After the rains come

“We are not going to be able to operate our spaceship earth successfully nor for much longer unless we see it as a whole spaceship and our fate as common. It has to be everybody or nobody.”

R. Buckminster Fuller, architect and inventor

Small is Beautiful is the theme for the India Pavilion at this year’s London Design Biennale. It showcases 150 stories and ideas for a more sustainable world, and features the work of LDA Design’s Dhrumil Kantharia and Tanushri Bahl.

The Pavilion presents a view of India that maps ideas between ecology, sustainability and design. Each story is one of innovation fuelled by a passion for a more ecologically resilient India.

Dhrumil and Tanushri’s short film ‘The Downpour’ shows how water could be managed differently for Vadodara, a city of two million in western India.

Vadodara is dotted with 19 lakes many of which suffer from poor water quality, bank erosion, habitat degradation and biodiversity loss. A tributary of the Vishwamitri river runs across the city from east to west. Slum housing hugs the riverbanks. A stormwater drain connecting some of the major lakes to the river is failing to cope with extreme weather events, threatening housing and lives, and dumping waste in towns and settlements.

The film presents a more holistic way of managing water by allowing the river to flood in open park areas, creating managed wetlands and protecting homes. The film describes ways to improve ecological balance and stability by better connecting the built environment to a sustainable water network.

Dhrumil explains how the short is underpinned by a masterplan that would transform Vadodara’s built and natural environments. “We wanted to show how better managing water – treating it as a friend rather than a foe – could not only make the city more biodiverse, but also transform living standards over the next 50 years.”

The Downpour is produced with support from the Sustainability Ideas Lab. 

The London Design Biennale promotes the global role of design with installations that demonstrate universal solutions to problems that concern us all. The 2021 event is curated by artistic director, Es Devlin, with the theme of Resonance.

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