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AbunDance : care to dance?

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Open only to female students, Abundance was a project collectively curated by my friend Ms. Silvana Rigobon and me as an Interim Project at the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology in November 2015. This project itself was the result of a candid conversation over breakfast in the picturesque locales of Colli Del Tronto, Italy, where a bunch of us were working on 'theatre of the oppressed', using theatre as a means to mobilize the women in that neighbourhood, who we figured were dealing with gender inequalities. From that to a collaboration of this kind is a dream come true!

Abundance was aimed at weaving a creative project with one or more groups of students using the powerful tools of Movement Medicine, Menstruality and Weaving.

Movement Medicine is a method of body awareness that combines movement and coaching. Its aim is to connect body, heart, and mind, to allow a deeper sense of presence. It can be used in developing creative processes for individuals, groups, an…

Built with Care - Architecture as Communication

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I came across the works of Patama Roonrakwit thanks to my architect husband, so he made sure that I knew enough about her during our visits to Thailand and as predicted by him, I fell in love with the work that she and her group called CASE do.


Photo courtesy: http://31century.org

CASE: Community Architects For Shelter & Environment, is a group of architects coming together. with a shared belief. Formed in 1997 by Patama Roonrakwit, CASE looks at a design process that challenges the conventional role of architects.

CASE works with community members, from children to adults as participants in a process to improve their shelter and environment. Patama believes appropriate information can lead to diversely valuable insights, which form a key ingredient for design. To design a home, one needs in-depth information about the people living in it, their culture, needs, desires, lifestyle, habits, possessions, dynamics and everything that in/directly influence their life within their dwelling…

Daily Sibbet

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Knowledge sharing
... everyday
... everyone


As I dwell on the concept of Visual Leadership and the power of thinking made visual, so far only from the perspective of academic and/or professional practices, I can’t help but wonder, if it exists in the mundane and the everyday activities!

Having witnessed cooking being practiced almost as an art form in my mother’s kitchen, I do think of it now as a living and embodied demonstration of visual leadership.

Ever asked a mother or an aunt to just mouth or type out or text you a recipe?

They’d rather have you stand there and look at them cooking, occasionally asking you to fetch this and that and nothing more, lest you ruin her trail of thoughts!

Ask them to pen it down in detail and they may fumble, they’d rather demonstrate with a spoon in hand and sometimes pointing at the index finger to say how much of the ginger they meant than prescribe ‘x’ grams of anything.

Sounds familiar to what Seymour Papert called the kitchen math? Yes, it most defi…

My Memories of History of Design

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An honest confession, I have never understood and therefore almost never appreciated history as a subject, not in school and not after school either! While the black texts ran for miles together in the text books, while a certain section of the class (those that I now call the 'buddhijeevis') was immersed in deeply understanding every word, while the other bunch was oscillating vigorously to memorize the dates/names/place/events in the book, my mind would be busy weaving stories as snippets and giving life to the characters and events in the those chapters.

I still remember the day, when my honestly very able history teacher in class 8 or 9 was taking us through the chapter on the Ajanta-Ellora caves and the history book, having pre-empted my inability to read copious texts was written in bullet-points, the only thing that I remember from that entire chapter was the information on the caves, specifically the ones that were used as Viharas by the Buddhist monks. As the class wen…

Decision Rooms - A Playing Field

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No! It has nothing to do with the Judgement day and nobody is being tried for their sins in the court or elsewhere!

It is merely a term that Mr. David Sibbet uses to elaborate on the concept of a space where thinking is made visual and key decisions of a project in an organization are taken collectively.

He puts it quite beautifully in the phrase below:
“But we humans live in spaces, and something magical happens when you begin to consider your entire meeting space as a visual environment"
– David Sibbet on Decision rooms in Visual Leaders, Wiley India Pvt. Ltd. 2013).

Typically when one hears the word ‘meeting room’, visuals of glass partitions, wall to wall carpets, manicured plants, strategically placed furniture, general ‘grey’ness and an AC set to an inhumanly cold temperature is what can be safely seen crossing our minds. And yet, it is here that impeccably dressed men, women, and aspiring honchos are expected to make big decisions for the organization that they are working fo…

Jugalbandi

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It was just yesterday that I attended the much awaited Times Swar Sangam 2017, curated by Vasu Dixit. Much awaited for very personal reasons.

My love for Indian classical music being the most obvious, since, like all good, cultured Bengalis of the world, I too trained in all the three classical forms of art; Hindustani classical music, Bharatnatyam and of course the customary fine art classes, until juggling all of them became a logistical nightmare!
The other reason was the performance of my childhood role model, Smt. Shubha Mudgal Ji, whose performance I would never miss for anything.
This time however, she was not going to be performing alone, but as part of what was called 'Swar Sangam' or in other words a confluence of notes, hence, there was going to be a jugalbandi with another eminent and accomplished singer, Smt. Bombay Jayshree.

Before this would be a jugalbandi between two other exceptional musicians, Smt. Jayanti Kumaresh on the Veena and Sri Kumaresh on the Violin.

Wh…

Indra’s Net & Timelessness - exploring a metaphor for timeless ways of learning

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what is the indra’s jaal ?


source: http://www.wikiwand.com

Indra's net, known in Sanskrit as the Indrajāla is a metaphor which originates from the Atharva Veda, which likens the world to a net woven by the great deity Shakra or Indra.
The net is said to be infinite and it is spread in all directions with no beginning or end. At each node of the net is a jewel, arranged in a way that every jewel reflects all the other jewels. No jewel exists completely by itself or independently.
It stands as an explanation to the nature of reality and cosmology.
The Mahayana school in the third-century Avatamsaka Sutra followed by the Huayan school used it to illustrate the concepts of Śūnyatā (emptiness), Pratītyasamutpāda (dependent origination) and interpenetration in Buddhist philosophy.

indrajāla as a metaphor for values of timeless ways of learning

The key attributes of the Indrajāla that could be identified are:ORGANIC UNITY & HOLOGRAPHIC EXISTENCE
That there is an organic unity between the who…