By Pari Syal
Photography: courtesy Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum
The critical collaboration of Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum and BMW Guggenheim Lab in Mumbai has hypothecated the adage, ‘Inculcate it in the child’, by engaging young impressionable minds with urban issues through art and craft.
The last one month has seen a series of 5 workshops at sites across Mumbai engaging children between the ages of 10 and 14 years to create and shape their vision of an ideal Mumbai.
Working on a thematic with origami artist Himanshu Agarwal, the workshops have focused on aspects of housing, transportation, infrastructure and green initiatives. The intent was to engage the receptive minds into practicable lessons of urban living through interactive discussions on contemporary environmental and planning issues faced by the city and encourage them to consider possible solutions.
An enthusiastic response has predictably emerged with a virtuous yet much-needed scenario for the future of Mumbai. There were proposals for more greenery, open spaces, car-free zones on Sundays, skywalks, waterways, curb on pollution, harnessing of natural energies, cycling and running tracks, need for civic sense and the like. While the children engaged in making their models, their thinking caps were further honed via facilitator-interactions for the envisaged domino effect.
At the close of the workshops, participants from each session were invited back to the Lab, where they collaboratively assembled a holistic urban landscape. This artistic installation will remain on view for the public as a legacy of the BMW-Guggenheim Lab in Mumbai. Maybe, if each one of us comes away with a wee bit of the ingrained wisdom and determination to act on it, we could together make Mumbai truly beautiful!
|Mumbai of the future in origami|
The BMW Guggenheim Lab Project is a mobile laboratory travelling to cities worldwide, with the goal of exploring new ideas, experimenting, and ultimately creating forward-thinking visions for city life. Launched in Berlin, it moved to New York before coming to Mumbai.