Designing for a public space in India goes beyond the aesthetics into multitude of other issues right from functions, economics, sustainability, maintenance, vandalism, and the list could be endless. Being a developing country we are always grappling with infrastructural issues but at the same time for the cultural growth of the country an equal respect needs to be given to art and aesthetics and more so in the public realm, not just in the art galleries where it can be admired by a selected few. Hence it becomes imperative to derive a language of art where the aesthetics seamlessly merge with functionality in every project right from infrastructural to public spaces. Every installation needn't fulfill a function, yet every installation could raise certain issues at a public platform. It should not be just a decoration adorning public parks or a feature that itself consumes enormous amounts of energy and resources for its maintenance. A public art installation in India therefore means something that culturally defines itself, understands the demographics and yet stands without much effort in maintenance against all vandalism.
The Word “Pensieve” from the Book series Harry Potter by JK Rowling, Pensieve is a basin that can be entered to travel back into memories as one remembers them.
The installation “ Pensieve” was constructed in New Delhi where more than 1200 wasted shipping pallets were used to represent the nostalgic delhi. The space is inspired from the hundreds of ruins that dot Delhi, where those incomplete broken stone walls with the overgrowth of years led us kids to play our imaginary games, where we spent hours playing outside those impromptu picnics and immersed ourselves playing in the sand, building our castles of creativity in our heads. Each day, each stroke creating something different with the same sets of ingredients.
Using stacked 1200 recycled shipping crates, some empty, some filled with earth to become self-sustained planters, 900 match boxes,100 fiber-optic fixtures which lit as people walked past and solar powered furniture which lit as people sat on it, the idea was creating an awareness amongst people about sustainability in design and public space Constructed. An interactive design needn't just be about technologically oriented lights and sensors alone but could also be simply about creating human interaction. In the span of 5 days, it became a place for designers and artists to sit around, discuss technology, sustainability, design theories, projects and collaborate in creating similar public projects/ art and was often requested to be made permanent.