BENGALURU: When a group of architects were tasked with building an orphanage in a government school, they came up with an unusual upcycling solution. One that could benefit all of their social community projects.
“We were approached to convert four classrooms of a government school in Siddapura into an ophanage for 50 boys,” says Gayathri Shetty, Chairperson of Chairperson, Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID).
This was the time when Gunjan, an architect was working on a villa in the city that had close to five bedrooms. “The owners wanted to renovate the space and were disposing of high end basins and bathroom fixtures that were in good condition,” says Gunjan.
While at one end the team at IIID was looking at supplies and funds to build the orphanage, on the other Gunjan was trying to convince her client to donate their used supplies for the social project.
“These were high end fixtures, which even if you sell won’t make over Rs 500. So I asked them if they would be willing to donate it and they did,” says Gunjan.
She came up with the idea of a social warehouse project “Swap” last year in October, where architects and designers could store excess materials and used goods of their clients that are reusable.
“As architectures and designers, we have responsibility to not add to the landfill,” adds Gunjan.
Another villa she was designing had the owners doing away with the new mirrors they had just fixed because it didn’t go well with the design. “I told my client that I needed four mirrors for the orphanage. She too was more willing and got a trendier mirrors instead,” says Gunjan.
When the contractor of the project learnt about this, he volunteered to ship the mirrors to the orphanage.
The Siddapura project was built as a three fold project. “When the NGO Guardians of Dream approached us, we set off with our first stage of designing. Second was to collect goods and third was to reuse them to build the orphanage,” informs Shyamala Prabhu, chairperson elect, IIID.
Will Design for Free
The institute also plans to set in motion their initiative “Code”, where architects would dedicate five per cent of their professional time to design for free at the studio.
IIID’s social warehouse project Swap was inaugurated on Monday. The space is located at LANDMAARK building on Hosur Road, in Electronic City. “We want only good quality goods that can be upcycled. We won’t let the space become a dumping yard,” says Gunjan.
The team is now looking forward to fill up the warehouse with construction material by chanelising their networks. “Once every month we will take a review of the materials collected and those that are lacking. We shall also identify projects based on what we have,” says Gayathri.
She informs that the group has close to half a dozen projects lined up which include government schools and a small village in Kanakapura.
Call for Volunteers
Dayananda Reddy of Dayananda Foundation tied up with IIID for the warehouse project. In case a project falls short of donation, the team is also free to approach Dyananda who is willing to sell goods at a lower rate for community projects.
The team is now looking for volunteers who are willing to work at the Code studio and contribute to Swap. “We hope architects, designers, students, institutes, builders and the general public join us,” says Gunjan.
f you would wish to volunteer, you can write to firstname.lastname@example.org.