From the time I stepped out of school and moved into college I was very clear that I wanted to be an architect. I passed out of the Kamla Raheja College for Architecture in the year 2010, following which I was selected for summer school at the Berne School of Applied Sciences, Switzerland. After my course there I interned with an architectural office Landolt+Haller in Zurich. The internship most importantly gave me the opportunity and means to travel to Europe which was very influential on my design ideologies.
My work is not defined by a particular style, but rather by questioning objects while considering their context and cultural associations embedded in them. I like working at both ends of the design spectrum, from single pieces made together with craftsmen to mass produced objects developed in collaboration with manufacturers. I try to take inspiration from everyday things, which by a simple twist, become something unexpected.
Each project proposes a simple solution that often involves a narrative aspect. The approach to design is hands-on, practical and collaborative. My projects look to experiment with materials and challenge processes that find application on commercial projects. I don’t tend to stick to a single style, favourite material or formula, but consider design as a craft, where deep understanding of materials, processes and user behavior serve as a knot. I try to bring a sense of simplicity, functionality and elegance to my work.
I simply loved the products I grew up with, the 80’s and the 90’s era as we know it saw a slew of innovative products like for instance the walkman or the discman; all these products had an aesthetic appeal which stood the test of time. You often find products that you grew up with in the city’s scrap yards and recycle markets, which often drives me to reuse them wherever possible in my work.
The coffee table which I made out of the refrigerator door was imagined during one of my travels to Finland. I was visiting two friends there who were completing their internship with a local architect in Turku, and were living in a room rented out by their carpenter. They needed a flat surface to work on drawings, for which he gave them an old refrigerator door placed on the floor.
Back in Mumbai I was scurrying through Null Bazaar and I happened to chance upon an old refrigerator and an idea struck me; why not make a coffee table out of it? Upon finishing the piece I decided to make a series of doors using different refrigerator doors.
The idea of dwelling into product design began with architecture itself since I believe there are a lot of parallels between the two. The micro and macro scales of design go hand in hand.
Time and again there have been people who have proven the same; the first person who comes to my mind is Le Corbusier. The architect of the city of Chandigarh, Corbusier was also a pioneer when it came to furniture design; even today his designs are emulated all across the world. Joe Colombo one of Italy’s most influential product designers has also been a constant source of inspiration.
India too as a nation has always been known for its design sensibilities and skilled craftsmen. The designs that have dominated this part of the sub-continent has seen an eclectic mixture of influences which have carved a niche with every passing regime and it is good to note that currently the demand for minimalist designs has been very encouraging.
I am presently working on a shelf made out of champagne bottles, and instead of wooden planks I am using MDF. Champagne bottles are taller and thicker than regular wine bottles hence these make an ideal choice for the shelf support.
A 9 ft. high lamp out of parts of an Ambassador car is another project which has kept me busy, the project has been on for 6 months but then the difficult part of innovation is that a new idea consumes you every day and you long to incorporate it in the final draft, hopefully I will complete it soon.
When I design for my clients it becomes very essential to understand their influences. I need to know their likings and their leanings which enable me to zero in on the type of material or object I may utilise for designing the particular product.
At the end of the day any product which appeals to the client’s emotional responses and is high on the functionality aspect will sell well.
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