Imaginarium | कल्पतरु
Ahmadabad, India \ अहमदाबाद, भारत
Client: The City Arts Project, UNM Foundation
Partners in Charge/ Lead: Sarvesh Singh, Alisha Raman
Curated by: Vyom Mehta
Collaborators/ Team: Prakhar, Anjali, Sreenidhi, Pranali, Garvi, Austin, Raman, Lalit, Murtaza, all our friends at Gulbai Tekra & Spacica Workshop
Location: Ahmedabad, India
Status: Built/ Deconstructed
Tags: innovation, indigenous, steel, wood, concrete, alternate, culture, urban, sustainable, housing + interiors
Can a musical forest double up as a floating labyrinth?
For the Abhivyakti City Arts Festival, we were inspired by aerial roots of an ancient Banyan tree; weighing over half a ton, this floating sculpture becomes a place of immersive mindfulness invoked by data, music and light.
In an open courtyard, a steel gridshell is suspended from surrounding buildings, using custom anchoring details without any screws or nails. The levitating framework accommodates an aerial forest overhead and invites the public to interact with its softness. Those that explore the depths of our forest, encounter rewards in tiny fruits of shimmer - copper bells or ghungroos, scattered across its riparian landscape.
For eons, trees have shared significance and spiritual meaning across various cultures, all over the world. In Norse mythology, the Yggdrasil is a mythical tree that connects with all Nine Worlds.
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 Banyan is the ancient tree under which the Siddhartha became the Bodhisattva, thus attaining enlightenment as the Buddha. In some cultures it is symbolised by the deep-rooted Shami Tree, in others by the versatile Coconut, but universally recognised as the Banyan, amply providing for human needs, silently across eons.