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Tree Of Life

Design heritage in a digital age.

We are all part of a whole--a family, a neighbourhood, a province and a planet. But what holds us together? Our heritage. How do we understand the vitality of this heritage? Through interactive storytelling, between the ancient and the novel.

DISCIPLINE

New Media Design, Universal Design, Accessible Design.

SECTOR

Manfacturing, Narrative Installation.

COLLABORATORS

Evy Design Studio, Paris.

Ravi Deepres, Birmingham City University.

International Open Elective, NID Paldi.

Ananth Krishnan, Igin Shaji, Namita Verma, Ronit Pandya, Suhas Sourav.

BRIEF

Our installation--The Tree of Life--was inspired by intricate lattice screens, engraved in the outline of a branched out tree, known as ‘Jaalis.’ These can be found in various corners of Ahmedabad, India. ‘Jaalis’ are believed to provide good health and wealth to the people for eternity. Our installation embodies the symbolic past of this tradition, and provides its design a touch of the urban. Everyone visiting the installation is encouraged to connect leaves to the branches of the lifeless tree, and breathe fresh air to it. These leaves would be embedded with the photographs of the people, connecting them to the culture of the city--an immemorial exchange between the past and the future.

"Once, I was 
your favourite tree,

your friendly neighbour.

Now I stand,
leafless and rotting.

But you can, 
give me leaves and

I can give back life."

The wires were bent and polished by hand. The parts were joined by spot welding. It was a 12 hour long process.

We started making the tree using mild steel rods in the workshop. It was then covered with steel armature wire.

People, places and architecture of Ahmedabad was shot on camera.

It was then printed on paper in B/W to give a neutral tone. 

Some of the leaves were made with acrylic sheet and the flower was made by 3D printing.

The flower was then given a paint job and polish work.

The wall hanging for the exhibition was made from tapestry by

laser cutting.

The podium was made with MDF. The necessary instructions and brief were described on

the podium.

3 languages, Gujarathi, Hindi and English 

were included for the crowd.

People who came started tying leaves to the tree. Regrowing the tree of life.

The set up was finally ready.

The leaves were scattered on the floor.

The podium was set to the right.

This paper was then cut in the shape of leaves in the laser cutting machine.

And finally as planned people together regrew the 'Tree of Life'.