This project was conducted in collaboration with Delhi Street Art and a group of enterprising college students from Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies (SSCBS), Delhi University in a slum in Sultanpuri, New Delhi. This forms part of an initiative ‘Project Raahat’ which aims to eradicate open defecation and provide safe sanitation facilities to the urban slum dwellers of Delhi. They come up with innovative measures for management of toilet complexes, incorporate aesthetic modification and sensitize people on healthy sanitary practices. The idea sprung from an older project called ‘Sanitary Solutions’ in which they were educating people living in slums about healthy and hygienic practices like the use of sanitary napkins, etc.
Geetanjali was part of Delhi Street Art’s team for this particular project who took up the job of painting bold visuals on the walls of the recently inaugurated public toilet. The idea was to send the message across to the slum dwellers in a more personalised manner and extend out an invitation for them to start using the toilet facilities. The process of painting the walls attracted a lot of attention from the passerbys and encouraged conversations around the disadvantages of open defecation.
The ideas for the walls included witty Bollywood slogans of pop culture icons like Amitabh Bachchan on the walls; bright and vivid in colour, you could see Gabbar Singh saying, ‘Basanti, khule mein na jaa’ (Basanti, don’t defecate in the open) on one of the walls.
Image and Text Source: The Better India
Sushant School of Art and Architecture conducted a Design + Build Workshop with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. The workshop focused on building techniques that aim to experiment if unstable shapes from our everyday life, such as of an egg can inform contemporary built forms in today’s world. The workshop spoke about several transformations of existing architectural and cultural precedents into contemporary architecture.
As part of Lumiere London 2018, Bottle Festoon (an original concept of artist Thadian Pillai) communities from 6 outer boroughs of London- Redbridge, Sutton, Greenwich, Croydon, Lambeth and Walthamstow were engaged in workshops to create glittering, icicle like chandeliers made from white or green plastic bottles. The workshops were suitable for all ages and children from 8+, which became a fantastic outing for the family, and a gave a chance to meet new people from the community. This initiative supported by the Mayor of London was a way to increase the footprint of the festival in far off zones from Central London, and for communities to feel ownership even if they physically couldn’t attend the festival.
Geetanjali represented Artichoke to run this community engaged programme, where she successfully facilitated 200 Chandeliers made from 6000 plastic bottles collected from a recycling waste unit of a prison. She supported the artists in each borough to conduct workshops in 17 schools where 400 school children took part of year 4, 5 and 6. The workshops were successful in engaging 500 community participants across 24 community groups though a mixture of public drop in sessions, elderly groups, office staff, theatre groups, mental health charity service users, across all ages in 6 London Outer Boroughs.
The chandeliers were then exhibited in various locations of Central London for a wider audience to see the works, which were then exhibited back in the same boroughs they were made the people of.
Image Credits: Artichoke Trust
This project was conceived in September 2016 as part of collaboration between Central Saint Martins and MIT-ID Pune under the Social Immersion- Design for Social Needs programme.Started with having a conversation with Director of MIT- ID Pune, Prof. Dhimant Panchal and Associate Prof. Harshit Desai, a very spontaneous plan to visit the Paithan village came about. Paithan is very well known as the origin of the Paithani Sarees- handwoven silk, one of the richest saris in India. A collaborative project between Andres Restrepo and Geetanjali, they started our journey towards the village and discovered treasures, whose existence we were completely unaware of before. They were lucky enough to visit the one and only Handloom centre with about 100 functional units, and see in action the making process of the saree. They were on a quest to listen to stories of the makers as well as the heads of the organisation, and weave our own to take it back to the students of MIT-ID. To showcase our findings back in the college, they came up with a quick intervention, pre- mapping the emotional of someone who has no clue about these sarees beyond their name.
Andres and Geetanjali used existing materials present in the space, and used a cheap version of the saree to create an atmosphere which blended with the story we wanted to tell.
With the help of a short set of questions covering the history of the sarees, leading upto a movie which they created to convey the present, to be able to forecast possible scenarios for the future of this saree. They repeated this with about 40 students from various disciplines of design, and got some really interesting ideas, and feedback to how this craft can live if the need of the sarees diminishes, or the soul of the maker travel to places beyond the confinement of the village.
Team: Geetanjali Sayal, Nozomi Koseki (Central Saint Martins, London), Andre Mallia, Kris Tabone, Nathaniel Grech (University of Malta)
The proposal was to create an Arts and Film School in a location that has an existing
connection with the movie industry. The modularity of the facade reflects a potential to adapt and change its character according to the function it inhabits. Instead of foreign film makers bringing their sets and crew, the school will provide resources, which allows students to have real working experience enhancing their skills, as well as making positive economical impact on Malta. This school links lower St. Elmo with the rest of Valletta and Malta by providing an open access to the local public. The work of the students that will be exhibited will also help to engage locals with the site. At the same time, taking advantage of its geographical strength, it acts as a platform to connect different cultures surrounding Malta by hosting international Art and/or Film events.
