chair again, allowing for customisation and a surface for artists to paint on.
Amongst the other work, he showed a peacock chair built by them which explored tactility and materiality, subtly revealing its beauty by portraying a peacock’s behavioral aspects of defence and attraction. Re-defining the notion of a roof, closely observing transformation of spaces in different seasons, without realising Dror found architecture becoming a part of his studio practice despite having no academic background in it. In 2007, he was in the midst of designing a master plan on an island off the coast of Abu Dabi. Responding to his client’s brief of producing something luxurious, he positioned luxury with privacy and envisioned an expression inspired by the Persian carpets in the local context of Abu Dabi. His solution comprised of a structure which mimicked a huge carpet with hidden vegetation on its underside. The carpet found its visual manifestation in a roofed structure with everything else built under it, such that one would see nothing but the roof while on top of it.
He converted his passion for geometry into a brand: QuaDror with the invention of a basic wood block structure stacked on its opposite edges to produce a hinge with an embedded triangulation system. Due to its immense structural strength, the potential to deploy this discovered unit on a massive scale led to HAVVADA, Dror’s first urban planning commission for a city of 300,000 residents off the shore of Istanbul. After sharing an array of diverse but extremely successful projects, Dror concluded his talk by re-iterating his firm belief, ‘you don’t have to be an architect to bring about a change, you just have to dream.’
Sumant Jayakrishnan - Scenographer, Designer and Installation Artisthttp://www.indiadesignforum.com/2013/03/16/transforming-spaces-sumant-jayakrishnan-scenographer-designer-and-installation-artist
Sumant’s afternoon presentation at IDF felt like a plunge into a zillion mesmerising mood boards, all of which came to life celebrating materiality to reveal the intangible by creating soulful, curated spaces and experiences. His all encompassing practice devised beautiful visual vocabularies by appreciating and engendering the ephemeral, the philosophical, the lyrical, the alchemical and the organic. Theatre, dance, creation of installations, design of sets and spaces for theatrical performances (like Mahabharata and Midsummers Night Dream), spatial design at massive gatherings of the likes of NH7, India Art Fair, Lakme Fashion Week, launch events for Vogue and Dior, weddings, parties, converting junkyards into sets for car launches are a few examples of what seemed like several lifetimes of work. Sumant’s enigmatic, elegant visual bombardment came to an end with calming insights on sensing the sacred, meditative, celebratory and sensorial; emphasising on adapting, responding, creating, changing and transforming to achieve the alchemical gold. In his concluding note Sumant stated ‘What I work at is making dreams come true’. His acknowledgement of ‘God lies in the detail’, co-existing alongside his ability to zoom out and conceive the bigger picture produced spectacular experiences and memories.
Sumant’s Saturday afternoon presentation at IDF felt like a plunge into a zillion mesmerising mood boards, all of which came to life, celebrating materiality to reveal the intangible by creating soulful, curated spaces and experiences. His all encompassing practice devised beautiful visual vocabularies by appreciating and engendering the ephemeral, the philosophical, the lyrical, the alchemical and the organic. Theatre, dance, creation of installations, design of sets and spaces for theatrical performances (like Mahabharata and Midsummers Night Dream), spatial design at massive gatherings of the likes of NH7, India Art Fair, Lakme Fashion Week, launch events for Vogue and Dior, weddings, parties, converting junkyards into sets for car launches are a few examples of what seemed like several lifetimes of work.
Jalis, filigree, kaleidoscopic effects, op art, illusions, mirrors, fairies bursting through paper, silk, winding elastic, sail material, enigmatic green fans, large sculptures, fabrics, threads, wood, wool, metal, steel, glass, crystal, bamboo, laser, projections were a few on an endless list which form the material lexicon and crafts that Sumant engages with in his work.
Lotuses, prayer wheels, humming birds, twisted frames, enchanting forests; amongst the infinite forms created within his multifaceted practice complement the use of his heterogeneous bag of materials eliciting and evoking different emotions and feelings. While responding to his diverse range of projects which range from recreating Benares in Sri Lanka for Deepa Mehta’s ‘Water’, to designing for the Queens Anniversary at the Thai Embassy, sets for a James Bond launch event to adorning a tree to convert a place into ‘something soulful’ (Bhakti Music festival, Nehru Park, Delhi); it is important for Sumant to see, sense and feel invisible structures and geometry in space. Through his own sensitivity and appreciation for nature where he often finds inspiration, he remarked, ‘Find a way to represent all the five elements of earth in some way.This will make it feel right and a whole.’
As the devnagri ‘kriti’ manifested on his calligraphic canvas in early college days, as materials chose what to do in a lot of his work, as Akruti(form), Prakriti (nature), krutya and krutika harmonised, as the excesses changed scale, it struck a resonating chord allowing his work to flow and visibly manifest. ‘What you light is what you see’, Apart from his literal engagement with light and shadows, Sumant considers himself very fortunate to have met his mentors Chandralekha (India), Ariane Mnouchkine (France), Peter Brook (Paris) and Robert Wilson (America) who have lit different paths and influenced his ‘seeing’ at various points in his life.
His enigmatic, elegant visual bombardment came to an end with calming insights on sensing the sacred, meditative, celebratory and sensorial; emphasising on adapting, responding, creating, changing and transforming to achieve the alchemical gold. In his concluding note Sumant stated ‘What I work at is making dreams come true’. His acknowledgement of ‘God lies in the detail’, co-existing alongside his ability to zoom out and conceive the bigger picture produced spectacular experiences and memories.
