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The Heritage Next Lab 1.0: Conservation & Conversation (by The Busride Labs): What can we learn by working with children? Tuttu and Sarang explore together the idea of working with kids, and how enriching the experience is for everyone involved. Tuttu is a spatial exhibition designer and self initiated Gnostic in conversation with Sarang, a multi-talented actor, writer and film-maker. The Heritage Next is an open, multi-disciplinary inquiry into the nature of Heritage Conservation.

Ayaz Basrai, The Busride Studio & Labs at WIP Sessions #07

In a most fascinating presentation to represent Asian Paints’ trend of ‘Alchemy of Memories’, architect Ayaz Basrai’s talk took the audience through The Busride Design Studio’s shift towards a public sphere, going into a more symbiotic approach to their work with collaborations, thought experiments, heritage conservation and futures’ research that steer away from the commercial work he has been known to do.

Heritage Next, A Collaboration between The Busride Labs & Asian Paints

Heritage Next in association with Asian Paints, is a futuristic look at heritage conservation which looks at the richness of the past and the speculative visions of the future.

Work in Progress, Re-imagining the Ruin.

The Church of Saint Augustine was abandoned in 1835 after the Portuguese government began evicting many religious orders in Goa under their new repressive policies, and the subsequent neglect caused the vault to collapse in 1842. The body colllapsed soon after in 1871. We’re wondering what it could be in 2035. #HeritageNext

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Lab 02 Mar 2018

ColourNext 2018: Heritage Next, The Busride Labs and food for thought from WIP Sessions #07

In taking on this task of re-interpreting heritage, The Busride Studio reaffirms its steps in the recent past to shift focus “towards a public sphere, going into a more symbiotic approach to their work with collaborations, thought experiments, heritage conservation and future research that steer away from the commercial work they have been known to do,” quoting Design Fabric.

Why Conservation needs a rethink & how is Heritage gearing up for the unknown new age?

Being declared a heritage structure is not necessarily the best thing in our country. Let’s consider a few instances. You’ve been living in a house that your family has owned for generations, built in the 1900s, about a 100 years before today. Then along came the heritage conservation authority and declared your home a heritage structure. You were asked to keep things in their present state or maintain and upkeep them; which means you can’t remove parts of the outer facade and interiors; or add a more utilitarian modern-looking element just because you felt like it. Or you perhaps aren’t aware if the kind of craftsmen who built your home back then can be employed to make this home “beautiful” and heritage-like again. The roof leaks. The windows must look just as they are. It doesn’t really feel like your own home anymore. This is not make-believe. This is a true case in a city called Nagpur, of people who would rather not be named. 

Or consider the case of Bandra, an erstwhile Portuguese hamlet, that has been the muse of many an artist, architect, designer, and traveler all these years. There is a certain pride that a Bandra resident takes every time he/she utters the word “Bandra”, with that slightly foreign lilt of an emphatic “uh” at the end of “Bandruh…”. Bandra has over a 100 declared heritage structures, but not all of these are Grade 1 buildings. Consider Goa or Chandni Chowk. There are many such romantic precincts in India that take pride in “heritage” but not much is known about what happens to the ones which aren’t Grade 1 structures. How do conservation policies and practices address “living” heritage and culture?

The Heritage Next Lab 1.0: Conservation & Conversation (by The Busride Labs): What can we learn by working with children? Tuttu and Sarang explore together the idea of working with kids, and how enriching the experience is for everyone involved. Tuttu is a spatial exhibition designer and self initiated Gnostic in conversation with Sarang, a multi-talented actor, writer and film-maker. The Heritage Next is an open, multi-disciplinary inquiry into the nature of Heritage Conservation.

The points made above might not be factually correct, but they are not too far from reality either. While one can argue that Heritage is intangible; that many heritage precincts are well-preserved; or that heritage itself is “alive” like an organism in a sense and therefore will also die - Heritage Conservation is a subject of many debates, discussions, rules and regulations. Ironically, as Ayaz Basrai (of The Busride Design and The Busride Labs), pointed out in the Design Fabric WIP Session #07 at ColourNext 2018, “By the time [urban or conservation] policies come into place, they’re too outdated as the city itself has changed from when the policies were first conceptualised, to when they were put into practice.” It’s time to question these practices and perhaps work towards more flexible, accommodating and robust ones.

Ayaz Basrai, The Busride Studio & Labs at WIP Sessions #07

In a most fascinating presentation to represent Asian Paints’ trend of ‘Alchemy of Memories’, architect Ayaz Basrai’s talk took the audience through The Busride Design Studio’s shift towards a public sphere, going into a more symbiotic approach to their work with collaborations, thought experiments, heritage conservation and futures’ research that steer away from the commercial work he has been known to do.

In Heritage Next, The Busride Labs and Asian Paints make a multi-disciplinary inquiry into the nature of Heritage Conservation

In an attempt to rethink the practice of Heritage Conservation and make it more inclusive of and relevant to the different narratives of a city, The Busride Labs (Goa) & Asian Paints have come together to launch Heritage Next. In taking on this task of re-interpreting heritage, The Busride Studio reaffirms its steps in the recent past to shift focus “towards a public sphere, going into a more symbiotic approach to their work with collaborations, thought experiments, heritage conservation and futures’ research that steer away from the commercial work he has been known to do.”, as Design Fabric’s post-event coverage quotes.

Heritage Next, A Collaboration between The Busride Labs & Asian Paints

Heritage Next in association with Asian Paints, is a futuristic look at heritage conservation which looks at the richness of the past and the speculative visions of the future.

The idea of Heritage Next is to document and facilitate interdisciplinary learnings and arrive at larger understandings together, through inclusive discussions and workshops, on the future of preservation activities, enhancement, and continuity of age-old systems and artifacts. Participants at the Heritage Next Labs spent two days exploring ideas, sharing techniques and insights from their own experience, and discussing ways in which a common grammar could emerge for conservation.

At the WIP Session, Ayaz went on to elaborate how the city needs a more conscious citizen too, and how the urban design or heritage conservation can be thought of in more intangible or experimental ways, using the example of self-initiated projects like The Gypsy Kitchen or The Bpmbay Boomtown Futures project. He also triggered discussions around data and cultural mapping and the various cross-connections between AR/VR, Intelligence and futuristic human settlements.

Work in Progress, Re-imagining the Ruin.

The Church of Saint Augustine was abandoned in 1835 after the Portuguese government began evicting many religious orders in Goa under their new repressive policies, and the subsequent neglect caused the vault to collapse in 1842. The body colllapsed soon after in 1871. We’re wondering what it could be in 2035. #HeritageNext

While this article is in no way a conclusive end to the conversation triggered by heritage and its intimate ties to the urban fabric, Heritage Next does provide us all food for thought. Team CQ left the WIP Session with curiosity over what’s going to happen at the next Heritage Next workshop and how heritage in India is being rethought for the future. More soon as CQ gets behind-the-scenes at The Busride Labs later this year.

This article is an opinionated version of the post-event update on Ayaz’s talk at the WIP Sessions #07 by Design Fabric held at ColourNext 2018, India Design. Follow updates from The Busride Labs, HERE; and keep up with the latest on Heritage Next. Here’s how CQ broke the news on The Busride Labs when it was founded last year.

For a broader overview of the WIP session #07 featuring Pavithra Dakshit, Ayaz Basrai, Suket Dhir & Archan Nair, read Design Fabric’s Event Log, HERE

The next WIP Sessions by Design Fabric will take place on March 29 as part of Design Fabric Festival. Click HERE to know more about DFF.