Top Image Source: Malta RAMC
‘Chaos at the Museum’ conference took place from 17- 20th Nov, 2016 at Museo de le Ciudad, Buenos Aires. The first day of the conference had practitioners from all over the world, talking and demonstrating the changing role of museums and ways they can infiltrate the urban fabric of the city. The next two days consisted understanding the inter-relationships between the museum and its context, taking part in 3 self- chosen workshops, to get introduced to tools, different design practices across the world are implementing to challenge the institution of museums/ exhibition design. All the groups were given different sites around the museum to re-think telling their stories to an unaware audience on the streets.
The site Geetanjali’s group was given- Farmacia De La Estrella, built in 1835, is a functioning homeopathy pharmacy, currently serving as the headquarter of the Museo de la Ciudad. Inside, it had gorgeous woodwork and elaborate late-19th-century ceiling murals depicting health-oriented themes.
Working with different professionals, Geetanjali engaged in social research, to un-earth implicit narratives within the pharmacy, and understand relationship it shares with the citizens today. Realising the disconnect between the people in the nearby areas, about its historical relevance, and its deep-rooted connection with the museum of the city, they created a module on the street and the huge glass windows of the pharmacy, for the audience to become pharmacists for a day, and prescribe Happiness to each other. The idea was to exchange self- written doses to happiness, with one of your choice from the ones already on the module prescribed by someone else. This created a special moment of pause around the pharmacy, for people to share a smile, a happy emotion and have a conversation about the history and the relevance of this pharmacy.
Lumiere is produced by Artichoke which is a leading arts charity that works with artists to invade public spaces and put on extraordinary and ambitious events that live in the memory forever. In 2017, the light festival was back in Durham for the fifth time and artists from around the world illuminated the city in delightful and unexpected ways, with a series of light installations to explore.
As part of the Production Team, Geetanjali primarily managed the only flashmob project which brought together local communities of Durham including participants with special needs. It was choreographed by Cirque Bijou, an creative partnership of artists Julian Bracey and Billy Alwen to create a piece using LED umbrellas, which is then performed in public. Geetanjali was closely involved in the recruitment of participants reaching out to many organisations across Durham, and managed pre-festival workshops for 4 groups including refresher rehearsals on the day of the festival. The piece was carefully planned and tailored to the city of Durham, by closely studying the different kind of pedestrian junctions without disrupting the flow of festival visitors which approximates to 240,000 over 4 days.
On the day of the festival, there was live management needed for the participants to walk across areas which were not blocked for traffic. Geetanjali worked in sync with the artists and choreographers to ensure the safety of the participants while achieving the best formations in multiple locations across the city. The project successfully gained a lot of attention from the public and gave many opportunities for them to be a part of the performances.
Top Image Source: Itv News
Image Source: Artichoke Trust website
Hosted at Canteiro Experimental, in the Department of Architecture and Urbanism, PUC-Rio, these collaborative workshops engaged with the local directors, teachers, children and teenagers who use the educational spaces of the Tia Percília school in Morro da Babilônia favela. These educational spaces are part of an after-school program which is run by local residents. CSM and PUC students researched a set of designs and strategies for how the potential of these educational spaces could be developed and expanded.
Collaboratively, Geetanjali worked as a part of team with students from CSM & PUC Rio to develop a prototype design, a handrail seat constructed from wood and has now been given an honourable mention in the category of Architecture, Interior Design and Street Furniture at the Instituto De Arquitetos Do Brasil Awards 2017.
Speaking on the project, David Chambers, Associate Lecturer BA Architecture said:
“The CSM-PUC workshop builds on an ongoing relationship that Aberrant Architecture have developed in Rio de Janeiro, since our initial research for the the British Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2012. At this time we began studying the CIEPs, a radical school building programme in Rio in the 1980s, designed by legendary Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. The CIEPs are an interesting experiment in embedding schools directly into their local communities, and the workshop was a great way to explore the potential of the role of a school in the public realm.
After being exhibited as part of “Venice Takeaway” in 2012, Aberrant’s CIEPs research was subsequently shown at the RIBA in London, the Xth Sao Paulo Biennial of Architecture and is now part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Art Rio (MAR). Most excitingly, it has now been published as a beautiful book, titled ‘Wherever You Find People’ and published by Park Books.”