March 3rd, 2020 by Sukhmani Waraich

Nearly 20 percent of the Amazon Rainforest has been destroyed in the last 50 years.

Half a billion animals were killed in the Australian bushfires in 2019-20.

Breathing in Delhi is equal to smoking 20+ cigarettes a day.

These are the scary facts of our time. That’s why, in 2020, sustainability is no longer a choice, it’s a way of life. And, since the past few years, OYO has emerged as a leader in this arena. From beautiful, functional design made with mundane household items, to sourcing locally for designing quality living spaces, we’ve proved that sustainability and aesthetics don’t have to be exclusive of each other.

But, it’s not enough. The need to save the planet is now more urgent than ever. We need to work harder every day to lessen the damage and to spread the message of what climate change will do to the only place we can call home. This was the thought behind our spatial design, titled ‘Rivers In The Sky’, at the India Art Fair 2020 where OYOxDesign took over the food court.

Art has a way of driving a point home. Whether it’s through paintings, or installations, art can tell a story in a way that nothing else can. And that’s what we tried to do at the India Art Fair this year.

THE STORY BEHIND OxD’s CONCEPT

As global catastrophic events continue to ravage forests, we’re losing precious rain. Research says one tree releases enough water every day to lend the cooling effect of two air conditioners. In a process called transpiration, trees create literal ‘rivers in the sky’ which descend as rain over thousands of acres of land. This rain is what sustains us, feeds us and keeps us alive. With every tree we burn or cut, we snatch a little more of this life-saving rain from the planet.

OxD created a representational ecosystem which provided a glimpse into the disappearing forests, the disappearing droplets, the disappearing life from our planet. The glass tables at the IAF food court had translucent strips on them representing Aru, the beautiful mist which covers the Amazon Rainforest, protecting and guiding the life within. These strips could be peeled off the glass to demonstrate the devastating human effect of exposing forests.

The furniture, made of bamboo, was representative of our idea of sustainable design. As part of our efforts towards responsible design, every object used in this design was repurposed and reused after the event.

AFTER THE ART FAIR: STANDING BY OxD’s PRINCIPLES

All the material and finished products used for OxD’s spatial design were donated to a government school in south Delhi. The glass, from the glass tables, was converted into eight writing boards which were placed at several spots inside the school. OxD also donated markers and dusters for these writing boards.

The bamboo benches were set up in the parents’ waiting area which didn’t have any seating earlier.

The grass turf, which was used abundantly in the design at India Art Fair, was given to the primary section of the school, where it is now used as flooring for the play area. The plants, which were inside the glass tables to represent the Amazon, have been put at different places, increasing the green factor at the school significantly.

Widely appreciated at the India Art Fair, the bamboo lights were one of the most unique features of the OxD spatial design. These lights are now brightening up the auditorium of this school.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

The time to save the planet is now. And it’s imperative for all of us to do our bit. Here’s how you can help, by making a few easy choices which will go a long way in reducing your carbon footprint:

Buy locally grown produce: Cut back on the massive emissions of transportation
Use sustainable material: You don’t need wood furniture in every room
Reuse: Repair, refurbish, reuse instead of throwing things away

If children like Greta Thunberg and Vanessa Nakate can become climate change activists, we can at least try to make better choices for the sake of our planet. After all, it’s the only place we can call home.

About Sukhmani Waraich

Sukhmani is a freelance content consultant and creator who loves nothing more than snowy mountains, an extra seat on a long flight and a good biryani.