Kumbh Mela Traveling Exhibit

International itinerary to various sites over 24 months

Loeb House, Harvard Yard:  April 2015 / CGIS North Gallery, Harvard:  May – July 2015 / Delhi:   August 2015 / New York:  October, 2015 / Mumbai:  January 2016 / Basel:  April 2016

32 ephemeral and glowing fabric panels float interdisciplinary content collected from various Harvard schools and departments describing the systematicity and logic ruling the many facets of the pop-up mega city that occurs around the Kumbh Mela once every 12 years.  Self-structural spatial arms cross-register research of the event by topic:  Grid, Technology, Ephemerality, and Governance.  Water, and the ritual of bathing at the Kumbh, acts as an organizing element at the core of the exhibit – a connective node ruling the geometry and space of each of the four spaces it links.

The panels disassemble and flat-pack into crates scaled for shipping efficiency for the show’s world tour to follow the opening at Harvard in April 2015.  The panel sizes are regularized, as is the graphic layout of each, to enable versatile reconfiguration, expansion and contraction as needed to adapt to extreme differences among spaces of display for the exhibit.  The fabric, metal frame and manual construction of the panels emulate the systematic kit-of-parts construction of the temporary mega city that comprises the Kumbh Mela.


Client:  Harvard South Asia Institute

Curatorial Team: Rahul Mehrotra, Professor and Chair Department of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard GSD, Felipe Vera, MDeS ELU, Associate Professor DesignLab UAI + Visiting Fellow Department of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard GSD, Megan Panzano, Design Critic in Architecture, Harvard GSD 

Exhibit Design: Megan Panzano, studioPM + Design Critic in Architecture, Harvard GSD

Exhibit Fabrication: Jack Mauch + Megan Panzano; fabric print graphics by ICL Imaging

Installation (Harvard sites):  Jack Mauch, Joanna Vouriotis + Megan Panzano

Special thanks to staff of the Harvard South Asia Institute:  Tarun Khanna, Director of the South Asia Institute & Professor Harvard Business School, Meena Sonea Hewett, Executive Director, Nora MaGinn, Senior Program Manager , Meghan Smith, Communications and Outreach Coordinator.  Also, special thanks to Dan Borelli, Harvard GSD Exhibitions.

The exhibition organized with the generous support of Vikram Gandhi and Meera Gandhi and the Harvard South Asia Institute.

Hide Content