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Celebrating Diwali with the Tolworth Yatai

SHEDx have been working with two local groups, Sarvoday Hindu Association and Institute of Tamil Culture, to celebrate the communities of Tolworth. October is a time of festivity for many and we wanted to focus on the Diwali celebrations that will be taking place at the end of the month, with a public Diwali installation in a central Tolworth location.

The Tolworth Yatai, designed and created by Kingston University MA Architecture students in 2018, seemed like a perfect starting point. The Yatai, a Japanese processional shed, had its first outing at the Seething Festival in Surbiton, and saw hundreds of plants given away from upcycled milk bottles.

A new team of students, working with architects Takeshi Hayatsu and Jim Reed, have transformed the Yatai into a giant lantern, creating new panels with shadow designs that are lit from the inside. The inspiration for the panels came from the surrounding wildlife in Tolworth: from Court Farm Fields and the Moated Manor site.

The students started the project with an introductory brief from Elliot at Citizen Zoo, where they found out about the diverse wildlife which calls Tolworth home.

The Yatai can be found on the green triangle at the bottom of Ewell Road and King Charles Road.

We are aiming to hold an event on Sunday 24 November to bring the communities of Tolworth together, with food sharing and live music and dance. Keep an eye on the website for the latest details!

The Yatai at the Seething Festival

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