Influenced by Leonardo DiCaprio's documentary, Before The Flood and the overall declining state of the planet, Ajay Raghavan, an employment lawyer decided to start a platform by renting out a 20,000 sq ft defunct factory in Yeshwanthpur to address universal challenges by inspiring 'a regenerative culture of living' in the city of Bangalore. Launched in 2021, Bangalore Creative Circus is an experimental space that celebrates nature, art, culture, science and sustainability engaging with communities through cultural events, farmers' markets, workshops and more.
But the star of the establishment has to be their eatery, The Circus Canteen. A farm-to-table bistro 'prioritizing nutrition, nature & livelihoods', the canteen is built and decorated with reclaimed materials. Designed by Smitha Thomas from Multitude of Sins, an interior design studio in Bangalore, The Circus Canteen is an eccentric mosaic of all sorts of thingamajigs that were once thrown away as trash.
As you enter through the scarlet door embellished with an octet of hand-horns and a throng of bicycle bells, the first thing you see in a tower of electronics; an electric pole salvaged from a scrapyard decked with kaput appliances such as a television, radio, speaker system bathed in pastel shades. Sourced from city-wide donation drives, salvage markets and dump yards, a multitude of eclectic objects like cassette tapes, paint brushes, wheel rims, funnels, DVD players, and a whole van furnishes the space with each table and section narrating a unique nostalgic story.
The interior design of the canteen visually communicates BCC's ethos of sustainable living. Its kitchen operates on a zero-waste policy using all its wet waste to make compost, bio-pesticides, and bio-enzyme natural cleaners, its menu changes with the seasons and comprises only of fresh seasonal produce, and ingredients preserved using natural and traditional techniques, and it offers a farm to table experience with fresh ingredients, either grown in their gardens or sourced from local farmers.
Bangalore Creative Circus and their canteen have found a way to tackle taken a fairly serious global crisis through inquisitive and playful creativity and innovation. They are community building through events, cultural performances, workshops, volunteering opportunities, and coworking and sending a strong message with the aesthetics of their canteen that sustainability doesn't have to be grunge; it can be chic.