Kensington, MD- CULTIVATE is pleased to present a conversation with Kavita Gonsalves covering her work on radical placemaking using a combination of storytelling, technology and place to engage local communities in creative placemaking. In this session, she will discuss the Chatty Bench Project & TransHuman Saunter.
With a background in architecture and design, Kavita Gonsalves has worked in transdisciplinary projects of workplace design, design research, graphic design, architecture, urban design and design strategy. She co-founded street-based guerrilla movements such as Multicoloured Dreamz (Helsinki, Finland) and the Bake Collective (Bombay & Bangalore, India). She was a SI Young Connector of the Future 2014 Fellow. Currently, she is a PhD candidate with the Urban Informatics Research Group at the QUT Design Lab in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
In her research, Gonsalves focuses on using low-tech augmented reality and interactive storytelling as tools for marginalized communities to engage in creative placemaking. She facilitated the place-based community storytelling project Chatty Bench Project (CBP) with community organizations Communify, Village Church and Kelvin Grove Urban Village (KGUV) Principal Body Corporate. During the COVID-19 pandemic, 16 CBP storytellers of KGUV co-designed and created digital stories based on their lived experiences. They augmented the landscape of KGUV with these stories.
Building on the work of CBP, TransHuman Saunter (THSP) consists of four women artists who create geolocated experiences on their relationship with the Great Indian Banyan Tree. The micronarratives that intertwine loss, migration, mythologies, colonization, lesser humans, and nonhuman overlay Brisbane’s City Botanic Gardens and City Centre in TransHuman Saunter.
CBP was an entry to the prestigious Media Architecture Biennale 20 Awards and featured in their Demo sessions. TransHuman Saunter has been featured at the BAD festival, Uroboros festival and hopes to feature as part of the After Progress Digital Exhibition. In continuing commitment to pluralistic story-ing and along with Waldemar Jenek, Professor Marcus Foth, Associate Professor Glenda Amayo Caldwell & KU Leuven colleagues, Gonsalves recently organized and facilitated the DIY & More-than-Human Media Architecture workshop which featured Meeting Ground Projects, Conversation Projects and many more.
About CULTIVATE: Cultivate is an evolving collection of interdisciplinary artists, writers, and researchers driven by investigations of landscape, place, and the commons. Projects include experimental and practical art explorations that wrestle with the qualities, perceptions, and layers of experience that inform and expand notions of landscape. Ideas from a full spectrum of voices across generations are supported using sustainable tactics. From the hyper-local to the global Cultivate reflects individual and collective curiosity, intention, imagining, and engagement with the phenomena of landscape.
Location: Shifting virtual and analog locations in watersheds around the globe with physical bases in the Washington, D. C. metro area, Montana, and Italy.
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