‘Haat Beat’ was the starting point to this design competition entry in 2005. Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation had invited entries for a Dilli Haat in Janakpuri - a massive site with a large residential audience, in a part of Delhi that had very few places to go out to. DTTDC has promoted music all across Delhi with its concerts and other initiatives. The idea was to give them a home for playful music and give these homes a place to play with music. This was the underlying layer that bonded the overall program of formal and informal shops to sell crafts and celebrate culture; toinject a new life into this part of Delhi and be its rhythmic ‘heart beat’. As a design philosophy, with two Dilli Haats already in the city, one questioned the design elements at multiple levels. Fundamentally, all Dilli Haats need to have a common ground of bringing artisans to interface with city dwellers. All these haats need their own identity to attract people not only from their own neighborhood, but from the city at large. One also had to look at evolving the language and imagery of these haats with time. They could not be imitatedextensions of the previous haats or imitations of villages in the city. They had to be progressive, in tune with today’s times and respecting the craft and cultural centricity of the project. The design solution therefore,is a conversation between the past and the present, acknowledgement of the traditional and its adaptation in contemporary times, in concept and in construction.
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