Regular evening joggers stopped in their tracks, people who read about it flocked to the spot, families and kids who came to enjoy the sea face were drawn to the amphitheatre on Carter Road in Mumbai.
All this frenzy was to celebrate childhood through the installation designed by Rajiv Thakker and Quaid Doongerwala of architecture firm DCOOP for the campaign ‘Child in You”.
To mark the celebration of Children’s Day, CRY organized a campaign that ran across five cities of India between the 17th to 25th of November. These five cities, Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai, showcased installations designed by several well-known design firms accompanied by other activities that echoed the motto of the campaign, “Re – live memorable moments of learning and unlearning and Reinforce the need for a school for every child.”
Memory Machine an installation of stacked up MDF boxes that resembled Lego bricks proudly sat on an open site on Carter road in Mumbai. The three metal projecting arms each held a screen, the longest one of them framed a Kaleidoscope that cascaded out different childlike compositions, whereas the other two screens projected compiled images and films that were reminiscent of youth.
Talking about the design, architect Quaid Doongerwala said, “Memory Machine follows the concept of a periscope, wherein the random images and films projected on screens literally re-route the people to their individual childhood moments.”
Kids present played peek-a-boo through the voids created by these stacked blocks; one could only wish that the blocks were in colour to echo the merriment that was set in motion. Then, on second thought I realised that the lack of colour reflected the situation many kids are put through because of the unavailability of means and dearth of funds.
The CRY representative present at the site explained, “The aim of this campaign is for people to pause for a moment and relive their childhood moments, something on which they have built their today, and retrospect on how they can help the less privileged kids to build some happy childhood memories of their own.”
The good thing about attending the event on the first day was that I could pick the brain of the designers present on location, but unfortunately I missed out on having my moment of peace to enjoy a trip down the memory lane. Why…you ask? Because the kids craning their necks to get a peek at the screens wouldn’t let me!