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BAMBAIYA VR

Bambaiya VR is a Virtual Reality project that manoeuvres South Mumbai to share and build upon the cultures, stories and histories of the city.

THE EXPERIENCE

The experience is designed as a cab-ride in common Mumbai neighbourhoods and locales. One sees themselves inside a taxi with taxi-driver driving them to known but unnamed locations and narrating the local histories.

THE FICTIONAL IRANI CAFE

To avoid misrepresentations the places are fictional but the portrayal isn’t. The Irani café is complete with chequered table-cloth, antique furniture, the signage, the quintessential raspberry soda, the Irani owner and other details.

THE KOLIWADA

The Koliwada depicts the turmoil of its people as the polluted seas is affecting fish-produce. The high-rises are shown to take-over the landscape as plastic fish float in the air and the traditional fishery business is rendered extinct.

THE MILL-LANDS & CHAWLS

The mill-lands and chawls with all its architectural characters are depicted in a sea of the globalised world that looms above, ready to swallow them into oblivion.

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Showcase 13 Mar 2019

Take a taxi-drive with Bambaiyya VR and explore Mumbai through Virtual Reality

Bambaiyya VR is a virtual reality project spearheaded by 5 individuals who are recreating the lived experience of Mumbai city. Navigating Mumbai in the quintessential Mumbai kaali-peeli, Bambaiyya VR takes viewers on a joyride across landmark communities and places that characterise the city. But it’s not real, it’s virtual reality AKA VR!

Mumbai is loud, colourful, smelly and chaotic. And all this chaos is great fodder for creative pursuits. You have the crowd, the ethnicities, the food and places to name a few, that have made way into books, interesting maps, art in public and private spaces, fashion and perhaps every visual entity. And then there is the virtual world of Instagram, Behance and other digital portals with endless creative manifestations. What next? Recreate them into the lived experience?

BAMBAIYA VR

Bambaiya VR is a Virtual Reality project that manoeuvres South Mumbai to share and build upon the cultures, stories and histories of the city.

Meet Bambaiyya VR, the brainchild of a group of freelancers – Archit Vaze, Salil Parekh, Jyoti Narayan, Alap Parikh and Tejas Nair. It adopts elements, motifs and imagery that represent the city. These elements were converted to illustrations that led to building places and precincts; the CST, BMC Building, an Iranian café, a Koliwada precinct and the chawls. The project manoeuvres Mumbai to share and build upon the cultures, histories and the stories of how the city has come to be. And an introspection into the times to come. And the user experiences this in the form of virtual reality as they find themselves in the backseat of a Mumbai taxi with the taxi-driver taking them to places and imparting information about them. The idea involves getting young citizens of Mumbai or the “millennials” interested in the city’s history and guide tourists. 

THE EXPERIENCE

The experience is designed as a cab-ride in common Mumbai neighbourhoods and locales. One sees themselves inside a taxi with taxi-driver driving them to known but unnamed locations and narrating the local histories.

The user experiences this in the form of virtual reality as they find themselves in the backseat of a Mumbai taxi with the taxi-driver taking them to places and imparting information about them.

The experience

All locations are unnamed. Before Girgaum became an official place on the map, the name described a collective of mills. The project tries to use it in that context. But even though some places are fictional but the portrayal isn’t. The Irani café is complete with chequered table-cloth, antique furniture, the signage, the quintessential raspberry soda, the Irani owner and other details. The Koliwada depicts the turmoil of its people as the polluted seas are affecting fish-produce. The high-rises are shown to take over the landscape as plastic fish float in the air and the traditional fishery business is rendered extinct. And finally the chawls with all its characters are depicted in a sea of the globalised world that looms above, ready to swallow them into oblivion.

THE FICTIONAL IRANI CAFE

To avoid misrepresentations the places are fictional but the portrayal isn’t. The Irani café is complete with chequered table-cloth, antique furniture, the signage, the quintessential raspberry soda, the Irani owner and other details.

THE KOLIWADA

The Koliwada depicts the turmoil of its people as the polluted seas is affecting fish-produce. The high-rises are shown to take-over the landscape as plastic fish float in the air and the traditional fishery business is rendered extinct.

To avoid misrepresentations the places are fictional but the portrayal isn’t.

The rhetoric is a common one; told and retold over time. But it is important that it is repeated and relooked as many cultures and practices are on the brink of extinction. VR is perhaps an easier, fun and more interactive interface for some to get the point across more effectively given the younger generation’s interaction with the world around them is increasingly digital today.  As next step, the team is working on illustrations for an app and a book.

THE MILL-LANDS & CHAWLS

The mill-lands and chawls with all its architectural characters are depicted in a sea of the globalised world that looms above, ready to swallow them into oblivion.

 

The project was submitted as a proposal to the Prince Claus Fund and the British Council under the theme of “Contemporary Take, Beyond Cultural Heritage” in 2017. Bambaiyya VR has also documented snippets of their work on Tumblr and Instagram. Take the taxi joyride here!

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