[at CEPT University] Workshop brief: Ahmedabad is distinctly fractured. There is one aspect of the city’s life which is very pious and frugal and bases its value on community service and ethics. There is yet another aspect of the city which is speculative, expansive and entrepreneurial. I am not placing a moral value on either. Through the framework of a past project that I had done, I am suggesting that these two can be brought together. There can be a schematic for utility based public structures that incorporate cultural and social functions as well. Doing so will not only create a link between public needs and public imagination but will also attempt a connection between the urge to serve the public and the desire to render a service to the public and charge for it, thereby creating a sustainable node for trading within the community. The creation of such nodes is entrepreneurial at a scale which the voice and sentiment of the street can still be heard and reflected upon. We will identify structures that the public space needs in terms of facilities that might need to be provided. Such structures might need to be provided in the form of services that are sold (chai shops, snack shops) or allowing communities to express or realise a need (play ground, local farm, medicinal plant herbarium). Once such structures are identified, they can be mashed together in di!erent combinations based on aesthetic play, novel placement for neighbourhoods and an imaginative renewal of what has essentially become a dry and functional sprawl of a city. Design professionals might enjoy and find meaningful their participation in a mashup exercise that also critically weighs the value of each new notion of the urban that each mashup proposes. Purely functionalist approaches to crafting our urban neighbourhoods have failed and we need fiction, speculative storytelling and the crafting of dreamworlds in equal measure in order to create a certain fluidity that will put us all at ease.
[At Digital Game Design, National Institute of Design Bangalore] A ten day workshop with the first year students. Some thoughts behind the workshop contents follow. A game is literary form. It is a way of telling stories in an immersive manner. The form of the game and the process to arrive at it are not different from each other. The experience of a playing a game can only be understood by playing it. On being narrated, it will only denote the nature of the metadata of the experience. This reflects the nature of code and rules. Within a rule-based system, players seek liberation. Liberation is towards arriving at a stage where there are no rules. Understanding rule-based systems means to understand that liberation is not possible. The density of rules that exists keeps changing though.
The game design process involves designing a game that will yield another game. Narrative extrapolation is a process similar to designing an experiment as a part of a scientific research process. Experiments are the only way of proving something and likewise games are the only way of delivering an experience that need not be imagined any more.
[at Arts & Humanities, CEPT University] The workshop introduced the Master’s students to different ideas and techniques involved in animation. It discussed some of the following ideas: animism, illusion of motion, memory, screen and interface, generative code, and recording.
[at dis-locate – Tokyo/Japan] An open public art workshop for the community as a part of the dis-locate festival. The workshop discussed methods and contexts for starting a public art practice and let some exercises with the participants.
[at Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology] The course introduced the second-year students to different traditions of philosophical enquiry into science-fiction literature and cinema. This introduction will then be followed by an exploration of the relation between science and politics in India. This will involve a review of the work and publications of science academies around the country and extrapolate the kind of fictional worlds they can lead us to imagine.