The thought of setting up Maker's Asylum in Delhi came to me when I went home for a short holiday. When you start something of your own, the holidays are few and far between. Even when you do manage to get away, your mind wanders back to it.
It's hard to take a break from your passion.
The Delhi space came to us quite by accident. But if I've learned anything over the last two years it is this -- accident or not, it's best to say yes and move forward instead of constantly second guessing your every move.
The Delhi space is very special to me as its the maker space I always envisioned. The perfect location, in a lane full of pottery shops and colourful handicraft craftsmen, a high ceiling where day light falls in keeping the space lit through the day. An open-air backyard where you can break an entire car and a shed roof (believe me we tried) giving it a factory like setting.
During my trip, I met with Madhuvanti, a friend and active well-wisher of the Asylum. Over a cup of tea, she told me about the awesome stuff that she has been doing with Street Art Delhi
. Installations and other such fascinating things around Delhi. During the conversation, we spoke a lot about Delhi and how creative people are here. We spoke about the office space in Delhi that we had recently acquired and she got super excited. She offered to paint it.
Taking off on her enthusiasm, Sanchit a friend and architect working on sustainable buildings, also fell in love with the idea of designing this space and making it sustainable.
We had multiple meetings during my so-called vacation and worked hard on coming up with a design. Things got rolling pretty soon.
Madhuvanti took the lead on the Art work and spoke to the guys at St+Art
about sponsoring the paints. She worked her magic in her quirky art style as usual and even incorporated a phrase that has come to be an unofficial motto at the Asylum -- Pass It On. I say unofficial because to tell you the truth, it was a quote on a poster that just jumped out at me. For a while, it was also our WiFi password. Don't try it, we had it changed since ;)
What the art and design elements do at the Asylum is start conversations which is perfect because creativity and collaborations both start from a simple conversation. For example, there were a lot of interesting discussions around the lamps kept outside the asylum that looked like jelly fish. According to Madhu's theme, the asylum is under water. It's inspiring to see how artists think.
Sachit and a team of workers started on the walls of the Asylum. He broke all the 'good-looking' walls and exposed the brick, going backwards from the conventional way things work.
This is just the beginning of the Dellhi Asylum, a chapter that is close to home.
The launch party was our way of getting all the Makers in Delhi together so they could show off their projects and connect with other makers in the city. Over a 100 people showed up on June 20. We built the bar out of bamboo. Rohit, a passionate maker for Agra, assembled his drone and Jasmeet, founder of Roborium set up an electronics library at the space. Himanshu Bablani, a biggie in the Maker Community in Delhi known for his technology and art installations, built bristle bots with new makers. Namrata, another active member from Delhi's Maker community set up a screen printing table and made t-shirts. We ended the evening with a short talk about the Maker Movement and a music jamming session by some of our friends.
A beautiful evening of making! Super excited to see what's next for Maker’s Asylum Delhi and the wonderful community of makers.