Sustainable living Life & Style

Kunal believes in ‘the good way of life’

A geodesic dome using home-grown bamboo is coming up at Aranya farm, with the help of Kunal Bhatia of Mango People

Sustainable is a term we hear a lot these days — in farming practices, textiles and architecture. Kunal Bhatia was motivated to build things using locally available material before ‘sustainable’ become a buzzword. A civil engineer, he also had a tryst as an actor. But he had the urge to reconnect with nature and people or “rediscover the good way of life” as he puts it.

Today, Kunal and his wife Gul are at the forefront of Mango People (‘Ma’ as in ‘mein’ and ‘ngo’ as in non-governmental organisation, emphasising that we have to take charge of our lives), travelling the length and breadth of the country, teaching individuals and institutions how to build sustainable structures.

Kunal, along with volunteers from France, Sweden and Delhi, is now at Aranya Agricultural Alternatives farm in Zaheerabad to build a geodesic dome using bamboo. The construction follows three stages — cutting and curing bamboo shoots, building the structure and giving finishing touches.

Kunal wants people to look at everyday objects as art. “You don’t need to buy everything from the market. There’s a lot of fun and satisfaction in doing small things, like building your own chair or table,” he says. “The motivation is to bridge the parallels between traditional and modern ways of life, coexist with nature, animals and plants.”

Kunal believes in ‘the good way of life’

The geodesic dome that’s being built at Aranya uses bamboo shoots from the farm. The dome will be built around a large mango tree. “The frame rests on the branches without applying pressure on the tree,” says Kunal. The 8m diametre dome will be one of the prototypes for similar structures at the International Permaculture Conference (IPC) scheduled to take place in November this year.

The IPC will have tents for people to stay. Domes will serve as meeting places.

Internationally, bamboo structures last at least 30 to 40 years and Kunal hopes that these domes will be strong enough to weather 20 to 30 years.

“The geodesic dome has the shape of a football and is a complex web of triangles, and pentagonal and hexagonal grids. The dome can be a living space, or serve as a gathering area and a functional workspace,” he says.

Kunal believes in ‘the good way of life’

On Sunday, June 18, Kunal will showcase an installation of a smaller geodesic dome at Our Sacred Space, Secunderabad, and interact with visitors on sustainable architecture.

Kunal also plans to conduct a workshop in Hyderabad in August on sustainable living spaces and practices.

For details, email mangopeopleonline@gmail.com or check www.mangopeople.org.in

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 1:57:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/a-geodesic-dome-using-home-grown-bamboo-is-coming-up-at-aranya-farm-with-the-help-of-kunal-bhatia-of-mango-people/article19054199.ece

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