The DIY workshop
a project by Vishal Rawlley
supported by Open Space

People from art, design and media come together to make a public intervention at Hauz-i-Shamsi - a historic pond in Delhi, Nov 2012

Hauz-i-Shamsi is a historic pond located in Mehrauli. Mehrauli is an old and congested neighbourhood where the garbage is always piled up and the drains overflowing. The pond is littered with rubbish and plastic waste. Hauz-i-Shamsi, considered one of the heritage components of the historic and traditional water management systems of the city, is struggling to keep face.

It is thus our endeavor, to revive the hauz as a site of splendour and spectacle. The idea is to work with the community and the local administration to revive interest in this heritage water body.

Every year, around the time of the Phool Walon Ki Sair festival, we install a floating sculpture on the pond. This is an interactive installation and invites the public to play with it. A pamphlet is distributed in the neighbourhood which explains how to interact with the installation and also has a note about the historical and ecological importance of the water body.

For more details see:

This year we made a boat shaped like the paper boat that children make, only much bigger. This was boat was made of tin and lined with LED lights which could be lit up by anyone making a phone call to the provided number and making a sound input.

The boat in the foreground and the phool-walon-sair fair in the background

The boat in the pond during the day. Birds and water-fowls often use it as a perch and resting place.

These boat shaped handouts were distributed to people around the pond and fair grounds. It has the phone number to call to light up the boat.

A pamphlet explaining the mission behind the boat installation was pasted in the areas around the pond. CLICK HERE to see the pamphlet.


1) Shaily Gupta, Architect, Age: 29 yrs, from Mehrauli, Delhi  – CAD drawing of the boat
2) Shayanthan Moitra, Age 33 yrs, from Mehrauli, Delhi – design consultant for flotation and stability
3) Dorjee Chhering, Photographer, Age 25 yrs, from Kibber, Himachal Pradesh – boat construction and flotation platform
4) Mahesh Kohli, Architect, Age: 31 yrs, from Vasant Kunj, Delhi – light decorations and electronics
5) Aditya Narula, Artist, Age: 32 yrs, from Calcutta – boat painting and installing fixtures
6) Tarun Jairam, Filmmaker, Age: 33 yrs, from Bangalore – launching the boat and installing fixtures
7) Aastha Chauhan, Artist, Age: 31 yrs, from Neb Sarai, Delhi – publicity design