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Chronological narrative for Mumbai gallery

Mumbai-based Mumbai Design Collaborative has designed the Dharohar Gallery, Mazagaon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd., Maritime History Gallery, which was to develop the first museum gallery at the Mumbai docks.

In Mumbai, the Mazagaon Docks have experienced 400 years of shipbuilding activity that has shaped the city’s prominence in colonial and post-independence times. The gallery is divided into different zones that highlight period elements, with furniture design ranging from the classical to Art Deco. It displays ship models, banners and ship’s bells, with the information graphics largely designed around researched content and document collections from the MDL archives.

The main narrative remained chronological, starting with the history of the small fishing villages in Mumbai to the large shipbuilding ports under Portuguese and British rule. An entire wall is dedicated to the Wadia shipbuilders from Gujarat, who migrated to Mumbai and started a shipbuilding business at Mazagaon.

A parallel aisle on the evolution of shipbuilding technology is added, which exhibits everything from the wood used for construction to the gas turbine engines used in naval ships. The aisle is a point of interest for both history enthusiasts and the technical naval staff who visit the museum.

Anecdotal information creates breaks, such as the influence of ‘sailing’ terms that have influenced the modern-day English vocabulary. The exhibit covers the social impact of shipbuilding on Mazagaon and Mumbai, and documents the lives of the Chinese and Pathans who migrated to India at th e peak of the shipbuilding activity. The gallery features paintings, models and other memorabilia helpful to naval cadets, ex-servicemen and history aficionados.