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Weaving light for Art Bengaluru 2018

Last year we did a lot more than make an installation for Art Bengaluru. Saving that for another eventy ‘we-did-a-lot-of-work’ video.  This was the fun bit: Making large 3D alphabets, woven with thousands of meters of thread on a metal structure, all topped up with some subtley beautiful El-wire. Oh Yeah!

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See some of the action in this 40-seconder:

This was a biggie 🙂

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THE Billboard that Breathes

Every once in a while a brief that really inspires comes along. This one was a breath of fresh air.  Time-coded fans to suck in air, an Air Quality Monitor, Real time display, loads of metal, mesh, pristine white hepa filters, and finally a compelling message.

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Minimal Tech maximised

This billboard was more an urban intervention meets brand activation meets experiential marketing.

Fun Fact: While it was one of the littlest billboards around the city, (we did make the Abbys Goafest 2018 shortlist…OOH), the real kicker here (read win) was that well-over 2 and a half million people saw this creative output. Not bots…or counting the eyeballs on-site. With the budgets we had when we made it, every single reaction on digital was organic. The good stuff. Happy to see millions of people care. Humanity…we still have faith in you.

The making of ‘THE Billboard that Breathes’ was fun. Artist, Coders, THE Workshop team, Art, copy, welders, things moved swiftly at THE Workshop.  On-ground it was tougher to get the billboard up than we anticipated. Plus we didn’t have a budget for a crane. People power!

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Long story short. We made an explainer video VO,  edit, et all. Somehow, Brut made a better one. We like the brut video. Peppy stuff.

Here’s the FB post that went viral: Love it when people comment, there were over 1500 concerned people. And thousands and thousands of shares. Whoopiee! Job done.

This is what we made.

The media did catch wind of this. Press mentions always make THE work feel a tad bit more rewarding. Here’s what they had to say:

The New Indian Express
Deccan Chronicle 
Times of India
The News Minute

Kerosene Digital

My Times Now 
UC News 
Daily Hunt 
Indian Express 
Times Of India (2nd article)
Newsfeed.co
News 18

Bangalore is just the start. India needed this installation. A movement has begun.

Part II : The Evidence reaches the right people.People who can change things.

 

Clean air –– THE people are fighting for you 🙂 

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Woodworking starts with THE Plank

How many things can one plank of wood be?

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Sometime late 2016, we ran one of our first woodworking workshops with Bram.  A year on in he’s back from France, and set up Bram Woodcrafting Studio in Mysore. Happy to say we’ve collaboratively run some of our most awesome hands-on woodworking workshops with his team.

Two questions to get started: What’s a plank got to do with this?

And…How does one make a plank, THE Plank?

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Space-saving, flat, minimalistic even, it’s one of the more functional woodworking projects to begin with ––  the design we made is a simple adaptation of the original. The original is a mystery. Known by many other names including the Viking Chair, African chair, One-Board chair, The Plank Chair, and popularly dubbed the world oldest and simplest chair design. Stuff that DIYers cut their teeth on. Literally. Magic with a saw.

And while Norway and Africa both don’t care who made the chair first, Bram and THE crew everyone had themselves a fun time.

Here’s what mentors and participants had to say:

We’re super happy to see people making and doing.  People come back for seconds, and, we’ve even had participants who have flown in from across the world. True story. Drop by THE Workshop and we’ll continue the conversation.

Interested to make and do stuff?

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THE grass is greener on World Environment Day

2 Locations. 5 Mentors. 1 Day. All things green. 40 cardboard boxes were packed, stamped and ready to be reimagined. This June 6, World Environment Day, THE Workshop conceptualised a hands-on experience for two of Embassy group’s tech parks in the Bangalore in association with The Fuller Life. Big ups to them.

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Manyata Embassy Business park, Nagavara and Embassy Tech Village, Devarabisanahalli. Nice to know that the people there were celebrating a day of environmental awareness, and making. 

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Each box has in it some old newspapers, a couple of plastic bottles, plastic bags and old electrical wire.

The challenge: No glue, no stapler. 20 minutes to ideate and build a sustainable product or concept design representative of the day’s theme. using all the items in the kit, including the box itself. All this with just a pair of scissors, a paper cutter and their imagination.

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Groups of 3 and 4 got together to get making. While some teams were swift to build out their ideas, others took things a level up, attempting more challenging builds making as many products as possible.IMG_20160603_133923.jpg

 What they made? Plant holders, stationery holders, a couple of funky wearable concepts, mobile cases, bookshelves, windmill, and  a compost kit.  Happy to see what some productive thinking under trees could conjure.

