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Recycling Railway Scrap into Art

Posted by
on January 12, 2019 at 04:59 PM

Art is limitless to any medium. From putting a pencil to a paper and sketching to painting street walls with graffiti; human being, with its curious mind have evolved art over centuries to suit an ongoing trend or demand. In today’s modern world the biggest need is to save our planet from tuning into one huge dump yard. 

Recycling and reusing are concepts which are yet to be taken as seriously as they should be. But put a creative twist to it and create art pieces through the process and we shall get a trend that is fun, interesting and attention grabbing at the same time. One such amazing initiative was taken in my own city of Vadodara, by the Meraki Design Studio. The Railway Sculpture and Furniture Camp is an idea to bring back to life the scrap with Western Railways in the form of thematic sculptures and furniture for Vadodara Railway Station.

© Courtesy of Meraki Design Studio- Tin Cans Chandelier

One of the major areas of interests of the studio is to enliven the public spaces with interactive and artistic inserts. Meraki Design Studio came up with this proposal with Western Railways, where the resources came from their own backyard to be repurposed meaningfully into some interesting scrap such as the iconic railway lamps, axel wheels, etc. They wanted to create the first impression of the cultural identity of the city and showcase it from the beginning of one’s entry in the city. All the pieces have a relation with the culture and identity of Railways and Vadodara. The huge mural made out of repurposed metal wires, at the front of the station building, is inspired from the important buildings in the city.

The entire project, from the concept, ideation, prototyping, to collecting the scrap, making it, and finally installing it, took 6 months. Most of the metal from the scrap material was kept in its original form to be identifiable as a recycled product; only ‘new’ additions were the welding rods and paint.

“Artists understand aesthetics and Architects understand space management;” Six sculptors, six Architects and five painters created a combination of sculptures, furniture and 3D looking paintings. They are placed at the concourse area and Platform 1 of Vadodara Station; not only enhancing the overall beauty, but also quickly becoming Instagram and selfie worthy spots.

  • Inspiration: Amit Kumar Singh, IRTS, DRM, Vadodara, WR
  • Camp Moderator: Ravindra Tandon, IRTS (retd.), Com, WR
  • Camp Co-orinator: Priti Chawda, CS a WLI, Vadodara, WR
  • Rail Sculpture Curator: Mr. Sachin Kaluskar
  • Rail Furniture Curator: Architect Priyank Shah of Meraki Design Studio
  • Participating Artists: (Sculpture) Vinit Barot, Keval Kahar, Rajesh Parmar, Mrunal Kahar, Mayadhar Sahu, Krunal Kahar
  • Participating Architects: Harshit Shah, Tanushree Gaekwad, Darshil Patel, Shruja Pathak, Harshang Kale.
  • Supported by: GMW Pvt Ltd a KYB CONMAT Pvt Ltd.

Meraki Design Studio is a multidisciplinary design intensive firm engaging in a diverse range of work, from urban intervention projects to landscape and interiors, each with a philosophy of sustainability woven into them. As one of the team members explained, the challenges of choosing the materials and working with its technicalities to transform it into a piece of furniture, was an experience nothing like their usual architectural practices.

This workshop was socio-centric project aimed at reimaging railway scrap to create artistic yet functional furniture for users at the railway station. These vibrant value additions have an underlying message of recycling and reusing resources to the maxim benefit.

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