An extension of M/s Prabhakar B. Bhagwat, Landscape Environment Advancement Foundation (LEAF) was established in 2007. It has been defined by its founder’s - Prof. Prabhakar B. Bhagwat’s - passion for research, and commitment to education.
It was initially set up as an organisation intended to undertake and further research in areas of Plant Material, Landscape Design, and Environmental Sustainability. In so doing, it became one of the very few organisations within the country that supports inquiry in these areas. Over time, LEAF has expanded its scope of work, and with that the research areas it addresses.
The work that LEAF undertakes is designed to inform the design profession, and its fields of interest in a real, impactful manner. This is done not only through the final outcomes, but also through the process, methods of data collection, documentation, and data representation.
Outside of the independent research projects, and impact projects that LEAF undertakes, it also functions as a facilitator for collaborative projects, adapting itself continuously to the many roles it chooses to perform.
All projects that LEAF undertakes - irrespective of format and intended outcomes work on a few core principles -
1. The research that the foundation undertakes, and the data that is generated as a result cannot function in silos; it must be primary, and something that can be interpreted on the ground.
2. Data and documentation must be freely accessible to everyone - enhancing its ability to inform the choices that we make.
3. Collaboration is key to any process that is undertaken.
LEAF has always been, and continues to be unwavering in its belief that research and data play an indispensable role in how we construct conversations, and inform ourselves.
One of the manners in which the Foundation adds to the available knowledge, and hence to the tools of assessment for the world within which we live, is by facilitating independent research projects. These studies focus on things that are very often neglected - the travelling of noise or smell within the city, or even the movement of a cow. It also undertakes research that supports the design studio - research that informs the development of design, or simply provides more context to the space within which a project is being envisioned.
No matter the nature of the research, the documents produced are envisioned in a manner that they are strong on their methods of representation, usability of data, and overall communication of the material.
There has been an attempt to understand the past year and a half from various angles; there is a need to provide personal context to the data that has thus been gathered. This document - a compilations of real, personal narratives - attempts to do just that, while inviting the reader to ponder over what has changed for them.
A result of a competition the Foundation announced in 2021 - then called The Design Fractal - this is a compilation of essays by 12 contributors, looking at Gardens across the country through lenses of history, of experientiality, and ideas of urbanity along with narratives on personal relationships with these spaces.
As part of the Pratiti Initiative, the studio undertook the task of restoring the Victoria Garden - also known as the Lokmanya Tilak Udyan - in Ahmedabad, in a manner that honoured not only the elemental history of the garden itself, but also of the urbanity that it is surrounded by.
Development of any kind cannot, and should not be guided by, or confined to a singular ideology. This is the philosophy that guides the many impact projects that the Foundation undertakes. The processes and outcomes are designed to allow for easy implementation, clear outcomes for impact assessment, and easy adaptability outside the immediate context within which the project has been undertaken.
The countrywide exhibitions have added significantly to the discourse in areas pertaining to landscape and architecture.
LEAF initiated, conceptualized, and guided the process for an initiative that looks at integrating art into the fabric of the city. Since the 1st edition in 2018, it has also been involved in the process of content curation.
With Udai Rajpur - a village 15 kilometres from the city of Varanasi - as a case study, the project looked at creating an adaptable model for the upliftment of the Indian village.
Collaboration and consultation are key principles to the projects that the Foundation undertakes. To expand this idea to knowledge creation, the Foundation routinely invites articles, and conducts interviews with sector experts, and individuals who are invested in the various areas that LEAF is invested in.
Vikram Prakash, the curator for Architecture Talk,
speaks to Aniket Bhagwat & Riyaz Tayyibji about the exhibition
– Death of Architecture.
“There just are more and more types of efforts to practice emerging...
It’s a very live space to be a part of at this time.”
Curated by Vikram Prakash, Architecture Talk is a podcast that focuses on conversations of Architecture, Design, Space, and Art; they are conversations that allow for new perspectives surrounding these fields. As a part of the Death of Architecture Exhibition, Aniket Bhagwat and Riyaz Tayyibji, were invited to discuss the intent of the exhibition, why it was needed, the process of curation, and how it has been received.