From the Programme Director’s Table

“Consistency is found in that work whose whole and detail are suitable to the occasion. It arises from circumstance, custom, and nature.”

Roman architect Vitruvius propounded this idea more than two millennia ago.

IFBE was built in and about circumstance, legacy, and the soulful banyan tree. It certainly befits the occasion that we as a city and community merit a space for an engaged discourse on design, architecture, and the arts. When I say community, for IFBE, the scope begins with the planet, and zooms in further to a region, a people, and then surely the individual. Individuals, and therefore communities, are the creators that come forth with the most cerebral design solutions and spin out the most cathartic art in an unseemly street. Technology has fastened the pace and quantum of this creation. We’re here to catch up and call out to the world. At IFBE, my aim is to transcend that visible barrier, to peer through at intent, and celebrate those who have remained true to theirs.

What construct, then, does one begin to apply to ascertain what is worthy of IFBE? It was an honour to have faced this question and I have a humble answer to this.

IFBE, in its maiden year, shall prize people, practices, and processes rooted in rigour, foremost.

We seek those and their work that at once engage with the complex contours of our times, and also demonstrate a trajectory of relentless rigour. Art – visual or performing – and design are elevated to a higher virtue by that pursuit of excellence. It is a process of consistently improving oneself, akin to a distillation.

A sculptor or a ballerina. A poet or a ceramist. They embody the spirit of dedicating every passing day to their chosen art (or arts). And with each sundown, as they choose to spend a little longer on that pirouette, that metaphor, or that certain sleight of the hand on the wheel, they chip away towards that undefinable ideal that consummate design and art live up to.

In the larger narrative of art, architecture, and design, this often goes uncherished, somehow not celebrated enough. With this knowledge, IFBE seeks to fill up this missing discourse on rigour through its programming. It seeks to be a lab for rigorous thinking and exploration that is on the ground, grappling with realities. As IFBE’s Programme Director, I aim to spotlight people and collectives that evidence this with a body of work.

However, I would love to underscore that IFBE is also unquestionably inclusive. We appreciate that there are several ways in which rigour manifests itself. Beyond established rigour, we wish to actively nurture inspired rigour. Nascent practices and experiments that rear tirelessly in pursuit of a ‘thoroughness’ that over time evolves into a character, a grain of masterly ingenuity; we believe that their work deserves to have a home at IFBE.

And so, IFBE brings to the creative landscape a fresh eye, open and eager for community, to steer towards the tenacious, the experimental, and the evocative.

Sarita Vijayan
Programme Director at IFBE