Week 14

We completed the poster and the projector during the week and had only the main installation left, the dressing table, which we managed to finish during class. We then showed our model to sir after which we wrote our artist statement and also stated working on the video documentation of the entire process which we had to submit by the end of the week.

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Week 13

We had to come up with an idea for our final model during class. After a lot of ideation and group discussions, we finally narrowed down on a few ideas. We decided to make a dressing table using acrylic sheets to represent the fragility and innocent of during the era. We choose to design a dressing table to portray fashion and make which was a huge and unique part of the cinema industry and to show the rise of strong female roles. The inside of the cabinets were to have broken shards of wood showcasing the maximalism that was prevalent in all sectors during that time and the collapse of the era. We also wanted to show the different styles that were present during the time for which we thought to make a projector and use the mirror portion of the dressing table to project the images on. As a final touch to the entire set up, we wanted to add a poster of the various movies released during the time and add lights around it representing the underground or jazz and blues as shown in the movie ‘Bombay Velvet’.

We then got our idea confirmed with sir and stated getting the collage ready for the poster and stated work on the projector during class.

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Week 12

Out of the two movies that were left we watched one over the week and one during the first half of class.

Mriagayaa is a 1976 Indian period drama film directed by Mrinal Sen and produced by K. Rajeshwara Rao. It is based on a short story by Bhagbati Charan Panigrahi, called “Inaam”. The film portrayed the relationship between the British colonialists and native villagers, and their exploitation by Indian landlords in 1920s India. It also depicts the friendship between a British administrator, who has a flair for game hunting, and a native tribal, who is an expert archer. The lead actors, Mithun Chakraborty and Mamata Shankar, both made their cinematic debuts through the film.

Sankarabharanam is a 1980 Indian Telugu-language musical drama film written and directed by K. Viswanath. Produced by Edida Nageswara Rao under the production company Poornodaya Art Creations, Sankarabharanamstarred J. V. Somayajulu, Manju Bhargavi, Chandramohan and Rajyalakshmi. The soundtrack was composed by K. V. Mahadevanand remained a chartbuster. The film throws light on the chasm between Classical and Western Music based on the perspective of people from two different generations. It is a story of a rare and exceptional bond between the master of classical music Sankara Sastry and his admirer Tulasi, a woman from a family of prostitutes.

We then discussed with sir our take away and understanding of the movies along with the mind maps we had made. We spoke in detail about the symbolism present, what each movie represented, etc. Sir then asked us to make a mind map for the entire era highlighting the major themes of the time.

Week 11

We watched two movies over the week and one in class. Bombay Velvet and Chitchor were the two movies we had seen during the week.

Bombay velvet, a recently shot film set during the 60’s, is about Johnny, a commoner, seeks wealth and fame to win love interest Rosie’s heart. An entry into the world of crime gives his ambitions a head-start, but he must face the formidable challenges soon. The story is very interesting; it keeps you anticipating on what will happen next. The movie is made extremely well; the characters are believable, and the sets make you feel you are in the ’60s. The storyline is a bit slow in the first half, but the second half picks up speed. The reason why I feel people have not been able to connect with this movie is because he (the director – Anurag Kashyap) has been making contemporary movies only which usually contain a known character whom the audience can connect with. Here it’s a different case; it’s not the 60’s of India but the 60’s of Mumbai, unknown to most. So the way the story has unfurled I think is in the most natural form that could have been made. Even people who criticise the film will agree that it’s a treat to the eyes when it comes to sets and costumes.

Chitchor is a light hearted film about Geeta who ends up with two suitors after her father goes to bring home a prospective groom and mistakenly picks up the wrong man. Chitchor represented a middle-of-the-road cinema which was making its presence felt in the late 70s. In contrast to extravagance seen in usual Bollywood films, movies such as Chitchor relied on a strong plot, effective characterisations, smooth narrative and hummable tunes. Director Basu Chatterje intersperses the main plot with small incidents which help portray the various dimensions and shades in the characters. The simple treatment is embellished by small instances of comic incidents which are subtly introduced. There is a streak of innocence about the romance that signifies the essence of this movie, a typical Basu Chatterjee presentation, so infectious, so appealing. Simple, realistic and aesthetic to the core, you will want to revisit and experience the joy of quality and meaningful cinema. No big stars and devoid of glamour, this was a standout offering by Rajshri Productions.

