John Thackara (from Doors Of Perception) mailed us last month looking for someone who could help produce some content for the City EcoLab - a significant part of the Biennial of International Design at Saint Etienne. The initial brief for us, in John's words was:

"The content brief is basically to communicate, to a (mainly) European audience (of 80,000 people, over two weeks) the variety and vitality of people selling things from or on bicycles in (I presume) Delhi.  The objective is to sensitise people to the fact that bike-based commerce does not have to be backward looking or boring....

My first idea was to make some kind of sound installation, in which the cries of different vendors would be projected in a focused way along the "street" which occupies one side of our event. But we are open to a variety of ways to do this installation, including the possibility of print and/or online elements."

Taking this as the starting point for our work, we began recording sounds and taking pictures in Delhi.

This was turning out to be great fun :-) So even after we sent John and his team the content they needed for their installation, we kept shooting pictures, recording sounds and started shooting some video too. This website, and all the other stuff on it, is the result of doing just that. We really believe that we have, thanks to John, stumbled onto something that we are all extremely interested in, and can contribute to in an even more interesting manner.

At the time of writing this (7 am in St.Etienne with a deadline for this website in some hours :-), we hope that this site can be an impactful, rich media archive for velocommerce, and would be of interest to a multidisciplinary audience. There are more things that will be uploaded in the next 2 months, and we hope that the site can then be grown with user-generated content using the link www.velowala.org/contribute

If you are interested in knowing more about this project, or just getting in touch, write to avinash@velowala.org

And a special thanks to John Thackara and the folks at Saint Etienne for this fantastic opportunity!