Imaginarium | કલ્પતરુ
Ahmadabad, India \ અમદાવાદ, ભારત
Clients: The City Arts Project, UNM Foundation, People of Ahmedabad
Curated by: Vyom Mehta
Collaborators/ Team: Prakhar, Anjali, Sreenidhi, Pranali, Garvi, Austin, Raman, Lalit, Murtaza, artisans of Gulbai Tekra & Spacica Workshop
Location: Ahmedabad, India
Status: Built/ Deconstructed
Tags: innovation, indigenous, steel, wood, concrete, alternate, culture, urban, sustainable, housing + interiors
Can an ethereal labyrinth float gently on thin air?
Loosely inspired by the writings of Edouard Glissant, it materialized as a relational experiment between bleeding edge fabrication technology and traditional craft systems of the nomadic Baori people, from the Thar Desert.
It is commonplace that gridshells can take on diverse curved forms, structurally robust when built on flat ground. We sought to challenge this idea with a simple counter: Would it remain stable when lifted several feet of the datum?
The Imaginarium is sculpted collectively as a rhizomatic place where any nails, screws, or foundations were strictly prohibited by authorities. To levitate magically in a courtyard, the heavy structure had to somehow become column-less and non-invasive.
Interacting sense and sensibilities
For eons, trees have embodied spiritual meaning across various cultures, world over. In Norse mythology, the Yggdrasil is a mythic tree that connects with all Nine Worlds. The Banyan (બોધી વૃક્ષ) is an ancient tree under which Siddhartha attained enlightenment as the Bodhisattva. With local variations of bamboo, shami and coconut, the Banyan is considered to be amply providing for human needs, silently across eons. Across the Indian sub-continent, ‘Kalpataru’ or the Tree of Life has been a timeless metaphor for peace, wisdom and enlightenment, extolled in iconography and literature as the wish-fulfilling Divine Tree.
The pavilion levitates as a mindful place, nestled in a courtyard within the Knowledge Consortium. Invoked by data, music and light, it invites people to play with its softness. Those who explore the depths of our forest encounter tiny fruits of shimmer. Copper bells/ ghungroos echo across the floating labrynth.