The final movie we watched in class was Manthan: A veterinarian, Dr. Rao, makes a visit to a village, where he intends to commence a co-operative society dairy for the betterment of the rural people. Though I found the movie tp be a bit slow, what I found interesting was that it was produced by the farmers community; as in a small amount was collected from over 5 lakh farmers in Gujarat for the production of the film. The film has a timeless message: It is set against the backdrop of Operation Flood which replaced the era of measly milk production and restricted distribution with one of plenty and depicted the bargaining power of the collective. In the film, it is shown through Dr Rao who comes to a Gujarat village to set up a dairy cooperative, which upsets all existing socio-economic equations. At one level, the economy is jolted out of stagnation, at another, the caste system is scoffed at. At another, feudal traditions are done away with. All this is done with fine performances, minimal dialogue and soothing music. Above all, “Manthan” is a director’s film. Benegal was earlier making Amul ad films and had made a documentary on Operation Flood. He uses his research here to devastating effect: the caste politics shown here is a result of a ground level work, and the district cooperatives in many States watched the film. Later, they went on to have their own cooperatives. Power of cinema, power of the vision of one man. A legend answering to the name of Dr Verghese Kurien.

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Week 10-14

As the first step of the project, we had to research on the topic assigned to us (as a group). We started of by researching on the basic needs of food and nutrition not just based on the place given to us (NGO – Orphanage) but in general as well. We had to make a module to present to those at the NGO as an interactive session at the end of the semester.

While working on the module and researching on the topic, I too learned a lot that I didn’t know before. We learned about preventive nutrition which is defined as a dietary practice directed towards reducing disease and promoting health and well being. After having completed our research, we had to brain storm and come up with a minimum of five ways in which the module could be presented. We noted down all the ideas that came up even if they were not possible to complete within the given time frame, etc.

The idea we finalised on was to design cards which would be used as a game played by the children to understand the different kinds of food and their nutritional benefits. We also designed a brochure of sorts that spoke about the food pyramid in a very basic sense for the children to understand. We also aided it with visuals; an animated video expelling in simple terms the need for nutrition, etc. Once our ideas were approved, we started looking for an NGO to visit.Getting an NGO that allowed interactive sessions was probably the hardest part of the module as no place allowed visitors. After making a lot of calls and asking around, the Bandra East Community Centre finally gave us permission to go interact with the children.

We started our visit by introducing ourselves to the children and making them feel comfortable by talking about their favourite food, etc. We then spoke to them about the food pyramid and explained the importance of different food items that children consume on a daily basis. Though we didn’t get too long to interact with the children at the NGO, we made the most of the little time we had. We presented to them a very simple module as they were all kids around the age of 5 or 6. What really surprised us was their level of enthusiasm and ability to understand what we were saying despite it being something completely new to them. They were able to answer most of the question we we asked and the response we got was really good too. We also played a small memory game with them a with the cards that we’d made which the really enjoyed. We showed them the video at the end which I feel helped them get a better understating of the concept due to the animation.

Overall the experience taught us a lot about how an interactive session is to be made especially when it comes to people who are completely new to the topic at hand. Though we had to keep interacting and making newer versions of the module, I realised that that was how it was always going to be and that integrating is a very fundamental part of design.

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Week 14

We altered the presentations, etc that we had made earlier and made on final presentation compiling all the information we had gathered. We had to individually meet ma’am again and finalise our presentation marking the completion of the second project. She gave me a few pointers on the wordings beside some of my pictures and asked me to have very minimal text. She also asked me to work on 3D renderings of my iterations before final review.

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Week 13

In today’s class we  had to show the presentations and progress we had made to ma’am. I had made a presentation with all the pictures I had collected during my research and had made an archive. Since I only had images from abroad or other states, she asked me to pick an area (Mumbai) and focus my research based on a particular place for more specification. I has also not put up the links for some of the images which I added later after my discussion. As I wanted to focus more on the Gabion wall we spoke a little in depth about that and I was asked to research more on how it is sustainable, materials require, etc.

Week 12

We had to create 4-5 iterations on our topic. I did 4 iteration on ways of entry of natural light. I also did a bit of research on sun angles and drew them out. I did not have my archive ready as yet which I started working on after meeting ma’am

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Week 11

We were asked to pick out one element from our mind map and do detailed research on it. I picked up lighting under cafe’s within interior design as my main focus point as I’ve always found cafe’s to me fascinating and felt that the light is what brings out its beauty.

We were then asked to create a visual archive of all the pictures, etc we collected while doing the research. I was surprised to find so many different ways of entry of natural light; skylight, French windows, gabion wall, etc. I learnt a lot during the research that I didn’t know before. It jotted down all the points I thought would help me and stored the pictures too.

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Week 14

We started off by discussing about the paper we had written so and clearing out all our doubts. We then had individual discussions with ma’am, reviewed our work and made the necessary corrections.

Towards the end of class we reflected on our journey through the year from who am I to our final project, the paper on the question based on our discipline. Seminar, for me, helped build character and get to know myself better. I learnt to write in different ways in the sense that I learnt a variety of writing styles as each of our projects required a different set of writing skills based on the genre required. . From learning about myself,  my surrounding, to opening up the creative part if my mind to finally exploring in depth about my topic of interest, seminar has been a fun learning experience that I truly enjoyed.