Capital’s Red Fort to Hold the First Ever Design Biennale
This December, Delhi will be the home for the replicas of several iconic Indian buildings and structures, such as the new Indian Parliament, Tamil Nadu's Velankanni Railway Station, and Srinagar's Shalimar Bagh, as part of the nation's inaugural art, architecture, and design biennale. This will be housed in the Red Fort of the national capital for a week.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to inaugrate the India Art, Architecture and Design Biennale (IAADB) on December 8 organized by the Union Culture Ministry. The IAADB will boast seven distinct thematic exhibitions, meticulously curated to spotlight India's diverse artistic and architectural legacy.
Each day of the week-long celebration will be centered around an original topic, enhanced by thoughtfully selected exhibitions. The interactive installations that go with the exhibitions have been created to provide an immersive experience in both physical and digital forms. According to sources in the Culture Ministry, a coffee table book would be brought out on each theme, with 75 items each, marking each celebrating the 75 years of Indian Independence.
The topics include "Gardens of India," "Doors of India," "Architectural Wonders of Independent India," "Indigenous Design," "Baolis (step-wells) of India," "Temples of India," and "Women in Architecture and Design."
In addition to the exhibition, there will be interactive sessions with the public and panel discussions to raise awareness of India's built heritage. Together with the National Council of Science Museums, the Archaeological Survey of India, the Lalit Kala Akademi, the Council of Architecture, and the Ministry of Education's outreach division; the National Gallery of Modern Art is curating the exhibition.
The subject matter will include mythology, popular culture, art, architecture, ecology, heritage, well-being, and popular culture. A variety of distinctive Indian doors and gateways will be celebrated on the first day dedicated to "Doors of India," while various gardens will be showcased on the second day on"Gardens of India." The third day will be devoted to the "Baolis of India," where it will be discussed how they evolved from functional buildings to highly adorned pieces of art and how they were ideal instances of a cultural space. Four architectural styles—Dravida, Nagara, Vesara, and solitary temple architecture—will be the subjects of the section on "Temples of India." Modern Indian landmarks such as the new Parliament, the Indian Institutes of Technology ITs of Delhi and Gandhinagar, and the Dudhsagar Dairy in Mehsana, Gujarat, will be featured in the subject of the architectural wonders of Independent India. Women in Indian architecture are highlighted in a separate section altogether.
The Biennale will also be an introduction to the cultural space in Delhi at Red Fort. At the Museum Expo 2023, held in May this year, five Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) were signed between the Culture Ministry and the cities of Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Ahmedabad, and Varanasi denoting special cultural spaces for citizens.