Expo by students of Seed, Muvattupuzha, is an intersection of architecture and art

The fifth edition of Seedscape, an annual exhibition of the students of Seed — APJ Abdul Kalam School of Environmental Design, Muvattupuzha, discusses how architects can engage with the community and offer building solutions for the future

Published - June 21, 2024 10:23 am IST

Student volunteers at Seedscape at Durbar Hall Art Gallery, Kochi

Student volunteers at Seedscape at Durbar Hall Art Gallery, Kochi | Photo Credit: NITHIN RK

The Durbar Hall Art Gallery has temporarily transformed into an architectural studio. Some parts of the walls have been covered in mirrors and drawings. White-painted metallic columns erected here and there appear to give a new spin to the cavernous gallery space.

The fifth edition of Seedscape, an annual exhibition of works done by the students of Seed — APJ Abdul Kalam School of Environmental Design, Muvattupuzha, is an intersection of architecture and art. The models, like art installations, engage with the viewer and inspire thought.

It also brings the essence of a modern-day architecture classroom to the mainstream. The walls are full of drawings and sketches, photographs and notes about basic architectural concepts and their relevance in today’s climate-conscious building ethos. Over 550 models and material experiments of 120 students from across batches have been displayed. Curated by Cochin Creative Collective, the expo sheds light on how architects interpret space in a functional and aesthetic sense.

The exhibits on display at Seedscape

The exhibits on display at Seedscape | Photo Credit: NITHIN RK

It may seem a little challenging for a lay person to make sense of an architectural exhibition, but the student volunteers take the viewers along the exhibits, ready to help with information. “It is a great experience for us students as we get to meet people and there is an exchange of ideas,” say Gopika PJ and Niranjana KP, first semester students.

One part of the gallery wall is covered in textures, tiny cardboard models of buildings stuck to the wall and paintings of three different kinds. Akhilesh Chandran and Fathima Fidha, semester four, explain how the work is a representation of a building’s relationship with its surroundings. “The way buildings have to be constructed on low, moderate and high lands would be very different taking into consideration how land influences and shapes the design,” says Akhilesh. “Low land chosen for this study is Kumbalangi in Kochi, moderate land is Muvattupuzha and high land is Vagamon,” adds Fathima.

Divided into six groups, the students spent some time at their designated areas, studying the region, the existing conditions and interacted with the local population for the study. “I was in the group assigned to Kumbalangi and we learnt so much about its unique mangrove ecosystem. We had to think about building materials and their longevity that don’t disturb the delicate ecosystem. Our exhibit proposes stilts for the buildings in the region,” says Azar Anvar, also a semester four student.

The architectural models on display at Seedscape

The architectural models on display at Seedscape | Photo Credit: NITHIN RK

The idea of the expo is to get the students’ work out of the campus and into the community, says Rajasekharan Menon, academic chair, Seed. “Architecture is an interactive discipline; it can easily connect with people. Over the five editions, Seed has been able to reach out to people,” he says. “The exhibits deal with a variety of topics such as basics of architectural language, relationship between building and landscape, climate responsive design, materiality and detailing, housing and urbanism. We plan to conduct the exhibition on a large scale every year,” he adds.

While the first two editions of Seedscape were held on the campus, the third edition was held at Mattancherry alongside the Kochi Muziris Biennale.

Seedscape includes talks by graphic designers, filmmakers, social entrepreneurs and environmentalists at the venue every day at 5.30pm. A film screening on architecture and related fields will also be held at 5pm every day.

The show is on till June 23.

Shigeru Ban talks
Japanese architect Shigeru Ban,  known for his innovative work with paper, particularly recycled cardboard tubes, and the winner of the Pritzker Prize in 2014, will deliver a talk on June 21 at Le Meridien from 4.30pm to 7.30pm. His two two-city tour of India (Kochi and Chennai) is hosted by Seed and Livingetc India and supported by the Chennai Architecture Foundation. Tickets at tomorrowisnow.in.
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