by Tectona Grandis FurnitureFeb 27, 2020
A unique platform where leading architects, designers, artists and brands from across the globe come together to share their learnings from the past and connect the dots of the applied nature of material, Materiology 2.0, presented by STIR and curated by Amit Gupta and Pramiti Madhavji, opened its doors recently.
Materiology is a term coined from the idea of taking a diverse palette of materials, and expressing through them a tale that transcends the boundaries of current trends. The material here is a tool, and designers, the time-travellers.
The first edition of Materiology, held in 2019, interpreted an important inquiry—What Happens When Tomorrow Becomes Today? Taking the narrative forward, this year’s edition teams up 12 international and Indian designers to create six installations, in response to What Happens when Yesterday Becomes Tomorrow?
“At STIR we believe in quality content, enabling collaborations and providing a platform to the creative community at large that blurs the fine line between art, design and architecture. Materiology is one such initiative towards that STIR manifesto,” says Amit Gupta, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, STIR.
With this fast-changing world, are we forgetting the basic values that we had imbibed when we were young? There were things we did that were simple and productive, that were educational, made us think, made us learn, made us treat these as activities for a better living. These activities and games have now assumed a new avatar, but it is still important to address them and their need in our lives today and the questions of tomorrow. Materiology 2.0, a STIR forecast on what’s next in design, is a fun interplay of narratives that tie in yesterday’s memories, today’s actuality and tomorrow’s dreams.
The exhibition opened with an interesting talk between Paola Navone, architect and designer from Italy, and scenographer Sumant Jayakrishnan, as they discussed blurring boundaries between countries, regions, cultures and ideologies with design. Navone spoke deeply about her passion for India - its colours, spices and cheerful spirit - and how it has inspired her, opening up a new world of possibilities. This was followed by an evening of interesting exchange and dialogue between guests and participants.
“Collaborations, connections, creations and curations... For me, as an influencer, it is important to share new ideas and thought processes with the design community at every given opportunity, especially when it addresses the future, as is the intent with Materiology 2.0,” says Pramiti Madhavji, Founder, The Blue Pencil Design Company, and Content Advisor, STIR.
We give you a sneak peek into the installations.
1. Time Tested! Time Tasted!
Paola Navone x Sumant Jayakrishnan
Our rudimentary memories often include a strong sense of taste, of smell and of colour. The three artistically rustic cabanas enclosed within frames of wood stand like altars dedicated to the most essentially universal flavours, invoking nostalgia. Representing the Spicy, Salted and Sweet, each cabana hosts a multitude of tidbits adding to the experience.
Rendered in bright red, the Spicy cabana sees a fabricated chandelier, on which hangs a bunch of Indian spices – fat red chillies, sesame and mustard seeds, sinfully brown sticks of cinnamon, cardamom, clove and black pepper, among others. White dominates the Salty cabana, bedecked with lamps looming over rocks of sea salt arranged on silverware. Brightening up the last part of the installation is the Sweet, playfully decked in pink, with a few utensils made of sugar and bright pink candy floss as decoration.
“The Future of Design is Feelings,” say the creators, Paola Navone and Sumant Jayakrishnan.
2. Hyper Dhyaan
A rug woven with thick, red and blue threads, covers a room with eight walls. A petite staircase leads you to its slight doors, and you see a red space – you step inside and it turns blue! The installation intends to bring out the child in us, in a process of a new, experiential form of meditation. It encourages you to let go of pre-conceived notions as well, such as carpets from Jaipur Rugs being used as the room’s façade covering, as opposed to its traditional use on floors. The graphics and lights that line the walls inside heighten the senses and is representative of a neon future.
Our lifestyles have become quite sedentary, and the act of jumping on the trampoline inside the room forces one to engage in physical activity. This act, along with looking at the interactive colour-mix and touching the rug, also engages one in a repetitive activity to train attention and awareness, to achieve a mentally clear, emotionally calm and stable state.
“The future is about blue meditation. No, it’s red meditation.
It’s blue! It’s red!”, argue the designers playfully.
3. Holding Water
Samira Rathod x Niveditaa Gupta
Urging one to consciously ruminate on our collective duty to preserve water, the installation contains transparent bags filled with this precious resource and hung from the ceiling, as silent sentinels screaming for attention. Limbs extend outwards from the clear bags, in the shape of hands, literally ‘holding water’. It exclaims the presence of water’s absence in the near future, and how design should respond to this scarcity.
“To think of, ‘being water’- transparent and pure, when we are, as they say, made of water,” elaborate Samira Rathod and Niveditaa Gupta.
A larger-than-life bamboo boat to invoke memories of childhood, and paper boats to keep that spirit alive – Hope fosters interaction by asking viewers to make paper boats and float them on the water, or write down past memories on paper and tie them to the installation. The boat is suspended over a water body, and made out of a single material, bamboo, which signifies simpler times and sustainability.
Intending to capture the joy and remorse that’s part of everyone’s lives, the act of writing down wishes for the future and memories from the past is akin to the tradition of a wish tree.
“Made by hand with bamboo, it is but a structure of a dream in its bare bones of construction,” explain the makers, Soumitro Ghosh and Sandeep Sangaru.
Reflecting the ‘collective nostalgia’ of a community, a place and a script, Saurashtra speaks volumes in its neon lit typographic form and attempts to revive an Indian language that is on the verge of extinction. Installed on a metal frame, the letterforms represent both the language and the erstwhile region, Saurashtra, and brings the script from the past into the future, and inevitably into tomorrow. The script is a hybrid of Gujarati, Marathi and Tamil. The installation redesigns these old letterforms in a modern, futuristic way and also urges onlookers to realise the importance of scripts disappearing in this fast paced, digital world.
Hanif Kureshi and Shiva Nallaperumal describe the installation’s concept - “The idea is to work on an endangered script and bring it alive through a new medium.”
6. Our Time in the Sun
Ankon Mitra x BandukSmith Studio
The playful sundial draws from the Jantar Mantar sundials in India (Jaipur and Delhi), and explores our longstanding relationship with the sun. The sun is one of our most primal constants, linking our past, present and our foreseeable future. The nine golden and folded plates of the installation are inspired from the Analemma diagram - if you stand at the same place for 12 months and click photographs of the sun, and layer these pictures on top of each other, the path made is that of an infinity loop in the sky. These are fixed on a rotating axis, and stand on a white circle on the grass, divided in 12 sectors, representative of the time taken to revolve around the sun in a year. One can manipulate the assembly to form their own sets of shadows, encouraging viewers to engage in a knowledge and phenomenon that has existed from times immemorial.
“The sun rising, the sun above our head and the sun setting - sometimes we know the sun’s path - now we try to change it,” reflect Ankon Mitra, Sachin Bandukwala and Melissa Smith.
The preview on February 1, 2020 - a parallel VIP event in association with the India Art Fair, was attended by over 750 people from the world of architecture, design and art.
Materiology 2.0 is supported by:
House of RARO
Sunil Sethi Design Alliance
Tectona Grandis Furniture
Materiology 2.0 is ongoing at STIR Gallery @ vis a vis, 2 North Drive, DLF Chattarpur Farms, New Delhi, till February 29, 2020.
For more information, visit www.stirworld.com/materiology.