Location: Cept University Path, University Area, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
Team: Jwalant Mahadevwala (Andblack Design Studio, Ahmedabad) And Rooshad Shroff (Rooshad Shroff Architecture + Design, Mumbai)
Project Completed: 2012
100 wooden cylinders + 7,000 wooden discs + 26,000 staple pins + 72 hrs + 384 man hrs = 1 wooden canopy
As part of an initiative from DICRC (Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre), CEPT Ahmedabad, the Space Making Wood Workshop invited Jwalant and Rooshad (rooshadSHROFF architecture and design)to facilitate and design something in wood.
Although there was enough wood to play around with in the workshop, we actually got attracted to left over wooden members from the previous workshop. It comprised of these linear cylindrical wooden elements with tapering ends, which were well polished and finished but could not be used as they ended up being heavier than planned. Each of the wooden cylindrical pieces was heavy and chunky. Our first reaction on seeing 150 of these solid wood members was to deconstruct them. We wanted to make something that contradicts its heaviness and chunkiness. Also, while working with wood we are always attracted to its grains, and that expression we felt was missing in the pieces.
So, we actually sliced all the linear wooden elements into thin wooden discs. The idea was to connect the wooden discs and make something that would be fluid, light and flexible, in contradiction to its original chunky form. Each of the wooden discs was designed to have 6 holes along its perimeter and these holes were then manually connected to each other by using staple pins, almost like stitching the wooden discs together. What we got in the end was an extremely flexible, wooden cloth. Strings were attached to it and it was finally raised from the ground by a team of more than 20 people. The wooden cloth, once installed became a canopy, it was simple, discreet and hidden in between the existing trees. We called it, "wooden foliage" as it provided shade just like a tree. It did not stand out, it was not rigid, nor was it bold, it just hung there between the trees, like natural green foliage and discreetly did what it was meant to do; provide shade.
Without the help of SID students,participating karigars (craftsmen), Nikunj Choradiya, Prof. Krishna Shastri, Prof. Kirit Patel, Jay Thakker and of course DICRC we would have not been able to realise this design. A big thanks to all of you!