KARACHI: A student of the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture (IVSAA) has won a competition to design a shade for a public place like Sea View where the saline environment makes it difficult to plant trees.
Fourth-year’s Quratulain Shamim created a parasail-like canopy that was presented by the Goethe-Institut for its Urban Visions: Clifton Beach, Karachi, at the IVSAA on Thursday with Goethe-Institut Pakistan Director Dr Markus Litz and Consul General Dr Christian Brecht. Over three years, the institut plans to install 100 canopies at the shore, from McDonald’s to the Floating Ship restaurant and beyond, if DHA approves it, said Kashif Paracha, programme coordinator. If the idea succeeds, it can be expanded to cover parks.
The project’s idea was borrowed from German artist Joseph Beuy’s concept of ‘Social Sculpture’ that gets human creativity to work for society. Environmental conditions in the German city of Kassel, where shade and relaxation spots were scarce, was similar to Karachi’s. Beuys initiated an urban forestation project, 7,000 Oaks, which was aesthetically and environmentally good for the city.
Quratulain Shamim said that she had intended to make something that would attract people enough so they would not vandalise it. “I wanted something that merged with the landscape rather than tried to overpower it.”
IVSAA’s Parvez Ansari said that Goethe-Institut had asked architecture students to design a canopy for their community project a year ago. The whole class had participated, turning it into a class project. This canopy was chosen out of 19 others. Ansari said that it is a prototype and would be altered for other requirements. But this particular design was preferred because it was a “very minimal, practical and sculptural model”. “The best part was that it was buildable,” he said.
Talking about the practicality of the design, Ansari said that it is cheap, easy to build and can also be used for advertising. “Its success, however, depends upon the community’s participation,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 25th, 2011.
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