Urban Compatibility

Design display for Ittala

Pakhalé was invited to create an installation of using Iittala products for Designboost 2008 in Sweden. He chose the theme ‘Sustainable City’. The resulting installation, called Urban Compatibility, is a poetic and optimistic take on the current urban crisis in major metropolitan cities around the world, and particularly megacities in India. It evokes positive notions of how a city might be modelled based on human emotions, so there is an Avenue of Happiness, a Swamp of Boredom and a Sea of Possibilities, all represented by classic Iittala products by the famous Finnish glassware manufacturer. Currently, more than half of the global population lives in urban areas. In the Indian context the situation is more critical – there has been and still is serious neglect regarding comprehensive development, both urban and rural. The resulting explosion of the urban population presents challenges but also wonderful design opportunities to create innovative solutions that have a positive impact. ‘I feel we ought to take an inventive look at the urban setting,’ says the designer. ‘How can we return to the idea of humanizing our cities without segregating “work” from “play” and “entertainment” from “life”? I thought of giving a playful answer to this serious question at Designboost 2008. I felt it was appropriate to try to visualize an urban setting, illustrating a secular humanistic point of view, so I chose to use mainly the classic Iittala products created by the great humanists Alvar Aalto and Aino Aalto. I aspire to create a truly emotional human city by seamlessly blending “work” and “play” and “entertainment” and “life”.