My first formal tryst with design was during my undergraduate course in Jadavpur University where I pursuedmy B.Arch. Following its completion in 2006, I joined the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad in 2007 to hone my designing skills. I had taken up the Post Graduate Diploma Programme in Furniture and Interior Design.
This was an enriching experience as being in a multidisciplinary environment allowed me to pursue my interests in graphic design, toy design, light design, photography, lifestyle design and other inter-disciplinary subjects.
Whilst in NID, I designed an Indoor-Outdoor family seating, designed to be multifunctional pieces of furniture. These all weather seatings are made from treated natural fibres woven on a modular steel frame. The furniture evolves around itself and can be placed in several different orientations of seat and backrest to give the user the freedom of interaction.
After leaving NID and working in the furniture design industry for some timeI formed the enterprise Space Tale Designs to create furniture and home accessories that not only suits the need of Indian consumers but also exudes of a personality that is essentially Indian. In Space Tales, all the products tell a story. These stories are inspired by the cultural heritage of India as well as the stories of our lives.
“Sonar Tori” is a quintessential take on Bengal’s early boat building tradition. “Sonar Tori” meaning the golden boat is a linear seat made from treated wood, the gold streaked cushions, resembling un-threshed rice, are placed in individual dugouts in the wood for support. Wooden stud supports milled in lathe are used as stands; the muse is from the handles of boat oars.
If Sonar Tori is a tribute to the past, “Cosmos Sofa” compliments the new age where multitasking is a keyword. Made of Burma Teak Wood the extended part of the sofa set works like a tea table, the upholstery utilises traditional ‘Khaddar’ and in the cushioning we provided sandwich foam of different density.
“Fine Dine” is an extension of the same design scheme which I have utilised in the “Cosmos Sofa” The legs are very classically blended with the modernity of the upper portion. The legs have been inspired from colonial architecture. The top part of the table has hand painted graphics, depicting different geometric patterns.
But in the chair we reverse the concept. Here the white back ribs are showing modernity in colour and form. The rest of it is very traditional. The upholstery is cotton, but the golden patterns are silk woven and inspired by Indian motif.
I am a film buff and HollyBolly is the creative extension of the films I have consumed – a series of indoor furniture including chairs it represents all that is Bollywood Kitsch + Hollywood Cool and vice-versa; customisable prints can be put on the chair backrests, these prints can be changed from time to time.
My next creation Melman, an occasional table and light stand combo also has a filmy touch; this playful furniture’s name has been inspired by the giraffe from the movie Madagascar. Melman is an eclectic mix of the traditional and contemporary, with elements of both Indian culture and its western counterpart. It is primarily composed of treated wood, steel and canvas.
Recliners have constantly been a part of regular furniture. Delta recliner is one such lounge chair made from treated ply; its constituent frame can be created with injection moulds too.
The triangular members of its frame are interlockable and hinged so as to provide a range of options of slopes and pitches, the triangular cushion is also designed to adapt to the angles thus created. The punched out voids at the base can be used for storage.
As I continue my design journey I wish to explore my mediums of “storytelling” in the future with my choice of “alternative” approaches. Like many before me I believe that the time has come for designers like me to go beyond the moulds of traditional definitions since designers are not just craftsmen but artists too. And an artist must be allowed to choose his/her medium of expression and be comfortable to come up with unique answers.