Four white Nano cars with orange highlights arrived from Kochi at UB City on late Saturday evening, driven by an all-women’s team of architects and designers from the IIID’s (Institute of Indian Interior Designers) Kochi chapter. The cars are unlikely batons handed over to Bengaluru’s chapter members, including architect Gunjan Das, as part of IIID’s Design Yatra.
While the cars will eventually tour 29 cities, the convoy driving them change from city to city. The plan is for architects and designers to tour the country with the aim of creating design interventions in community-based projects.
The big Idea
The idea of the Design Yatra is to take design to the masses,” Das said of the initiative which flagged off from Indore last February. So far, the cars have travelled along the Western coast touching Ahmedabad, Surat, Mumbai, Chennai apart from visiting Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Raipur and New Delhi.
Each chapter has planned its own project. Shyamala Prabhu, convener of the Design Yatra Committee of Bengaluru said the cars will be busy in their onward journey to Goa on November 24. Planned are activities and events within the city and the state which will engage the community, students and the fraternity of IIID. One of the projects is the design intervention for Lakshya Udaan, an orphanage and government school in Siddapura for 35 boys. “This project has already started and we are refurbishing the space so as to improve the living conditions of the children residing there,” Das said. While the designs were done by IIID, funds were raised by them through sponsorships for carrying out the renovations. The IIID members travelling in the cars will be present at the orphanage on November 19 for a football match and a workshop for the children.
In yet another slum development project, the Design Yatra has associated with social worker Anita Reddy, founder of Association for Voluntary Action and Services (AVAS), to build a community centre for a slum near R T Nagar. At a slum in Vyalikaval, it was observed that the existing houses were tiny and lacked provisions for vertical extensions. “We will be proposing incremental housing (low rise structures) and provide the requisite designs,” Das noted, adding that a prototype will be displayed at one of the local colleges. The prototype is currently being developed by students of local architectural colleges who are participating in a design competition held by the Design Yatra. The students can also try their hand at designing furniture and low income housing through such competitions. Panel discussions, workshops, INTACH Heritage walk, and even a bike ride to Bhoganandeeshwara Temple in Nandi Hills have been planned for the week before a 25-member team sets out for Goa. “Of course, all of us can’t squeeze into the four cars,” Das laughed. “Other private cars will join in, too.”
By the coast
What Das and Prabhu are looking forward to is a pit stop at the Malpe Beach in Manipal. This is where the Design Yatra has engaged with the local minister and the fishing community living along the coastline to develop homestays. “Not only will the community have added income by running the homestays, the design elements will take care not to interfere with the authentic environment of the village,” Prabhu commented. A floating prototype, designed by IIID, will be inaugurated on the day the convoy reach Malpe Beach on November 28. Designs for other prototypes will be provided by the students of architecture, Manipal Institute of Technology, who will take up the project as a semester programme in January next year.
As the grand plans unfold, Das, who does not put driving on top of “the list of things I am passionate about”, is looking forward to the road trip, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. For her, it is a culmination of two months of intense planning and a chance to make a difference.
Credits Bangalore Mirror