Pune to host grand finale to ‘Indo-German Urban Mela’

Pune: In a grand finale to ongoing celebrations to mark 60 years of diplomatic ties between Germany and India, a ten-day 'Indo-German Urban Mela' will be held here from January 11 showcasing pavilions incorporating the best of innovation and design of the two countries.

Conceptualised by internationally renowned German artist Markus Heinsdorff, the unique travelling exhibition will host interactive presentations by various German corporations and organisations on topics and solutions with a thematic focus on "City Spaces", highlighting issues such as mobility, energy, sustainable urban development, architecture cultural space and urban art.

"This programme series across India broaches the implications of rapid urbanisation and challenges posed by the pace of change in German and Indian cities today," Folico Nather, director, Max Muller Bhavan, the city-based cultural centre of Germany which houses the Goethe-institute, one of the organisers, told PTI.

Elaborating on the project he said, "the year of Germany in India ( 2011-2012)", celebration which kicked off in September 2011 and is scheduled to continue till early 2013, reflected a "united vision in the field of politics, business, science, culture and education, serving as a platform to showcase, reinforce and develop this historical relationship — marking 60 years of diplomatic ties between two countries."

"The Indo-German Urban Mela" which began its tour with Mumbai in 2012, followed by Bangalore in June, Chennai in August and New Delhi in October will now conclude in Pune with its final stop-over with the set of pavilions that will be arranged and adapted to local conditions to create a novel temporary festival venue at Deccan College on the outskirts of the city," said Ketaki Golatkar, one of the coordinators of the fixture for which the students learning German are invited to work as volunteers.

The pavilions will feature and explore global innovations future trends and what could make cities more "livable".

Heinsdorff, who has conceptualised the project, said, "The focus of my creations is working with urban spaces. The objective of my design of these pavilions has been to retain the traditional aspects of Indian design and mould them into sustainable architectural solutions. The uniqueness of the approach lies in identifying the architectural element in nature and enhancing it".

The corporate partners of the project include Bajaj Allianz, BASF, Bosch, Deutsche Bank, Siemens and Volkswagen.