MAD Lab is meant to be the hands-on twin of the MAD Salon. It is an idea factory, a laboratory - that promotes experiments and exploratory projects at the intersection of the arts, architecture, design, technology and contemporary culture.
The Lab draws its inspiration from a quote by American author and physician Oliver Wendell Holmes that ‘the mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.’
MAD Lab brings together people who dream with open eyes, share an undying enthusiasm for unconventional ideas, are averse to man-made boundaries and have a passion for exploration.
The Lab is run as a not-for-greed (NFG) collective that comprises creative planet-wide free agents who conceive, collaborate, curate and co-pilot MAD Lab endeavors.
The Lab covers a wide range of interests including, but not limited to: performance art, visual art, sound design, architecture, product design, transportation, environment design and urban planning.
CAAS: City As A Spaceship LAB
Logo designed by Callum Prockter
Susmita Mohanty (Bengaluru)
Barbara Imhof (Vienna)
Susan Fairburn (Aberdeen)
Point of Departure
We see the spaceship, and a space habitat as completely analogous to housing in the modern, densely packed, technology driven hyper-metros of tomorrow. Ideas and technologies for space can immediately impact the development of these cities. In return, we see these living, thriving, survival-challenging uber-cities as collections of self-contained, super-redundant microcosms that prove themselves to be reliable, and hardy over time to be directly translatable to the space colonies of the future. We think of a wonderful, and yet obvious symbiosis - tomorrow’s space ideas shape today’s cities, and investment in today’s cities serves as the vehicle and test bed to both subsidize and implement tomorrow’s space endeavors. “The earth as a spaceship,” is not merely a metaphor – it is a tangible, viable way for the future survival of mankind.
CAAS is a platform to investigate the reciprocities between space and terrestrial architecture and design. Susmita, Barbara and Susan are collaborating to compile, edit and publish a ‘CAAS Special Edition’ book that will feature essays, case studies, architectural critiques, and future visions based on the philosophy of CAAS.
Susmita and Siddharth (Das) write CAAS manifesto in San Francisco
Susmita publishes “Mumbai As A Spaceship” in ‘Volume’, a Dutch independent quarterly
Barbara lead the ‘Architecture Group’ (other 3 being: Automation, Energy and Water ) at the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) in Cologne, Germany. Workshop theme: "Spaceship EAC". Workshop goal: Find space technologies to integrate into the EAC building to make it planet-friendly.
Barbara delivers ‘SpaceShipCity’ lecture and pilots a seminar for ‘The Renewable City’ Module – Sustainable Urban Design Course at the University of Liechtenstein.
Susmita delivers a CAAS-inspired lecture at ARTMAP workshop at École Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle (ENSCI) in Paris.
Susmita and Siddharth meet with Goan architect Dean D’Cruz and his team to brainstorm ideas around a CAAS workshop in Goa
Susmita meets with Amsterdam based editor of an architecture and design quarterly to discuss the possibility of publishing CAAS essays as a ‘special insert’ in the magazine
Curators discuss, identify and finalize 1st list of contributors to CAAS Special Edition
CAAS logo designed by graphic designer Callum Prockter
Q4 2013 onwards
Curators reach out to the potential authors
Curators meet to review status, edit and produce the 1st draft
Susmita, Susan and Barbara participate in a two–week Art–Science Residency "The Undivided Mind"@KHOJ International Artists association, New Delhi. They are joined by visual artist Rohini Devasher.
Beyond Gravity LAB
Workshop poster courtesy of GATI dance forum
Underwater Movement Workshop
with French choreographer Kitsou Dubois
Photo credit Bhakti Nefertiti
Susmita Mohanty (Bengaluru)
Mandeep Raikhy (New Delhi)
Paushali Dutta (New Delhi)
Annick Bureaud (Paris)
Point of Departure
When you float in weightlessness, the body seems to dilate out into space and can lose the sense of its own limits. Movement becomes infinite and fluid in a way one would never have dared imagine. It’s a state of grace, a real inner journey. Paradoxically, one also experiences a sense of total emptiness, which can provoke some anxiety. Without weight, one is totally disoriented. Gravity is essential for humans; it masks all the other forces. Our research is about not losing oneself; it’s about keeping one’s center, recreating limits.
Kitsou Dubois, "A Choreographer in Weightlessness", Le Monde
MAD Lab in collaboration with Gati Dance Forum organized and hosted an ‘Underwater Dance Workshop’ in New Delhi. Contemporary dancers signed up for this 3-day workshop held in New Delhi from 25-27 May, 2015.
The workshop had two components: lecture and interactive discussion at the Gati Studio in Khirkee village in Delhi and underwater sessions at a private swimming pool.
This was Kitsou Dubois’s first trip to India.The Indo-French Cultural Center Alliance Française de Delhi and Institut Francais en Inde graciously sponsored Kitsou’s travel and stay.
Kitsou Dubois has taken dance outside of the theater, onto the façades of buildings, under water, into factories. In 1989, she received the prestigious grant Villa Médicis hors-les-murs from the French government. Starting with the notion of microgravity, certain necessities have become evident in her artistic work, such as the fundamental place of image (a witness and the body’s memory of weightlessness), a new way of looking at circus arts (taking away the apparatus to work just with the acrobat’s physical capacities) and an element of interdisciplinary in her productions, mixing networks of dance, visual arts, circus and new technologies.
Sidley & Pooth (S&P) Sound LAB
Final assembly of the 1st production model S&P X1 © Sidley & Pooth (S&P)
Sound Equipment Design, Prototyping,
Testing Experimenting with ‘multi-way dipoles’
Siddharth (Sid) Das
(Drummer & Sound Expert)
(Artist-Industrial Designer-Architect, Mumbai)
(Architect & Visualization Expert, Vienna)
(Industrial Designer, San Francisco)
Point of Departure
After years of buying audio equipment, Sid realized that they are technologically pretty much alike. The differences among them are merely cosmetic. The state-of-the-art in sound reproduction is prohibitively expensive for commercial enterprises to implement because of the science involved. Sid therefore decided to build his own.
The design principle of choice for S&P was ‘multi-way dipoles’. Properly implemented, they can yield astonishingly natural and low distortion sound. Active dipole designs can be difficult to both implement and sell commercially. However, in choosing to pursue the pinnacle of sound reproduction, the possibilities rather than the difficulties are the focus for S&P.
San Francisco – Inspired by Siegfried Linkwitz’s work, Sid started experimenting with electro-acoustics. He teamed up with Andrew Putman and started experimenting with the ‘industrial design’ aspects of the creations of Linkwitz Labs. The first experimental mock-ups of the speaker panels were fabricated.
Vienna – On his annual trip to Vienna, Sid refined those early designs in collaboration with René. Sid and René continue their refinements on Sid’s subsequent visits to Vienna and René’s visits to Mumbai.
Mumbai – Sid started working with Saleem at Saleem’s workshop in Andheri to build the 1st production model S&P X1. In November 2012, Sid and Saleem began work on the 2nd production model S&P X2.
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