A project of this scope could be a lifelong effort in research, documentation and presentation. To be able to best serve the goals of the proposal to IFA and to work within the given timeframe, we have had to come up with a way to scope the project. To do so we chose a multi-pronged approach:
- Time Selection
- Lenses of View
- Physical Mapping
This has meant that we have had to find people who have lived in this neighbourhood during a specific time, have interesting stories of their childhood to share and then are willing to be on record narrating them.
> Time to Visit
The project was envisioned as enabling the user to “travel back in time”. Most time travel as depicted in popular sci-fi works are time specific – one travels back to a specific instance in time.As we started to brainstorm more deeply, we realized that 1947 would a vital trigger to enable the broad cross-section of Malleshwarams populace to respond and engage deeply with contributions of their stories. From a fruit seller on the street to a bejeweled lady of the mansion, to the Engineer at the old Mill – 1947 seemed to be the common ground.
L to R : Kamya Ramachandran Interviews S. A.Wajid at the Mosque | Jiti Nichani Interviews B. G. Talgery at Nightingales Old Age Home | The Raos at their residence
We have thus conducted in-depth interviews with a majority of people people who are typically above the age of 75 and our likely to remember their childhood set in Malleshwaram during that larger, idealistic time for the nation. Our list of interviewees is accessible here >>
Interviewees and Research Team: In Random Order
> Lenses to View
Based on our initial interviews and the interests of the people who form the foundation of the project we have chosen 9 lenses through which one can view the neighbourhood. They are:
|Arts & Culture||Built Heritage||Eateries|
|Education||Human Hubs||Public Amenities|
Through these lenses one can access stories from people who lend a special insight about them. In an ideal case, the art installation will enable the audience to walk into the phone booth and by dialing each of these numbers access a story from each lens.
> Mapping the Physical
We have conducted an initial mapping of the neighbourhood. Keeping in mind that we would like it to connect to our artwork, this mapping exercise aimed at:
- Verification of previous localized data
- Creating 9 overlays of lenses that link the phones’ interface to specific nine lenses of the project
- Attempts to map the urban rhythm of Malleshwaram through abstractions.
The neighbourhood of Malleshwaram has greatly expanded from its proposed development in 1895. For the purpose of this project, we have retained the boundaries of this 1895 map to work within.
From Top Left: 1895 Map of Malleshwaram Map Plotting | Categories Braindump
In addition to curating about 50 locations that are of significance across the axis of our 9 lenses, the map is a partial representation that tries to capture the essence of the place, more than just a map with location pointers. The size of ‘Points of Interest’ is derived from their age, thus giving a visual picture of the old and the new and a sense of time in the place.
From Top: Screen Capture of Detailed Mapping – Sampige Road | Screen Capture of Detailed Mapping – Mohammedan Block | Research Team
Prachi Nagpal, a User Experience Designer from NID, spear-headed this aspect of the research. Working closely with her, our 9 research volunteers, traversed the neighbourhood multiple times to meet our objectives.