Samira Rathod x Niveditaa Gupta
Water camouflages itself with its container. It is transparent and anomalous, finding its own balance. Water escapes us; it is ethereal, and yet an elixir for life. Water insulates; it is versatile.
With depleting water resources, to hold water has become imperative. Holding water; in ways that it is natural and integral to our being; unresisting and innate. How does architecture, the built form, integrate water in design?
The first settlement was made around water. For years, communities have settled around water bodies, growing organically, relying on water as their primary resource. With this resource dying at an unfathomable pace, a designed system could allow for communities to collect and hold water within, in various forms of storage - as tanks, reservoirs, ponds, lakes; celebrating its flow as it trickles, springs, pours and inundates. The architectural experiment looks at water and its attributes as a building material, building houses and communities, bringing water from the past into the future.
The installation is designed to ignite the senses and is a pause; to think of, ‘being water’- transparent and pure, when we are, as they say, made of water.
Samira Rathod Design Atelier
Samira is an architect, teacher, writer and editor based in Mumbai, India. She established the Samira Rathod Design Atelier in 2000. Over the last 19 years, SRDA has built an enviable portfolio of more than 25 architectural and 50 interior projects that remind us of the meaning of beauty, sensuousness and materiality. The firm’s outreach work is equally vigorous, and she is the founder and editor of Spade, a platform and design magazine that reinforces the need for esoteric investigations and thinking. Samira has also been awarded the arc Vision Award - Women and Architecture in Italy. Having designed over 300 pieces of furniture products, Samira has set up Big Piano, which designs and manufactures handmade, whimsical furniture. She has also been teaching as a visiting lecturer for almost 15 years now at the Kamla Raheja Vidhyanidhi Institute for Architecture and Environmental Studies, exploring a variety of topics relevant to the design milieu in India.
Niveditaa Gupta is an architectural photographer with an undergraduate degree in architecture from the Sushant School of Architecture in India, and a master's degree in fine art photography from Istituto Europeo di Designo in Spain. Her affinity towards photography grew with the documentation of glass factories across India, which she went on to present at Campus Diaries’ 25under25 Summit as one of India’s top 25 photographers in 2016.
In Spain, Niveditaa assisted Javier Callejas while simultaneously developing a masters project with artist Nicolas Combarro about the representation of space in a two-dimensional medium. She has since been working to document the work of architects across India and Europe. More recently her work includes experiments with videography and photo-collage to question how these mediums can be used to conceptualise a space and critique the hyper-realism of architectural photography in today’s age.
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