British Council, Delhi, India 2013
An exhibition to start a collaboration with the villagers from Hariharpur. They were invited to Delhi to present themselves, their village, and engage with international students that joined the design and building of the exhibition.
‘Building Community’ was an exhibition showcasing recent and upcoming projects of the team. The exhibition focused on the processes behind the work, rather than simply showing the final outcomes. Rough sketches, material samples, structural tests and on-site footage conveyed the reality of working ‘in the field’ with the local community. It captured an attempt to think with the hands, and design intuitively in response to shifting and fluid conditions on the ground. In advance to the exhibition, the team led an AA Visiting School, with nine international participants. Over a period of ten days the team designed and built a series of material tests and 1:1 mock-ups for the following project in Uttar Pradesh in a gallery as part of the exhibition. The process was ‘live’ - on the site and in the public realm - from start to finish. This socially engaged way of producing architecture reflects a practice that is fully embedded within the community. On the final day of the Visiting School the team hosted an event at UnBox Festival - sharing and discussing their work with a wider audience. The exhibition was also an opportunity to test construction techniques and knowledge typical to Hariharpur and invite members of the community to Delhi to discuss and reflect on the upcoming collaboration that started a month after the completion of the exhibition.