Design process

My design process comprised of trying many fragmented things and then tying the explorations of those fragments.


From Gondhal, Bharud and Lavani (Tamasha) Gondhal I the only performance which still is weaved with traditions and everyday life of the people. Bharud and Lavani have taken the place in the stage performance. Even if there is no proscenium, a temporary stage is built for Bharud or Lavani to happen. Gondhal also happens as a performance on stage, but it is still performed as a ritual at people’s homes.

Gondhal has 2 parts one is the pooja (act of worship) and another consists of addressing the gods and goddesses through performance. After studying gondhal through available videos of ritual following are the 4 major spatial configurations that emerged.

Study of spatial configuration for Gondhal

As Gondhal is a ceremony, every person attending is participating in the calling to God even if they are not viewing the performance for every moment. People happen to leave and come back to participate.

If this has to be only viewed as a performance, then the engagement factor has to be taken into consideration. Orientation and placement play a major role in it.

(Does it only have to be a performance? Or can it also be a ceremony)

Gondhal comprises of many acts and performance form stitched together. The performers keep on changing the orientation while moving from one act to the other. This means the orientation and viewing is going to be a dynamic process.

This helped to understand the requirement of varied viewpoints. Hence a multi-directional viewing is proposed.

Zoning explorations
Model explorations of performing area to explore possibilities of areas of congregation, intimacy and solitude

These explorations prompted me to explore levels in the ground. I shifted to clay for the exploration. But then i realised that the exploration wont be 3d sculptural and hence clay wouldn’t be the apt material to explore this. So I went back to cardboard models.

I faced major issues with finalizing ideas. The site prompted to be amongst the trees. I thought why not take the performance close to the trees. I remembered quickly the scene from the film ‘The croods’ when the family for the first time experiences the view from the tree top.

scene from the film ‘The Croods 2’

Then I realized that we as humans are excursing to the depths of universe. We travel in the airplanes. Would we be really fascinated with the idea of an intimate performance on the top or right under the tree canopy? i thought perhaps not.

Then my mind went to a scene in the film ‘Sholay’ where one of the protagonist to seek attention climbs the water tank (height). The embodied work had already showed me that connections at different levels and angles create more interest. So I thought of introducing a ‘Machan’ like structure.

Idea of performance happening at different level thus challenging the performers and the viewers

Above are few other ideas which were explored but left. All the Ideas I somehow weighed against the current climate change scenario and I chose frugality. The ideas were not taken forward as they did not hold a strong need. The design exploration is always a fight between an Idea budding from excitement and need and resource wastage. Its always a question of ‘at what cost?’.