Of Robbers, Kites and Paper Gardens
(MArch Y5 major project)
This project is set in the Changa Manga Forest and is inspired by the mythological relationship between the city of Lahore and the garden. From Mughal times (with links even before) to British rule, Lahore has maintained a strong connection with its garden and green spaces. Today, with the connection physically dying, a deeper mythological connection is also being destroyed.
Generations of great Lahoris have taken inspiration from the gardens. As the city expands uncontrollably (from illegal settlements to empty housing societies), much of Lahore’s great monuments, gardens and festivals are being left to crumble. Furthermore, pollution and poor air quality is rampant.
Inspired by Flora Annie Steels ‘The Great Tales of Punjab’, this project features 43 ‘gardens’ which function as a series of walks, structures and sculptures. Each garden is a re-telling or re-imagining of one of the tales from the stories. From surrealist tales of talking mountains to great princes who turn into gold. From the great skills of kite-makers to the paper pressers and reed collectors. The project combines historic myth with new permacultural solutions to explore the potential of new economies not reliant on detrimental expansion.
The visuals, created in Blender, take inspiration from the unique structures and rich colours found on the site. The gardens make up exactly 12.6km2 of then site (the same amount of greenspace the DHA housing society consumed due to inefficient planning).