Independent projects and initiatives have always been an integral part of Quicksand. Since the inception of our practice, our work with clients has grown simultaneously with independent and personal creative pursuits. This has been crucial in keeping alive Quicksand’s curiosity and interests, as well as in bringing new richness and nuance to all streams of our work. The areas of our work are often complex and fuzzy and the dynamic of reciprocity that emerges from our independent work brings new thinking and creative approaches to areas that are often in need of new perspectives.
One of our earlier independent pursuits, the Greenhouse, is a perfect example. Greenhouse was a physical space in Delhi’s Hauz Khas Village when that area was still very raw and bohemian. We worked with the Goethe-Institut to create this as a community space for all kinds of cultural enterprises, through a convergence of art, design, education, and collaboration. It also laid the foundation for our UnBox platform that began in 2011 and continues to explore “action at the intersections” of multidisciplinary collaborations. Though the Greenhouse space in Delhi closed, its spirit has lived on and has reemerged in our newest studio location in Goa, where Avinash is anchoring our creative practices.
Quicksand is a studio that truly values the idea of being a collaborative, free-spirited and imaginative collective of professionals. Each individual at the studio has their own passions, idiosyncrasies and quirks, which we actively seek to bring to the studio’s culture and work. Kapil’s talent and love for, photography led him to create the Blindboys platform for art and media. Neha’s creative brilliance and “roll up the sleeves and get your hands dirty” spirit has allowed her to create captivating art installations and to pursue her own handicrafts work. Ayush’s business acumen and technophilia birthed the digital contact sharing app Off Grid. Avinash has long been at the forefront of new media, with BLOT and has recently been actively involved in new forays into Virtual Reality and imaginative new applications for the same. And my own stewardship of UnBox and the relationships it has facilitated, helped me create Duet, an intimate, anti-social media platform for sharing, with our friends Invisible Flock, while also building on specific interests from folks within the studio, like Romit’s skills with visualising information and patterns. Dennis’s and Rikta’s forays into experimental food and drink, Selvan’s interests in sustainability, Kevin’s hand-skills, Yuvraj’s illustration skills, Rishabh’s abilities to turn boring powerpoint into amazing art etc., are all aspects that are actively alive and visible in our studios on an everyday basis.
We have encouraged and pushed to instill this independent drive with all members of the studio. And to attempt to reach out and forge new collaborations and partnerships that are independent of project constraints and thus allow for more independent and free-flowing energies, that can inspire, excite and engage.
As a creative practice and consultancy, we have the opportunity to work on myriad projects in manifold sectors around the world. This work is always as exciting as it is challenging, but we know that “work” by its very nature can at times overwhelm. It is exactly these times when our independent activities are most valuable as they provide a great counterbalance. Both allow us to grow in meaningful ways, and to learn more about ourselves, the world around us and how we engage with each other and the world. We encourage you to visit our Labs page to learn more about this, and look forward to sharing more of these adventures in the months and years to come.