Artefacting @ India Design Forum

photos by Arne de Knegt
Esteemed speakers from the design, art & architectural spheres combined for the India Design Forum at Le Meridien Hotel in Delhi on the 9th and 10th of March. Alex White Mazzarella was invited to present Artefacting’s work as part of an Urban Response panel that aimed at discussing approaches to urban development and management in 2012 India.

Amitabh Kant of the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation Limited presented Master Planning and New Urbanism as the developments forms that are rushing in new Indian Cities. But there were questions from the crowd commenting on “at what cost”. Truth is large-scale master planning & development is simply not geared to cradle the growth of a community’s culture and identity.

And that is where Artefacting came in, on that other side of the spectrum, community based projects in Dharavi and Willets Point as case studies of how art can stimulate and catalyze development at an intimate level.
“To progressively develop cities you have to first understand people and place. To do this we embed ourselves in a community through immersion.” This was Artefacting’s introductory message.

Made clear is that an Artefacting type operation can compliment top-down development to properly engage people at a local level and catalyze the manifestation and practice of local cultures and to actively boost social cohesion requisite for citizenship.


The Beehive installation was presented at IDF alongside “Buzzing Dharavi”, a collection of 18 framed photographs that depict the process of Anish Kapoor’s cardboard canisters as they landed in Dharavi as gallery waste and their re-appropriation to an art that references the people and place that recycles them.
Other photos highlighted the local life of Dharavi, and the artistic interventions incited by Artefacting over its’ three-month immersion.

Audiences meandered into the installation during lunch and tea break hours, entering into the Beehive experience – surrounding themselves by the sounds of recycling and life in Dharavi’s alleyways.