Spatial design for gatherings in post pandemic times

Project Platypus, the brainchild of Bengaluru-based SortedPandit, is a competition that requires designing a space for a gathering of not less than 10 people, keeping in mind social distancing. You can use technology, but it must have a physical experience

May 26, 2020 05:19 pm | Updated 05:19 pm IST

Even though artistes and performers are conducting shows online, there is no substitute to a live performance. And with uncertainty on when lockdown will be lifted, one wonders when we will ever be able to gather together. Netra Ajjampur and Abhishek Durani, co-founder and founder, respectively, of Bengaluru-based Sortedpandit Studio, a multidisciplinary design practice, understood the need to think out of the box and come up with solutions to re-imagine spaces in post pandemic times, when gatherings would require social distancing.

Competition details

They have started a spatial design competition for COVID-19 relief under a research initiative called Project Platypus. This is an open call to all ‘creatives’ from around the globe to design spaces, keeping in mind personal distancing “We are curating Post Pandemic Performances: Gatherings in times of Social Distancing -an open call for ideas, in collaboration with Materia, an architecture practice based in Mexico. We have partnered with Seeds India, Rise Against Hunger India and Reapbenefit as of now, who have been tirelessly working toward helping people affected by the pandemic. Participants who wish to register will need to make a donation to one of these as registration fees, which is anything between 15 and 25 US$, and if you want to contribute more, you can” says Netra.

The participants have to design a space for a gathering of not less than 10 people. “You can use technology to your benefit but it has to have a physical experience,” says Netra, a graduate of CEPT University, Ahmedabad.

The idea

SortedPandit Studio started in 2016 as a graphic design and illustration-based practice. “When we set up our full-fledged practice last year, we started getting projects across the spectrum, including from performing arts groups and musicians. We realised the importance of a multidisciplinary approach. And that is how our connect with performing art groups began,” says Netra.

Project Playtpus was initially conceived as a studio competition. “But we realised it should be held on a bigger scale because it has the potential of benefiting the performance arts.”

A multidisciplinary approach

Netra says collaborations are welcome. “This is open to everyone. Suppose you are interested but not in the design field, we could connect you to an architect. It is important to come together and collaborate. Our jury panel has performers, artists, architects and journalists. They are from different backgrounds. It is important to come together.”

Netra says Project Platypus also serves as a documentation of research. “We plan to compile all the entries and conversations with the panellists into a book.”

Art campaign

In addition to the architectural competition, they are also running an art campaign, in which artists and illustrators would submit a graphic on the topic of Future of Performances. “Alongside the winning entries from the main competition, we will feature some of these artworks in the final compilation which will be published by Altrim Publishers in partnership with Sortedpandit Studio, Materia and The Curator Mag with support from our media partners ArchDaily, KooZA/rch, Architecture Live! and The Architect’s Diary.”

Registration and submission details

The last date of registration is June 13 and the last date of submission is June 15. The results will be announced on August 1. For details mail or visit . For additional details visit:

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