Bold strokes: How students and faculty of NIFT Hyderabad executed a wall art project


As you approach the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) campus in Madhapur, Hyderabad, a kaleidoscope of bold colors captures your attention. The newly launched sports complex stands out with its vibrant walls adorned with red, blue, yellow, and black wavy patterns, a sight that is difficult to miss. This striking artwork gracing the anterior façade of the building is the collective masterpiece of the Department of Fashion and Lifestyle Accessories’ students and faculty.

The creative process unfolded each day around dusk when students and faculty members assembled, equipped with their artistic tools. Their nightly endeavors, often stretching till 1 or 2 in the morning, saw them secured in harnesses upon scaffolding, passionately bringing the design to life.

This art installation is not merely decorative but steeped in symbolism. The wavy lines pay homage to the yarn, echoing the intrinsic motions of textile machinery and mirroring the dynamics of the badminton players within the complex. The chosen color palette reflects the design sensibilities that the Hyderabad NIFT campus is known for, a connection to the architectural vernacular established by its designer, architect Sanjay Mohe.

Sanjay Mohe’s minimalist campus design, laid out in 1999, incorporated muted greys with deliberate splashes of primary colors, creating a backdrop of understated elegance. Professor Uthaman MK, head of the design department and project leader, shares that the color scheme traces back to Mohe’s inspiration from a classic Yves Saint Laurent outfit, itself an ode to Piet Mondrian’s iconic abstract compositions.

Starting in April 2023, brainstorms transformed into blueprints, as Uthaman teamed up with fellow professor Satya Prakash and their students. They contemplated various themes, ultimately selecting the wavy pattern to extend Mohe’s color legacy onto the walls of the sports complex. The project, fittingly named ‘Moment and Movements,’ underwent meticulous planning to ensure its successful fruition.

The team constructed a miniature model painted with the final design to visualize the proposed artwork. With the help of Professor Prakash and student Gaurav Soni, digital renderings were created to assist in this visual process. Rather than resorting to professional, costly techniques such as stencil creation and spray painting, an innovative and budget-conscious approach was employed. Software-designed images were projected onto the building walls, allowing painting to proceed during dusk when daylight did not inhibit the projection’s visibility.

Up close, one learns the wall’s original grey surface provided a challenge, amplifying the difficulty in depicting the bold colors. Student Irene Mahajan, intimately involved in the project, recounts how the team marked patterns meticulously, noting which colors corresponded to specific segments. This preparatory work later enabled painting during daylight hours, streamlining the process.

This art initiative transcended a mere assignment for the students; it evolved into a deeply personal endeavor. The painstaking process of painting inch by inch required not only precision but also patience. Despite the physical demands, the students found the experience enjoyable and even felt a sense of loss when the project concluded.

The transformative power of collaboration was manifested as students Irene, Gaurav, Lokesh, Vanshika, Mrudhula, Meghna, Athulya, and Devangi worked alongside their mentors, Uthaman and Satya Prakash. Their collective effort resulted in a functional artwork that seamlessly blends fashion, design, and sports—the essence of the institution’s innovative spirit.

On January 31, the sports complex was officially inaugurated by Tanu Kashyap, director general of NIFT. Beyond housing a badminton court, the space was envisioned with the flexibility to serve multiple purposes, a testament to the institution’s versatile approach to design.

This project stands as a vivid example of how NIFT Hyderabad continues to weave design, creativity, and education into a tangible tapestry, allowing students to leave their distinct mark on the campus, long after they graduate.

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