by Gautam Sen, Avik ChattopadhyayDec 14, 2020
A whirl. A Storm.
A thought that breaks the norm.
At the beginning of this year, we invited architects, artists, designers and creative professionals from diverse disciplines to put on their thinking caps for the STIR UP 2020 competition.
We put forth one important question - what would you stir up? What would you create, change, shake up?
The answers came to us as some remarkable ideas in the form of original artworks with graphics, motion graphic, animation, video, typography, photography and text.
Each idea was unique, and it was a gargantuan task for us to pick the most striking and powerful works. We must also mention the immense joy that we felt at receiving entries from participants with special needs – we would like to thank each one of our participants for being part of this initiative and STIRring up the year with their creativity.
Announcing the five winners:
1. DYSTOPIA OR UTOPIA?
By Mischa Kuball, Germany
Conceptual artist Mischa Kuball places his art at the intersection of light and urban space. He uses the medium of light to reflect sites and to reflect on them. Since 2007, Mischa Kuball has been a Professor for public art at the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne, and associate professor for media art at Hochschule für Gestaltung/ZKM, Karlsruhe. In 2016 he was honoured with the German Light Award. For STIR, the noted artist created two light signs that move to various locations in different places and sites in the world.
These are simultaneously a claim and a question: DYSTOPIA or UTOPIA? FINISHED or UNFINISHED? Restlessly, the syllables change through the light, and thus not only alter the actual meaning, but also the perception of the location signified. Is this place already finished or is it still in the process of development? Does it tell a good story or does it express the problematic sides of our modern life? In his expression, Kuball suggests that instead of placing it onto buildings, another option would be to put it on a truck and run it through nations - raising a similar question in different environments.
2. BREATHE 2020
By Archana van Gils, India
Archana van Gils’ powerful expression puts humanity under an uncomfortable spotlight. Human life is entrapped in oxygen capsules – in the far tube we can see a faint corpse as the oxygen has run out – in closer ones men and morphed creatures struggle to survive while a child grows a green alternative and yet another looks on, half in hope and half in despair. The human predicament calls for immediate intervention, she asserts, and children seem to be our only chance at the future.
A designer and architect, Gils earned her bachelor’s degree in architecture from S.I.T, Visvesvaraya Technological University, Karnataka, India in 2003. Her work spans more than 16 years in various architectural and interior designing projects. She worked with top architectural and interior designing firms in Delhi and Gurugram for more than seven years and developed her own design skills before she found AVG Architecture en Interiors in 2010 and “by archanavangils” in 2016.
3. THE ELEVENTH HOUR
By Piyush Mehra, India
The Mumbai-based designer and principal architect at PS Design puts forth a strong message - it is high time we chose to eradicate the exploitation of our beautiful planet, which has reached its critical limit. It is THE ELEVENTH HOUR.
In Mehra's words, “This work of digital art is an attempt at stirring up a collective conscience towards the climate change and its adverse effects. We are just a minor part of the universe’s timeline, so let us make ourselves count. This artwork depicts a raging fire in a natural ecosystem and our desperate attempt to escape it via the hot air balloons made out of smoke. There is, however, some hope wherein we see a patch of green earth that still remains to be saved.”
4. THE FUTURE DEMANDS BLANKS
By Rodrigo Llavayol, Spain
Through his work, Barcelona-based architect Rodrigo Llavayol asserts that concepts such as sustainability, energy efficiency and ecological footprint have taken a lot of strength in recent years and they are the basic pillars of any urban project. However, Llavayol, who is studying Lighting Design, insists that it is important to understand that all these ideas will have no sense if we dedicate ourselves to create spaces that, with the passage of time, will lose functionality quickly.
“If this happens, we will be using and wasting resources anyway. Nowadays, people’s needs change very fast and urban spaces must to follow the change in order to fulfill their reason of existence: to be home extensions and areas of social integration where users have a new way of interacting with their environment. We must give users the power to act on the design, and change it according to their needs. We need to create open, flexible and inclusive designs that the user can, in a certain way, adapt according to their activities. We have to create spaces for participation, with well-defined programmatic bases and designs, but leaving "blanks" for everyone to complete as they like."
He adds in his note, "Looking ahead, we must understand that the urban design of a city will be more qualified, as higher its capacity to adapt to the user's needs. The efficiency of a project will be achieved if, in addition to include sustainable concepts, the users have the chance to appropriate the space and make it own.”
by Rupak Munje, India
Abstract artist Rupak Munje’s work is as inspiring as it is important. “The biggest challenge for human beings is controlling their own thoughts. Although there many ways available for people to restore their peace of mind - through medication, meditation, wisdom, even after centuries we have not been able to win over hatred, which is the main reason our world is constantly threatened by haters and disturbs the rhythm of life,” he explains.
“But autistic beings are blessed ones because they live in the present moment naturally, because they are not only free from the past but free from the future as well. Just be happy and enjoy the present moment!” he reminds.
Rupak Munje, 23, born with autism, is growing in the hands of CANbridge and WeCAN Chennai, where he is being grooming holistically. He has created more than 170 paintings and 36 shows across art galleries in India.