• Sites of Indie-Futurisms: Traditional Board Games of India
    Ishita Jain & Ankita Trivedi

H.S. Dharmendra. “Board Games Painted on a Wall of the Ranga Mahal, Jaganmohan Palace, Mysuru”. Photograph. Mysuru, n.d. Ramsons Kala Prasthana. Accessed: March 29th, 2021, Board-games-mysuru-king-30stades-768x647.jpg

This project spotlights the sites of interventions and participation where flights for futural imagination are taken every day. Independent of history, these Indie-futurisms potentially exist in sites of production, sites of storage, sites of participation and sites of indeterminacy. This project uses speculative design research methods, focusing on subjective and qualitative knowledge systems to turn to an under-examined area of study: traditional Indian board games as narrative environments. Kreedakaushalya archives in Mysuru, India holds many of these game-boards and a layered understanding of their narratives is developed through closely studying their 35-years of communities of, within, and around these games. The game-worlds demonstrate in miniature their own networked ecologies of the communities, material culture, obscure paraphernalia, and interconnected geographies. These traditional narrative environments are unpacked as Indie-futurist machines which generate shifting subjectivities for multiple futures. Indie-futurisms rebalances dynamic structures of thought to mount multiple futures by scaffolding multiple histories.

Ishita Jain is a performative researcher, and architectural historian with undergraduate training in architecture and English literature. After her post-graduate work in architectural history from Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, she works with performative research methodology to investigate non-canonical and alternative historical accounts. Her chosen mediums of dissemination are films, cinetracts, performative lectures, exhibitions, critical writing, and transmedia installations. She is a cofounder of Living Midnight Narrative Outfit (LMNO), a narrative based design and research think-tank. She is also a cofounding member of Out of India Artist Collective, where she works on developing the ideas of art as a form of scholarship and scholarship as a form of art, in order to tackle the problems of knowledge production within the neo-liberal academic practices. She currently teaches architectural theory of speculative world-building at O.P. Jindal Global University, India and researches on incorporating world-building pedagogy in architectural education.

Ankita Trivedi is a spatial designer and a storyteller, interested in the production of unconventional narratives. Her work explores how spatial design practice can facilitate experiences that open critical conversations about social, cultural, and political issues; and how our collective imaginations can contribute to creating a more equitable world. Having graduated with a bachelor’s in interior design from CEPT University, Ahmedabad and a master’s in narrative environments from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London; she has worked as a researcher, visual storyteller and speculative designer in event design, branding, installation art, set design and film. She is a cofounder of Living Midnight Narrative Outfit (LMNO), a narrative based design and research think-tank which does projects involving participatory design and co-created research spanning multiple media and systems of audience engagement. She has conducted several design theory workshops in various institutions and continues to teach part-time alongside her professional practice.