Mumbai slum to host Spanish artist's design museum

by Kim Megson | 13 Jan 2016

Spanish artist Jorge Mañes Rubio has revealed he is creating a portable design museum for one of the world’s largest slums.

The idea for the project – being developed in collaboration with urban research and action collective (URBZ) and art critic Amanda Pinatih – came after Rubio visited the Mumbai district Dharavi, and was inspired by the nomadic workers and craftsmen who live and work there.

The area – featured in the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire and several Bollywood movies – is home to more than 1m people living in a seriously confined space.

“The main mission of Design Museum Dharavi is to challenge our perception of ‘slums, favelas, barriadas and ghettos’ on a global scale,” said the project’s founders in a statement. “By creating a Design Museum – a place for contemplation – we make this city within a city more liveable.

“Our main intentions are to acknowledge the citizenship of these people, to recognise their equal rights compared to the rest of the city, and to promote a greater exchange between formal and informal economies.”

When it opens in February 2016 for an initial two months, the museum will host workshops, screenings, exhibitions and cultural events and showcase the skills of local artists. Due to the high population density of the slum, the museum will have a modular construction using flexible materials so it can be disassembled and towed from site to site on the back of a bike.

The founders said the project will change lives: “Despite the tough conditions the people of Dharavi live in, they are capable of creating, designing, manufacturing and commercialising all kinds of goods. These could be as valuable as those collected by design museums.

“We want to give these objects a platform to be contemplated and appreciated by makers and locals from Dharavi, the city of Mumbai and the rest of the world.”

Rubio's work focuses on exploring "forgotten places and stories" in order to "challenge the notion of authenticity in our global society, questioning our perception of heritage, culture and consumption.”

Mumbai  architecture  design  slum  India  Rubio  
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Spanish artist Jorge Mañes Rubio has revealed he is creating a portable design museum for one of the world’s largest slums. The idea for the project – being developed in collaboration with urban research and action collective (URBZ) and art critic Amanda Pinatih – came after Rubio visited the Mumbai district Dharavi, and was inspired by the nomadic workers and craftsmen who live and work there. The area – featured
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Dharavi is one of the world's biggest slums / YGL Voices
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