CURRENT EXHIBITION ~ POROSITY KABARI
9 JUNE - 9 JULY 2017 ~ NISHI GALLERY, HOTEL HOTEL, CANBERRA
Porosity Kabari was an interdisciplinary,
cross-cultural, collaborative project whereby
Australian object designer Trent Jansen, and
architect/artist Professor Richard Goodwin, worked with Indian creative thinker Ishan Khosla.
The project challenged these three designers to collaborate in Mumbai’s ‘Chor Bazaar’ (thieves market) and Studio X, using the bazaar as their only source of materials and making processes. In the bazaar, the designers learned from spontaneous conversation and experimentation with the vendors and crafts people working in this manic market place. Conversely, Studio X afforded the designers a space for considered discussion and precise prototyping, in the development of refined ideas to be taken back into the bazaar.
Porosity Kabari ~ Creative Rationale:
How can something become something else? This is the essence of sustainable design in a contingent society such as India – a society without the common social safeguards of developed nations, one where the survival of each individual is determined by their unique ability to be creative and resourceful. While the rest of the world struggles with the environmental implications of designed obsolescence and disposable consumption, India is a place where resourcefulness is part of the everyday. Found throughout India, ‘Kabari Bazaars’ (junk markets) and ‘Chor Bazaars’ (thieves markets) are the neighbourhoods where many of India’s useful things end up at the end of their long lives. It is in these bazaars that many useful objects are given a second life – car panels are transformed into ad-hock cookers and old clothing is quilted into rugs for snake charmers. Radical transformation at its best.
One core principal of the Chor Bazaar is the ad-libbed nature of making, where time spent agonising over a design decision is income lost. The short period of time allocated to the designers (3 weeks) and the ad-hock making methods adopted by bazaar workers meant that design decisions were made quickly. The designers made decision in the moment, as the maker with whom they worked gave shape to those decisions with an immediacy that is seldom experienced in the Australian context. The complete novelty of these work practices, combined with the exotic material palette found in the Chor Bazaar, forced the designers to adopt an entirely new method of designing, changing their practices and providing the potential for a series of outcomes that are unique within their portfolios.
The sculptural furniture objects created in
Mumbai’s Chor Bazaar and Studio X formed the Porosity Kabari Exhibition. This exhibition was presented by Mumbai’s Studio X in February 2016, and will now be on show at Canberra’s Nishi Gallery, part of the Hotel Hotel complex in New Acton.
17 Kendall Lane,
9 June – 9 July 2017
11am – 3pm, Wednesday-Sunday
Image Credit – Lee Grant