After completing his B Tech from IIT Kanpur, Mukul Goyal took a U- turn and chose to pursue a diametrically different field – design. Of course, the journey from then to now for this Gurgoan-based designer was no cakewalk.
Ask him about his inspiration and he says ‘anything and everything, but primarily – LIFE’. And this is very evident in his design. Condensing the essence of life he pours creativity into regular mundane objects.
His product line based on human figures originated from his observations and study of human body language. His Dhokra collection presents a contemporary interpretation of the traditional craft.
Basically, his products tend to say, “People! Hold your horses – breathe – and live a life”
A quickfire Q & A with the man himself…
What is the one thing that you like most about being a designer?
That I can get away with the most outrageous of matters that others may not be able to, only because of what people perceive the license of being a designer is.
You have procured an education from three of the most prestigious universities, what have you taken away from each one and how do you implement it in your work?
I did my B. Tech in Metallurgy from IIT Kanpur where I developed problem solving skills and the ability to work hard and a sense of achievement. At NID Ahmedabad, I gained the technical knowledge of the design profession and practical execution of those creative thoughts.
Domus Academy in Milan gave me a very good exposure of the arena of design – the possibilities in the field, the future of this profession and at the same time exposed me to some great works of design. All this learning comes very handy in my current professional role.
You work a lot with metal and figurines, what about the material and form fascinates you most?
The primary material of my choice is brass which is malleable and can be moulded into preferred shapes through the beautiful yet simple process of casting. Regarding my “perceived fascination” for figurines, the inspirations are many in human existence and each of my ID products depict a slice of life.
How important is ‘enterprising’ in the design industry today?
Like any other field, design too thrives on enterprise – the ingenuity, the adventurous spirit, the boldness in undertaking! For it is the designer who can visualise the creation in his/her mind and then go on to give it shape, form, function with the help of all the above mentioned attributes!
Any material that you think is under-explored and you would like to work with?
At this point of time and from where I stand today, any material that I have not dabbled in personally is under-explored (by me). I say that because each of us have our own language and flavour which we impart to the material of our choice. And there are a lot of such materials and immense potential of exploration.
Any another design domain that interests you?
Fashion design definitely fascinates me for its various possibilities of the textiles, the textures, colours, cuts and styles and the impact they have on the wearer of the garment. The various influences of culture, age groups, personalisation etc. that fashion design as a profession has to cater to is quite intriguing and enthralling to me.
Work of any of your contemporaries that you admire?
I admire Chandrashekhar Bheda’s work with textiles, Himanshu Dogra’s playful graphics, Alex Davis’ out of the box treatment of stainless steel and a lot of other talented contemporaries.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on a series of interesting (story inspired) hardware. This category of products as available in our country is mostly staid and un-exciting and could do with some design and imagination intervention.
Tell us something about your recent installation work…
I have very recently done an installation in a residence as a private commission. I am not at liberty to share details but suffice to say that the installation was inspired from nature.
Which is a more satisfying experience, practicing product design or installation art?
I most definitely favour product design over installation art for the simple reason that I find the former more deft at reaching out to the multitudes and integrating with the lives of people as compared to installation art.
Through my products, I have engaged with as many people as the number of my products sold, and it is not only restricted to India, as my products are sold in around 30 countries around the world, including India.
Any ‘proud moment’ that tops the list of your accomplishments?
Without sounding vain, there have been very many proud moments in my professional life. As mentioned earlier, since the products are sold in many countries, we have people writing in from these countries just saying how much they loved our products.
For anyone to take time out in their busy schedules to tell us what a difference our products made for them makes me feel very special. What’s more is that we have people writing in from countries where we do not have any direct sales ourselves. For us to know that the reach of our products is even more than what we imagine is extremely gratifying.
Any unfulfilled dream?
A long cherished dream of mine is to learn the beautiful language of Urdu in its poetic and profound entirety. I also want to learn how to play the violin.