Graffiti walls, bar seats, bean bags, foosball tables and LCD screens. What sounds like the ideal bachelor pad is actually the new look of the ‘boring’ college canteens in Delhi University (DU). What’s more, students, themselves, are deciding the look they want for their canteen.
DU’s Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma (ARSD) College in South Campus is the first college to get a plush new cafetaria as part of the ‘Wow your hangout’ project, under which students submitted dream designs for their canteen by way of a contest. Architect Nikhil Segel, who carried out the renovation based on the winning design, says, “Out of the 100 entries, six were shortlisted. Those designs were then put up on hoardings in the college, and students voted for the best over SMS and Internet. We executed the winning design to change the look of the canteen.” Artist Nishta Dewan painted the canteen’s walls with a mural, also designed by students.
Is your college next?
After ARSD, five more college canteens — those at Shivaji College, Daulat Ram College, Kamla Nehru College, Maitri College and Delhi College of Arts and Commerce (DCAC) — will get chic new avatars under the project, sponsored by cola major, Pepsi.
Ipsita Mazumder, a first year student of Kamla Nehru college, is one of those whose designs have been chosen for the revamp. “Since it is a girls’ college, I used colours like lilac and lavender, and added stuff like mirrors, so we don’t have to run to the washroom every time. I also asked for hangers on the walls, where girls could hang their handbags, instead of putting them on the floor,” she says. Anurupa Bhowmick, who won the design contest at DCAC, says, “Right now, our college canteen is in ruins. My design has got a plasma TV and a podium where students can perform.”
No more costly cafes
Predictably, students can’t wait to start chilling out at their new hangouts. “Now, we don’t need to go to expensive cafes and spend a bomb,” says Vineet Kumar of ARSD College. “Earlier, our canteen had shabby white-washed walls. Now, with cool colours like red and blue, and even bean bags, it looks just like any upmarket cafe, but with the usual canteen prices.”
10 things DU students want in their college canteens
1 Graffiti on walls
2 Bar seats
3 Plasma TV
4 Bean bags
5 Mirrors (specially in girls’ colleges)
6 Wall clock
7 Bright and cheerful colours.
8 A foosball table
9 Tea/coffee vending machines
10 Magazine/newspaper racks