March 10, 2014

Indiabulls’ Installation by Brand Canvas

By Payal Khandelwal

Indiabulls’ headquarters in Bombay wished to physically represent the scale and drive of the company for its employees and visitors. The task of creating a symbol to represent this achievement and ambition at the Indiabulls Finance Centre was handed over to Brand Canvas, subsidiary company of Alok Nanda & Company. The agency has created an installation ‘The Rising’ with 10600 cubes, measuring 50 feet width x 31 feet height x 16 feet depth, suspended together to form the ‘man with wings’ weighing 6.5 tons. The cubes leverage viewers’ walk across the atrium to create different forms when seen from different angles.

While we have been seeing many interesting art installations around the country recently, brand installations is still an extremely niche concept. Indiabull’s ‘The Rising’ is one of the first few to have entered this space. We speak to Brand Canvas’ chief creative officer, Prasanna Sankhe, who designed and led the entire concept of this project, to understand how creating a corporate installation is different from creating an art installation, the challenges they faced during the process and Brand Canvas’ future plans for more such projects.

When you are doing an installation for a brand vis-a-vis just an art installation, what are the most important things to keep in mind?

It’s quite tricky to get into the space of designing an art installation for a brand because the challenges are at many levels. First you have to be able to clearly distill the brand essence into one or two words that can then be the springboard of the creative thought. This can only be achieved through long interactions with the brand stakeholders. Secondly, if the installation was specifically for only artistic purpose then it has the liberty to be abstract and not saying something definite to everybody. It could then have different meanings and different interpretations to the audience. But when you are designing an art installation for a specific brand then we have to make sure that it is crystal clear in its message delivery. On the other hand, because it is an art installation and can’t be very cut and dry, there has to be an art vibe around it and has to be engaging and rewarding enough for the audience to view.

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What were the biggest challenges while working on the project?

Coming from a traditional advertising/design background the challenges that this field poses are completely different and unique.  The concept here is crucial but is only about 20% of the whole process. The expertise and finesse with which you are able to execute and produce the project actually determines the look and appeal of the art installation. For example, the materials, the fabrication, the lighting, etc. 

The project cycle is considerably longer than the time required for say developing an ad campaign. While say an ad campaign takes about three months from concept to execution, a typical project here last for 9 to 15 months.  And this has been a great learning for me particularly. How not to get frustrated since the project takes longer and persevering with the execution and maintaining the intensity across the whole time period of the project. Just the fabrication of this project took five months on site. 

This field requires understanding and awareness of various functions like architecture, space planning, structural engineering and project management to be able to successfully pull off a great installation. For instance, the greatest worry we had during this project was not how to crack the concept, but how do we get the approval from an independent structural engineering audit company as this installation weight 6.5 tons and there would be people walking under it. It becomes a matter of public safety. Similarly each installation poses its own peculiar challenges.

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This is a great start in the area of corporate installations in India. Are you in touch with other brands/corporates to explore this further?

Yes, we are currently working on several other projects. The installation with Indiabulls itself has been so successfully received by the employees and visitors of Indiabulls Finance centre towers that they have expressed their desire to commission more such installations in other regions. In addition to this, another giant corporate house had approached us for a similar installation and we are in the advanced stage of that project. We will be able to share more on that soon. But besides this we are currently pursuing another project which is at a scale like no other and we are keeping our fingers crossed and our heads to the drawing board, to be able to pull off something of a truly spectacular nature and scale.

Watch the entire making of the installation:

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