The Urban Subculture exhibition on a sustainable development venture throws light on Bangalore's reality

What is subculture? Online definitions say it’s a group of people within a culture that differentiate themselves from the larger culture to which they belong. However, a recent exhibition organised by Swissnex India titled ‘Urban Subculture in India’ by IN:CH Studio 14 took the definition to a whole new level. Bringing sustainability and community service projects onto the same platform, a task force mapped the urban subculture in the city and presented a solution to a better future.

Presented by Swissnex India, an annex of the Consulate of Switzerland in Bangalore which aims to connect Switzerland and India in the areas of science, technology, innovation and education, the exhibition had on display a series of projects by participants that came up with solutions to problems affecting fringe and marginal groups in Bangalore.

Bangalore is the fourth phase in the series--the previous cities were Cochin, Wayanad, Ahmedabad and Mumbai which saw participants study the various systems and provide interventions that could be social, architectural, economic and technological for better efficiency and quality of life.

With students in intercultural teams, the groups displayed the six projects carried out in the city. The main project this exhibition highlighted was one done in Christ University on waste management. Through a series of lectures and awareness campaigns, better and practical solutions to waste segregation and disposal were designed. To empower marginalised and poor women through skill training and development, the second project focussed on Anu, a women’s business unit where they make bags and accessories from tetra packs and other waste material from the city. The exhibition even had on display some of these colourful items for sale.

Project three was on Sena Vihar, an apartment community in the city. The students worked on understanding the service management of the apartment complex and designed and built temporary utility structures for the employees there. The most exciting project was the building of a waste garden where the participants worked with rag pickers and collaborating with city-based Mythri Sarva Seva Samithi and its subsidiary Waste Wise Trust. Together they created a model space for showcasing waste management and built a waste garden.

Project five threw light on the education system in the city and worked on the Pottery Town School. Studying the various issues related to education, the students’ task was to improve the quality of space and learning environment for the children who come from families where their parents have never gone to school.

The final project showcased the building of roofs for a Mysore slum. The students worked in a community of 50 huts settled in Mysore and rebuilt sturdy roofs along with creating spaces for children to learn and adults to gain skills. Each project had a budget of Rs. 50,000 and not only brought the participants closer to the community but also provided social development proposals for a better tomorrow. For details call 49412000.