Coming from a textile based family, I had an early exposure to design and craft. As a child, I remember visiting my father’s factory during summer vacations where small artisanal workshops were held.
The various workshops ranging from block printing workshops to wood workshops triggered my curiosity; I also had the opportunity to attend numerous international design shows, which shaped my perception of design. This design exposure led me to study architecture at Kamala Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute Of Architecture (KRVIA), Mumbai. Post that, I went to London to pursue a Masters in Environmental Design with a focus on furniture design and public art at the Chelsea College of Art & Design.
During my time in London, I got an opportunity to focus on design with respect to public art, fashion, furniture and graphics. This experience reiterated my belief that design is seamless and interconnected.
Post London, eight years prior to opening my store, I had the opportunity to work with Rajiv Saini (Mumbai), Paul Loebach (New York) and other designers in Belgium and Netherlands. During this time I gained experience in architecture, interiors, furniture design, textiles, fashion, and graphic design. My experiences and experiments with design culminated with the opening of my design studio in 2011.
I recently showcased my Fin Cloud light series at Salone Satellite, Milan and the New York Design Week. The Fin Cloud light series are a sculptural take on biomorphism.
These ethereal light sculptures bear comparision to scaly marine creatures like the sea anemone and jellyfish and display forms that have a physical and mathematical basis. The concept is furthered by replicating and arraying fin modules around the central spine of the structure.
The production of these involve a series of manual processes which can sometimes include as many as five hundred to one thousand hand cut, hand polished pieces of brass (& other materials) and hundred hours of craftsmanship. Each piece is authenticated by a signature plate and dated.
For my award winning collection the Faceted Tactile Light series, I had first conceptualised the idea for a specially commissioned screen, utilised in a Mumbai based resto-bar.
One of the key aspects of the design was that it was modular which made it versatile. The form itself is structural hence it minimises additional structural members. The facets are put together piece by piece meticulously to form a mosaic of a repetitive cellular structure that results in to a tessellated geometrical form.
The lighting collection for me is a perfect blend of parametric designing and Indian handicrafts. Although they are modular, since they are handmade, they are slightly irregular which also imparts them uniqueness and character.
These products are truly unique; the hand of the artisan is evident in the work, bringing to focus the material finish and irregular facet variations that occur with it.
The Marigold seating collection is inspired from the Marigold flowers from India that are used for rituals and other auspicious occasions for various ceremonies.
The petal work of the flowers has been interpreted in the form of origami. The result is a repetitive cell work that forms a vibrantly 3D tactile pouf. All in all this collection is a proper mix of fun, functionality, playfulness and colour.
Apart from the in-house lighting and textile collections, at Studio Avni we also create bespoke artworks such as screens, panels, textile installations, space dividers, textile murals and illuminated fabric structures.
As a designer, I believe design is born from an idea and is not bound by a particular discipline. The idea germinates from pure excitement into a tangible design prototype and transcends the limits of imagination, after several detours.
The designs I create are straight forward and intuitive, it strives to generate exciting experiences besides captivating and connecting with the end users.