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Urban Waste Land Re-Claimation

The healing of the land and the purification of the human spirit is the same process

- Masanobu Fukuoka

Project Māti, was an initiative by Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore laboured by the faculty and masters students of the Information Arts and Information Design Practices (IAIDP) and Earth Education and Communication (EEC), 2018, to take up an urban waste land and convert it into a thriving community garden. As part of my workshop, Sustainable Institute, we decided to take up this small piece of land right outside our college building which was initially used to dump concrete industrial waste in and transform it into a breathing garden that is housed by all kinds of birds and butterflies which can later be used as a public space for college students and the neighbourhood community. 

We, with a limited student group of 4, started our journey though with very limited knowledge about gardening but also with an immense amount of help from our faculty and support staff. Through all our engagements, starting from the mapping of the land, understanding the soil, removing the waste material and weed, creating the fences, tilling and adding fertile soil, choosing the right kind of plants according to the soil as well as the climate of the city till the planting of each seed, we learnt to collaborate and empathise with each other.


This space taught us far more than a mere classroom discussion, theoretical research and contemplation. It showed us how to think steadfast, make quick decisions and take responsibility for our actions. We feel accomplished and I hope that Māti can serve as an example for alternative roaming classrooms where each student learns by doing, incorporating a practice-based-research methodology.


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