Offerings by two Indian Designers command the attention at Sharjah Architecture Triennial 2023

Traditional Bhunga hut illustrations by Hunnarshala Foundation, Bhuj and a 3-Minute Corridor of mud by architect Vinu Daniel of Wallmakers celebrate resilience amidst scarcity & sustainability amidst degradation at second edition of Sharjah Architecture Triennial 2023 (on till March 10, 2024) showcasing a total of 11 installations from various continents.

From a papier-mâché interpretation of a historic Angolan marketplace to a concrete tent in the middle of Al Madam, Sharjah’s ghost village, the event this time  encompasses six different locations across the city of Sharjah, with 11 installations and exhibitions from West Asia and Africa.

Hunnarshala Foundation with Aaabhat and AINA, Back to the Future, 2023.Photo by Danko Stjepanovic, courtesy of Sharjah Architecture Triennial

Offerings by two Indian participants highlight the nation’s cultural evolution and its indigenous architectural concepts, deeply embedded in centuries-old regional traditions.

The Bhuj based Hunnarshala Foundation’s multidisciplinary architectural project ‘Back to the Future’, in collaboration with Aabhat and Aina, showcases the ingenuity of Indian artisans and craftsmen who harness traditional building skills in the construction of their homes.

Providing visitors a glimpse into the ‘bhunga houses’—the earthquake-resistant mud structures native to Kutch in Gujarat. The bhunga houses survived the devastating 2001 Bhuj earthquake which destroyed many other buildings.It is said that the bhunga circumvents the seismic forces that rise and whirl back into the earth because of their circular walls.

Wallmakers, 3-Minute Corridor, 2023.Photo by Danko Stjepanovic, courtesy of Sharjah Architecture Triennial

Exhibited at Al Qasimia School’s rooms on the ground floor, Bhungas celebrates the underrated architectural marvel of India.

As per Sandeep Virmani, director of Hunnarshala Foundation, “There are several traditions in India and beyond that are rooted in intuitive learning and their logic is to embrace nature rather than oppose the forces that sustain us.”

Inspired by Gandhian ideology of using local materials, Vinu Daniel and his studio, Wallmakers set up  the 3-Minute Corridor as an immersive and interactive installation where visitors are encouraged to walk and explore the implications of exploiting resources.

Hailed as a “green architect,” his award winning Daniel’s work has been exhibited at Barbican Centre in London. 

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