‘The Indian Frame of Reference’ and ‘A conscious contradiction’ at the reading room - Zine Press at Unbox, Delhi
Photo credit: Sameer Kulavoor
An amazing and immersive experience to work with a bunch of super fun and talented people which culminated into this zine. Thank you Unbox, Mohor Ray Dahiya, Teal Triggs, Sameer Kulavoor, Kriti Monga Aanchal Sodhani,Ruchita Madhok, Abhijit, Ellieand Mayank Mansingh Kaul
The entire zine can be viewed on:
Looking forward to being a part of this inspiring conclave at Unbox in Delhi starting Friday
UnBox OPEN LABS > Zine Press
Explore collaborative content making at the UnBox Festival 2013 culminating in the creation of rich experiential festival zine.
Mentored by Prof Teal Triggs, RCA, UK
Created by a team of emerging design content makers, featuring Sameer Kulavoor, Deshna Mehta, Abhijith KR, Ruchita Madhok, Kriti Monga & Mayank Mansingh Kaul.
Facilitated by Codesign.
Supported by British Council India.
My post for: http://zinepress.unboxfestival.com/
I am thinking of this moment, but when I type now,
the ‘this’ has passed to become ‘that’ moment already.
This thought seems to have initiated a chain of thoughts in my mind:
To be in it /or/ to be of it;
but is it possible to be in it \and\ yet to be of it.
To experience /or/ to document;
but is it possible to experience \and\ yet be able to document.
The observer from the observation /or/ the observation from the observer;
but is it possible that the observer \is\ that observation.
As a graphic designer and a visual artist with a passion for writing, photography and doodling, I have begun to wonder if I have really experienced what I intend expressing through that experience (in its entirety) in the presence of intimate inanimate objects (i.e. my camera, my sketchbook, my pen, my mac) without them changing the experience or being a hindrance in the act of ‘experiencing’. Expressing what one has experienced in itself is only a depiction and not the experience itself.
Perhaps, the ‘process’ then aids in unfurling this depiction (as close as it can get to the experience itself) by depicting itself.
Insights of and from this process have great potential of expression at the various intersections in this conclave at Unbox. I know at some level this is a compromise and contradiction because what we are documenting isn’t ‘is’ but ‘was’ perhaps an hour before, a minute ago, or a mere second heretofore. But then again its the closest we could get to the experience? Perhaps.
Or maybe, just maybe we could dedicate and channelise our energies to create templates to re-create that experience rather than depicting it.
Possibly, experiment with both?
Mark Rothko said, ‘I also hang the pictures low rather than high, and particularly in the case of the largest ones, often as close to the floor as is feasible, for that is the way they are painted.’
And they arrive: Copies of the printed catalogues and prospectus’ commemorating V&A/ RCA’s 30th Anniversary in the History of Design collaborative program. Thank you for this opportunity to design for you’ll. A great learning experience and the most fantastic editors to work with. Thanks Katherine Elliot and Soersha Dyon (Fig. 9 collective)
As the days, weeks and months go by, we may forget the moments that shape time and the actions which build the times we live in. What conscious change can we bring to a mechanical ticking to make our own lives and the lives around us meaningful? For what time brings with it and unveils, we could adapt and embrace. This, our workers and their children teach us.
Gravel, rocks, bricks and mud is where fate has brought them. These are people who give their best to build something, only to leave it behind. There is no ownership, but just the promise of another location for their hard work. Their children are often where they are, in ever-changing environments and nowhere for very long. In the midst of the rubble, their accepting, innocent smiles remind us not only of their pure hearts but also of their potential as humans, as change makers.The pages that follow offer a glimpse of the schools set up for the children of construction workers working with us at a couple of our upcoming sites: Beverly Hills in Devlali and Mundegaon at Igatpuri. These children have access to an education which could empower and enrich their lives and our collective future. Providing these schools is our modest attempt to echo what Gandhiji exemplified through his very existence; ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world.’
A small thought, translated into action, has brought us deep satisfaction. This calendar portrays not just the passage of days, but lives which may use and transform those days. It unfolds the story of a gesture that we wanted to share with the hope that it may be a source of inspiration. Because it ought to be acknowledged that to give is not a duty, but a privilege and because we’ve experienced that to give is to receive. Small changes lead to revolutions and much bigger transformations. Should you see an opportunity, space, time or place where you could implement this thought to elevate and uplift lives, we’d do everything we can to help in that change.
When we build, let us think that we build forever. - John Ruskin
While some build our homes, let us help build some lives.
Client: Madhoor Builders
Thank you Dilip Shiwalkar (helping with photography), Kinjal Gada (helping with design), Meghana Jog (copy refining), Deven Shah (print production), Leena Mehta (co-ordination)
At Calverts/ London: Print Proofs for V&A/RCA 30th Anniversary Catalogue
Photo credits: Katherine Elliot
‘Cultural Landscapes of the Thames in London and the Ganges in Varanasi’ exhibited at ‘Extended Arms’ The Queen’s Gallery, British Council, 17 Kasturba Gandhi Marg, Connaught Place, New Delhi 110 001
Wed 28 November 2012 09:00 - Sat 01 December 2012 18:30
The exhibition celebrates the diversity and range of young creatives living and working in India today. The practitioners were selected for their enquiring and experimental approach combined with their eagerness to exchange ideas and develop new ways of thinking and making. The exhibits range from fashion to fine art and textiles to typography; all of which share clarity of vision, a sensitivity to materials and an attention to detail. The considered nature with which exhibitors have combined traditions of making with contemporary technology and socially engaged practice is honoured within this exhibition.
Pdf’s of this work can be downloaded from http://www.deshnadmehta.com/culture-study.html
Photo Credits: Karen Richmond
‘Cultural Landscapes of the Thames in London and the Ganges in Varanasi’ exhibited at the LUIP Reception, an evening celebrating the excellence and employability of graduates at the High Commissioners residence in Delhi on the occasion of Mr Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London’s visit to India on 26th November 2012
Photo Credits: Karen Richmond