Glimpsing through The German Urban Mela – Chennai

Glimpsing through The German Urban Mela – Chennai

I was caught at the right time with the German Urban Mela, during my recent pit stop at Chennai. With the Chennai roads getting jumbled up more than than ever before, and time ticking against me, it was sheer luck which got me to the Mela. Albeit, late for the festivities there, the Mela did what Germany did best! Impress the visitors with subtle designs.

Though,  YMCA Physical Education college campus was a confusing maze in itself, not to mention the “Blocked for Chennai Metro” Anna Salai High Road, inside the Mela premises, I was like fish in water.  The pavilions were thoughtfully laid out for visitors ease.


More than the exhibits, the pavilions were the centres of attraction. One could spend hours just gazing at them. Exhibit spaces were modules constructed with metal pipes and covered with polymer sheets, cut and folded symmetrically to form aesthetic shapes. Single and dual tone lighting did the rest, highlighting the creases and scores around the pavilions. In short sublime, practical and perfect.

The theme of the  Mela “StadtRäume” meaning City Spaces was about improving the current cities with well thought out ideas, to make them more safe and liveable. Of the pavilions, the architecture pavilion was the one I liked the most. The other pavilions were filled with interactive computer games which further emphasised on designing safer cities, and better road safety systems.

architecture pavilion

magnetic elevated train

With the kind of crowd the Mela was attracting, it was quiet apparent that Germany had made its sweet spot in the Indian minds.