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D/CODE DESIGN BIENNIAL

Developing a digital experience for students, designers, and lovers of fine craft, to be introduced to virtual spaces designed by the top 100 designers in India.  




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The ︎︎︎ D/Code Design Biennale—the first virtual art and design festival in India—brings together the culture and commerce of the design industry, to explore how it can adapt and respond to extraordinary circumstances, such as the CoVID-19 pandemic.  
With a viewership of over 1M users in the first 6 hours of the biennale, D/Code was a collaborative effort of between India’s top 100 designers in the midst of the CoVID-19 pandemic—to reimagine how the beauty of Indian design can be shared widely and accessibly to a global audience.


D/Code Design Biennale ︎︎︎

“The Biennale covers various mediums of design expression in the online world, with digital walkthroughs, product displays, art installations, live chats and webinars.”





CREATING A VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE —






THE MODERN MAHARAJA: The Concept


Indian Maharajas have always had a flair for design that’s idiosyncratic and reflects their very own culture, travel influences and context. This Biennale aims to celebrate the inclination of Indian royals towards luxury by reinterpreting it in the modern context. The adaptive approach of our country gives flexibility towards the idea of blending styles along with culture and context to truly define Indian modernism. The Modern Maharaja respects culture, context, traditions, and heritage while being modern. He can be an artist, architect, influencer, fashion designer, author and so much more. 



THE PALACE OF DREAMS: The Venue


One can take a walk through this beautiful 3D render of the Palace of Dreams in Jaipur while enjoying the installations structured around the theme of the “Modern Maharaja.” As you progress through the Palace of Dreams, you will be introduced to significant elements of the architecture of Jaipur, with a modern twist:
  • broad avenues
  • grand arches
  • the square-shaped baradaris with multiple doorways
  • open-to-sky central courtyards



NIZAARA: The Mughal Tent


Arisen from the idea of a traditional Mughal tent, sprawled amid the greens of the forested cypress garden, this installation is a deconstructed recreation of the royal tents from the court of Shah Jahan, showcasing craft in a modern context. Reminiscent of the tent-like structure of the Sheesh Mahal, attributed to its peaked canopy, the various panels in the installation can be flipped to create a tent-like formThe play of light and shadow on glass by the cove of lit candles, and tall lanterns filled with the fresh scented gulaabs create a sensorial experience of the Palace of Glass as well as the Palace of Flowers.

The interplay of the colours, textures and materials in the magnificent Palace of Flowers inspired the interwoven use of metals, glass, wood and limestone in this installation.

The jalis, filigree, marble carvings, and stain-glass windows and screens were borrowed and fit into a modern narrative: the one of the Naksha (the map of a Maharaja's territory).



FARSH: The Real-Life Translation


The cypress floor tiles created were launched in collaboration with ︎︎︎ Bharat Floorings to celebrate their mutual love and passion for India’s rich design legacy.

Farsh - a collection of wall and floor tiles, inspired by Mughal aesthetics, recreates the beauty of marble floors with inlays interpreted for the first time through the technique of cast cement tiles.

The collection explores contemporary renditions of beloved Mughal motifs and was launched at the 11th edition of ︎︎︎ India Design ID









THE PROCESS OF DESIGNING —



THE PANELS: 


The series of moving wooden panels fan (that can rotate 360º) out to create a backdrop or come together to form a tent-like shape. Crafted in a contemporary context, glass, wood, and limestone are inlayed with metal.

Techniques:Etching on Wood Etching on Glass Metal Inlay on Wood Glass Inlay on Wood Through & Through Cut Outs (Water Jets or Laser Cutting) Tarkashi Metal Wire Inlay on Wood




THE FLOOR:


The flooring of brass and copper cypress trees inlaid in limestone recreates the ornate inlay which covers the floors of the Mughal Palaces and their innate love of carpets underfoot.

Techniques: Brass and Copper Inlay in Black Limestone



THE CANDLES:


The play of light and shadow on glass by the cove of flickering fragrant candles and tall lanterns filled with freshly scented gulaab create a sensorial experience of a Palace of Glass as well as a Palace of Flowers.

Techniques:
Etching on Glass




SKETCH UP PLANS: The Space





RENDERING: The Materials


This is the perfect atmosphere. a coming together of material, pattern, and natural elements for sensorial delights. The panels were rendered in different wood textures, in order to test different light & shadow effects in the virtual space.



MUSE: The Motif


The motifs were inspired by Palestinian embroidery and the Piri Reis map’s from the Ottoman empire.






PROJECT  DETAILS

        

Client:
The Times Group — for Pavitra Rajaram Design 

The Times Group is a long standing leader in the print business, as well as an emerging leader in all other forms of media. The Group's key brands include:

  • The Times of India, the world's largest broadsheet English daily
  • The Economic Times, India's largest (and the world's second largest) financial daily
  • Radio Mirchi, India's largest FM radio network

Team:
Pavitra Rajaram, Tanish Malji, Yukti V. Agarwal at Pavitra Rajaram Design. 

Timeline:
14 weeks (June–Sept ‘20)

Tools:
Adobe Illustrator, SketchUp, Rhino, Cinema 4D


Skills:
Space Design, 3D Modelling, AR Exerience Design, Motion Graphics, Metaverse, Concept Design, Product Design


  • Design based research into historical and cultural motifs, design, and concepts
  • Adobe Illustrator sketches to develop patterns, and surface design
  • SketchUp renders by the organizing teams to curate space and make layouts
  • 3-D renders to incorporate materials, textures, and light sources through the collaborator: Orvi Sufaces
  • Motion graphics and flat designs for promotion


Reflection:

With new experiences and learnings, comes a large need for patience and determination. 

Since this project was the first time I was working with several different softwares, and VR experience tools, I was learning a lot from the mentors and supervisiors I had. I worked a lot with managing the project, and understanding the needs of new software. This required a lot of determination to continue, and perserverence to push through the uncertainity of learning trajectories!



Disclaimer:
* THIS WORK WAS UNDERTAKEN DURING AN INTERNSHIP WITH PAVITRA RAJARAM DESIGN
** ALL WORK PRODUCT BELONGS TO PAVITRA RAJARAM DESIGN AND D/CODE
*** CONTENT ON THIS PAGE HAS BEEN TAKEN FROM D/CODE, CASAMIA, ORVI SURFACES, PAVITRA RAJARAM DESIGN, AND VARIOUS NEWS ARTICLES




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YUKTI V. AGARWAL


As a multidisciplinary thinker, my work aims to reimagine societies and futures through engaged research and purposeful design and innovation. 

︎︎︎ About


Brown | RISD Dual Degree Program

Majors 3 
    Textile Design  
    Psychology   
    Mindfulness Studies

Minor 1
    Art and Design History





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Current Work:
Brown + RISD Honors Thesis

How can the multisensorial design of public space facilitate moments of implicit mindfulness in momentary experiences—to develop more dispositionally mindful communities?