VASANTHNAGAR: Fifteen architecture students, who travelled to four cities in Italy, will share photographs and audio visual media at an exhibition at the Alliance Francaise this weekend.
The event will include pictures of visits to various exhibitions, museums and buildings of architectural significance.
A Facebook campaign by DQ Labs, an organisation that provides guidance for design careers, opened a unique opportunity window for these youngsters.
Umesh Kumar G L, owner of DQ Labs, is an alumnus of IIT-Delhi and wanted architecture students to travel to places that he had only dreamt of when he was in college. "Architecture students can't learn in classrooms, they have to get out," he says. That is how the idea was born.
Slowly, Kumar started putting the plan on paper. With help from a couple of architect friends in Italy, he planned a 10-day trip in October to Rome, the Vatican, Florence and Milan. "We put up the competition details on Facebook. Students from across the country sent us their profiles," he says.
In Italy, the students used public transport, interacted with locals and visited important heritage buildings — both historic and contemporary. They also identified the underlying culture, politics, technology, geography and colour of Italy reflected in the architectural structures.
"Each was given a subject. Inspired by what they saw, the team will propose a brand new design element adapted to the Indian context," says Kumar.
For example, one of the students studied the garbage disposal system in Italy. Now, she will propose one for Bengaluru. "Visitors can vote for these proposals. The best few will be presented before the civic authority," says Kumar.
The team is also starting a petition to publicise Indian buildings on an international platform. In Venice, the team attended the 15th La Biennale International Architecture exposition, one of the most globally significant architectural events.
"Despite having outstanding architectural heritage, India has never participated in the event so far," says Kumar. Now he has started a campaign so that India can participate and showcase its architectural visions at the next La Biennale exhibition. "We plan to get signatures from architects and other citizens. We will then present this petition to the prime minister," he adds.
Esperienza, Alliance Française, Vasanthnagar, November 22 and 23 (Saturday and Sunday), 10 am. The exhibition and related events are open to all.