Guess we need a lot more of them apple trees. 

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Perspective is a powerful thing

Big, small, little, large, too young, too old, dark, fair, brown, black, loud, soft, smart, stupid, from here, from there, worships this, believes that, nobody, somebody, everybody. Think Happy Everyday.

(This was the copy that didn’t make it on the final installation)

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Sometime last year we were invited to partner with the Under25 Summit to be held early January this year. Founders Shreyans and Anto were open to ideas for an installation that echoed their ideology. Woopiee! Good time for us to work with a super-motivated and socially-active audience.

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While  mining for  ideas, we realised that perspective was what one of the core takeaways from this summit.

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We jogged through some surreal illusions before deciding on The Ames room: a perspective based optical illusion room, constructed with the walls, floor and roof at various acute angles. The sum effect creating an illusion where one person standing at one corner of the room seemed like a giant towering over another person standing at the opposite corner.

So DSC_0494we got our Hobbit boots on and summoned the white wizard. The build was simple enough, a week of cutting up plywood, metal sections and the painting repetitive patterns. Sometime around the end of our build we found out our venue was on the 7th Floor terrace of the World Trade Centre. Schematics shuffled, welds broken and we had a modular design in a couple of hours.

Friends and fairy folk stopped by around midnight to help us finish up. Post sunrise, we struggled for three hours to get a little perspective up to the 7th floor. Service elevator worries, a serpentine corridor to navigate that made the task Sisyphean. 10 am, the sun blazing on the northern terrace, our semi-fatigued motley crew all paint, grease conjured up the 12 x 8  illusion in wood, metal and rexine.

 

People were curious. How did it work? What was inside ? Was there a show? Was there a message? A surprise? Selfies, videos, like like like, happy times. End of story…We were delighted that one message resonated with everyone there. Perspective, is indeed a powerful thing. DSC_0548

Video coming soon 🙂

 

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Make merry music with this interactive Christmas tree

St. Gregorios Orthodox Cathedral brings in the yuletide with light, sound and a whole lotta happy making and doing.

Sometime in November an opportunity to make something for Christmas knocked on THE door. Bam! Ideas started flowing. We were looking for a Christmas experience, not just a tree. Something people could engage with, better still if the tree could return the merry gesture.

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A re-invented, interactive light and sound installation would come to life . THE Workshop + the bubbly youth of St. Gregorios Orthodox Cathedral church, Bangalore. What we made: a 3 octave PVC pipe organ  encircling a tree made of sensory lights and 300  Asparagus densiflorus saplings (they were closest to representing the fir).

DSC_0056Over 3 weeks the 15 ft tall merry maker was made by the community, for the community. Part at THE Workshop, part at the church. Fun times. Every pipe was rigged with a sensor which sets of the lights. All synced to how the user played the pipes.

The support was overwhelming, total strangers to woodworking, metalworking and electronics, a team of 30 sawed, welded, painted and connected this tree of joy.

The volunteers took to their work like true professionals, from carrying 25 kgs of steel sections on a moped to getting their best clothes stained with christmas paint colours and even standing on rickety ladders to put up the lights on the tree. There was nothing the youth of this church would say no to. 19th December 2015, D-day for the tree to be up and running. Work was in crunch mode. Around 90 wires had to be connected to the circuitry, 300 asparagus saplings had to be potted and put on the tree, the faulty LED strip of the star had to be reconnected.

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Sleigh bells ring and  in  3 hours,  wires are stripped and connected. Plants were potted and placed and the star brightly lit up the top of the tree. All this done. Everyone jumps on the bus to go carolling at 9 sharp. What a bunch of troopers!

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The response at the unveiling was heart warming, the little elves loved it 🙂 ecstatic even ! A few threw tantrums so they could linger a bit longer at the musical candy canes. The crowds gathered to watch the bright lights dance over the fresh life of the asparagus sapling plants they adopted, the tree drew in the community with its bright, warm and green allure.

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THE Christmas tree was not about just making something beautiful and sparkly. It was about the spirit of christmas. Giving time, sharing joy, working, singing, a happy collective creating magic together.

Twas’ indeed a wonderful gesture by  the priests and the committee of the St. Gregorios Orthodox cathedral  who made this possible. Plus the support of the youth community, Mr. Thomas V.T., the Choir,  St. Mary’s Women’s League and Sunday School who helped fund this.  .

Sparkles of  smiles, music, cheer and a little a idea to nurture. That’s THE right kinda christmas. Have a merry one world.

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Text & Photographs by Reuben Jacob 

Videos will be up soon.