Indian craft and design innovation were the highlights of the 25th anniversary celebration of Maison&Objet, held at Gauri Khan Designs recently.
The trade fair for creative lifestyle and audacious interiors is a source of inspiration to design enthusiasts, so it was fitting that some of India’s top designers showcased a glimpse of their innovative and avant-garde work…
Amrish Patel & Darshan Soni, Apical Reform
A young design practice that’s been evolving since inception in 2011, Apical Reform is led by Amrish Patel and architect Darshan Soni. Their diverse portfolio encompasses functional art, architectural design, interior design, product design, and photography. ‘Why so serious?’ explores the third dimension and encourages the viewer to perceive the metamorphosis of the geometry.
The images are synchronized in such a way that the content of the artwork changes based on the viewing angle. Depicting three legendary actors who played the character of Joker in Hollywood movies at different times, it brings them together in one frame. The transforming image, as you move from left to right or vice versa, guarantees an enjoyable experience.
Architect and connoisseur of design, Ashiesh Shah is a curator for exhibits of art, craft and design that bring together the best of Indian talent under one roof. His Channapatna Totem marries the primordial children’s toy-craft with a modern aesthetic.
The perch stools enveloped in red, embody form, function and colour. Assembled as individual totem stems holding up a perfectly matched cast metal top, the naturally dyed pieces handcrafted in Channapatna (a city in Karnataka) are sanded to perfection.
The calculatedly designed set of beads, concave and convex, sit within the other for a circular form that seems endless and therapeutic in movement. The two sizes, a visual play of stature – tall and lean, short and stout – work seamlessly as they move as a pair. The rotating totems make this ‘crafty’ piece, both functional and fun.
Bandana Jain is a contemporary artist who prefers working with recycled and eco-friendly material, as she has a deep concern for the environment. Her Gaja, with strong tusks akin to the horns of a bull and ears which pick every sound, is on a stroll.
The ostentation of his garments evokes a royal charm. His attire was also created using corrugated cardboard sheets. The unconventionality of the medium infuses the stately beast with a grandeur that causes viewers to stare in awe.
Shilpa Chavan’s work is a culmination of visual diaspora. Working under the brand name ‘littleshilpa’, the firm draws inspiration from local influences. The pieces use varied raw materials, fusing ideas collected through travel and multi-cultural interaction with fashion as a base.
Inspired from the title of the book Les Fleurs du Mal, the floral light-form ‘Spleen’ subscribes to Baudelaire’s aesthetic practice of irony. A black flower, dark yet illuminating, is a perfect example of his play with paradox.
It is also inspired from the poem L’invitation au Voyage and the Baudelaireian ideology of artificial paradises and escapes to imaginary lands.
Based out of Mumbai since 2011, Rooshad Shroff has created a unique practice founded on the philosophy of integrated design. His design and research studio’s works celebrate the handmade using techniques and traditional skills.
Working with artisans in Jaipur, each of his marble lights are handcrafted from a single block of white Makrana marble that has been carefully hollowed out into a tube or bulb of 6mm thinness that allows the light to filter through.
Carved, finished and assembled by hand, each piece takes on a different carving pattern that creates varied light patterns once illuminated.
Shitij Dogra Architects
Shitij Dogra Architects, founded in 2017, aims to create spaces that respond to the context and aesthetics of an environment. The multidisciplinary unit covers the gamut of interiors, architecture and furniture.
The firstborn rocking chair not only provides an interesting swing-like composition with its brass strokes, but is also a complex amalgamation of different materials.
The chair is sculptural in its approach due to its slender top and heavy bottom. Being a structural marvel with its marble counterweight and barrel support system, it is immensely comfortable due to the seating width – which is 1.5 times the size of a standard rocking chair.