Let’s make a sandwich. Some bread, bell peppers, olives, chillis, onions and such. Let's assume chillis represents crime. If your sandwich is too spicy, that’s probably because there is a lot of crime in your neighbourhood.Jan 26, 2024, 11 40 | Updated: Jan 26, 2024, 11 42
Take your neighbourhood and highlight all its data points. Available Parking, Lighting, Greenery, Dark Spots, Potholes, Footpaths and such. Now attribute each of these to an ingredient. Let’s make a sandwich. Some bread, bell peppers, olives, chillis, onions and such. Let's assume chillis represents crime. If your sandwich is too spicy, that’s probably because there is a lot of crime in your neighbourhood.
This was the thought experiment I found myself a part of—in the spirit of participative journalism— at Designuru on 25 January 2024. The weeklong annual festival by the Indian Institute of Interior Designers looks at the impact of design in the city.
Design, not only from the standpoint of pretty houses and expensive decor but design that affects us city-dwellers daily.
Conversations we have often with our friends may be about the lack of footpaths or adequate street lighting to make you feel safe to walk alone at night. But how come this is just a conversation? What if you could participate in change? Would you?
Architect Akshara Verma, a Partner at ACE Group decided to make that data more accessible. And what’s more accessible than food? So we made a few sandwiches, some pasta and kheer to represent the various wards in Bangalore.
The team at Sensing Local compiled the data that Verma then translated to this fun experiment. Dark spots and bad lighting seem to be the big factors in making Bangalore less walkable.
Participants were divided into groups to make the pasta, kheer and sandwiches. “CV Raman Nagar seems to have lots of potholes because my sandwich has a lot of onions,” one participant was overheard telling her friend in another team.
In one corner, two women volunteers were uploading bell peppers onto a willing slab of focaccia.
“Put more yellow ones in,” one of them said.
“No we're running short of the yellow ones,” said the other, “I'll just use more of these green ones instead.”
In real life, that switch would probably entail a major zoning effort.
It’ll be interesting to see how the team in Sensing Local will find actionable points to make said participant's sandwich less bell-peppery.
The Sensing Local team said this is their pilot program with this data set. Verma, on the other hand, puns slyly that this is her “palette program”.