India is a land of festivities. We are diverse in our culture, language, practices, beliefs and celebrations. There are festivals that are locally rooted to the context, community of people and geographical location and also there are festivals that are common across the country, yet celebrated in a different manner at various places.
Festivals have been an intangible means of communicating religious beliefs, thereby sustain ancestral practises and convey messages that enhance living conditions within a society. They are also meant to take a break from the routine, to interact with others, to heighten emotional bonding, and thereby build memories to cherish upon.
Festivals can be seen happening at various scales; while Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in many gully’s across the country… festivals like Rann, Hornbill, and Pushkar Mela etc., are bound to that geographical locations. Depending on the estimated crowd which gathers during these festivities there are temporary shelters that are set up for providing certain facilities or for conducting activities. While most of the times these shelters are not designed by ones who have formal education, they are result of tested, tried and efficient methods of construction.
While the temporary spaces created during festivities have a ‘local’ touch to them, they are also getting transformed with the available resources and technological advancements. So, keeping in mind the historic, cultural, religious importance of the place, people and the festival and also utilising sensible materials and technology; how would one design the shelter that translates space into a place for a temporary time? How one could add value, enhance the ambience- image of the city; look at safety aspects, economical solutions, time for construction and yet evoke the emotions through spatial experiences.
The design challenge here is design temporary spaces for a specific festivity, for a particular location and context. It involves understanding the historic relevance of the festival, the symbolic meanings, the purpose, time constraints, locally available materials, climatological considerations, technological advancements and also that has mere or no impact on the ecosystem. The space chosen could be for any of the festivity and could be at any scale, irrespective of the number of people who congregate. It could be for any facility that can be used during the festivity. It shouldn’t be a design that is already in practice, but it could be inspired from that or modified considering various aspects.