Name behind design mela

Name behind design mela

Co-curator of the Bengaluru ByDesign Suprita Moorthy on how the big event came about.

Suprita Moorthy hails from an old Bengaluru family.

BengaluruByDesign has effectively deployed art and culture to unravel the history and culture of some of the landmark structures of Bengaluru.

It is on in several spots across the city. The festival, brainchild of Bengalurean Suprita Moorthy, showcases unique design concepts and how art can be brought into public spaces. She curated the festival along with Priyanka Shah-Bhandary.

In an interview with Metrolife, Suprita talks about the idea behind the festival and what’s unique about it.

How did you choose the public places for the installations? 

There were two things that we looked into. One was the high-density areas and the second point was a focus on the city’s historical buildings and popular places. We chose Town Hall because it is one of the oldest historical monuments that we have seen; I have always been intrigued by its architecture. We wanted these buildings to come alive. The St Marks Road is a central point. We have five installations in UB City alone. UB City is perceived as an elite mall, but it is visited by everybody, and we wanted to offer them something to see.


What is the idea behind the installations?

The idea of choosing Town Hall, for instance, was to actually discuss it. To look at the architecture and how it has now become a place of protest. Likewise, the idea is to weave stories of design into all these spaces. The design and spaces talk about different cultures and heritage spots.


Could you take us through the thought behind some of the installations?

The installation at St Mark’s Circle goes by the theme of ‘Green Is The Colour’ by Total Environment. The aim is to bring back green to the city that we grew up in. We also wanted to explore the idea of self-sustaining spaces and have conversations around it so that people are inspired to grow their own produce in their backyard.

The Paper installation at UB City: When you make paper, people talk about chopping trees, but nobody talks about how much water is wasted in the process. In this installation, we have tried to tell the story of how this particular company saves water while making paper. We wanted to deliver a message to people in an interesting format. Here, we have also created a flight of the birds on the staircase of UB City. This is to tell people to stop cutting trees and let the birds come back into the city.

Another installation explores the making of the colour Indigo. Not many people are exposed to the way it is made. We want to backtrack the history of this colour.

In ‘20+18 Chair Project’, each chair is designed in a different way, and it is compared to people. There are people who dress in a simple way, some like opulent dressing, some others dress shabbily, and there are a bunch of people who like to experiment with what they wear. Likewise, the chairs have also been in different shapes; each signifies something.


You have included design colleges in the event?

Yes. We were curious to understand how students address the issue of sustainability. We have students who made designs using discarded tea bags. We also have designs from discarded pieces of cloth, sourced from tailoring units. We have encouraged them to work with fabrics that are biodegradable.


What challenges did you face?

The government has been open and understanding, but they couldn’t perceive it. At every step, I had to give references and explain it to them. It was a challenge to get them to think about what we were doing, but once we did that, we had plenty of ideas flowing in. 

* Bengaluru ByDesign is on till December 2.