SPACES FEST 2019, a four-day celebration of SPACES was inaugurated by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at Kanakakkunnu Palace, Trivandrum. Aimed at making art and architecture inclusive through literature, SPACES FEST opened its gates at the capital city on 29th August 2019. The inaugural ceremony was attended by Rakesh Sharma (First Indian Astronaut), Vijay Garg (The Council of Architecture- COA), Kadakampally Surendran (Minister for Tourism) and Ravi Deecee of DC Group. An open space for art and different thoughts, SPACES FEST is organized by DC Books Foundation and DC Books. The event is supported by Kerala Tourism.
This festival is an endeavour to shine light on the context and the nature of design and aesthetic sense we have culminated towards as communal and social beings. With 100 plus sessions, workshops and 300 plus speakers including practicing architects, industry experts and dignitaries, historians, academicians, writers, social scientists and architects from Spain, Srilanka and Singapore, SPACES FEST is first of its kind.
Poet Satchidanandan is the Festival Director. Architect T.M Cyriac is the Festival Curator. Discussions on History, Design, Cinema, Vastushastra, Art, Politics, Philosophy, Literature and Architecture will be held simultaneously at three venues and workshops on Bamboo Crafts, Pottery, Mural Paintings and Circus will be held at the fourth venue – Chithrasala.
The imminent speakers include Madhav Gadgil, Rakesh Sharma, Shashi Tharoor, Ira Trivedi, Vikas Dilawari, Prakash Raj, T.M Krishna, N.S Madhavan, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Neelam Manjunath, Bose Krishnamachari, Resul Pookutty, Srilankan Architect Palinda Kannangara, Sunil P Ilayidam and Sara Joseph. Book Installation by artist Riyas Komu and film festival by Shaji N Karun will add colour to the festival.
The first day of the event saw a lineup of literary personalities, social thinkers, environmental activists, film celebrities and architecture pioneers from Spain, Germany, Singapore, and Srilanka. The first edition of the event will host sessions focusing on art, design, culture, philosophy, literature, cinema, politics, design and architecture.
The event was initiated with a panel discussion on ‘City and Identity: J.C Alexander’s Trivandrum’, the three panelists, Dr Ashalatha Thamburan, Ar. Kasthuri Rangan and Malayinkeezh Gopalakrishnan equally put forward their concern on modern architecture’s negligence of the traditional architecture. Pritzer prize winner Ar. B.V Doshi in video conversation with Dr.Sowmini R. and Dr.Manoj Kumar Kini was one of the highlights of day one.
Day two of the SPACES FEST commenced with discussions on topics that ranged from Mahabharata and Life in Epics to the Design revolution in the digital age. A discussion on Contemporary Arts and Public Spaces in Kerala featuring Kavitha Balakrishnan and G. Ajitkumar was held on the second day of SPACES FEST. Other prominent architects like Ar. Palinda Kannangara, Ar. Sathya Prakash Varanashi, Dr. Benny Kuriakose, Ar. Dean D’Cruz, Ar. Jaigopal Govind Rao and Ar. Kasturi Rangan have been a part of this event.
The session Laurie Baker: The Man, His Architecture & Legacy at SPACES FEST, featured some of Laurie Baker’s disciples and friends sharing some fond memories with him. Ar. Dean D’Cruz, Geetha Narayanan, Ar. Jaigopal Govind Rao, George R. with Ar. P. B. Sajan as the moderator shared their views on Laurie Baker’s architecture and him as a person.
Geetha Narayanan spoke from her early days about her personal experiences with Mr. Baker. Then George R. talked about the concepts he had shared with Laurie baker. He said Baker was the one who wanted to construct the entire universe instead of constructing a house. Ar. Dean D’Cruz and Ar. Jaigopal Govind Rao shared their experiences and opinions on his architectural style as well.
This was followed by an interesting question answer session where the conflict of relevance Baker’s style in the current times was discussed. Ar. P.B. Sajan concluded the session by talking about Laurie Baker’s views and expectations of architecture.
SPACES FEST will give the audience a more refined perspective on topics ranging from Culture to Politics. It’s very important for us to experience the nature of the social, moral and ethical fabric of our culture. Being citizens of a country with a diverse cultural background an in-depth knowledge about our very culture and its various layers can help them transcend a path of interesting information in the most engaging way.
Participants of the festival can think freely on various topics. Listening to intellectual minds will help them experience and learn about the various facets of our current social existence and how we evolved into the social beings that we are now. The perfect platform for students to evolve, SPACES FEST provides students a venue to see and experience for themselves the various unique design concepts helping them expand their horizon of imagination like never before.