“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci
It was a warm (read blistering) afternoon, sometime mid-year. I remember standing with a bunch of papers in my hand at my engineering counselling, some hundred students ahead of me and some five hundred others behind me were assembled like robots in a serpentine queue and I just knew something wasn’t right. I walked out of engineering with the filled forms in my hands and ventured on a life changing journey of design.
I come from Nainital, a small hill station and thus had limited exposure; so when I entered NIFT, Hyderabad I virtually had no idea about the design business. 2011 came like a flash and I graduated with an 8.5 CGPA in accessory design from NIFT which specialises in product design (furniture and hard goods) and started working in a company called Stanley Lifestyles Limited in Bangalore. For more than a year I designed sofas and odd chairs and tables.
After Stanley, I wanted to get back to my roots and take a break from ‘commercial’ design and therefore I went to an award winning studio, Sarthak Sahil Design Co. for a full-time paid internship. I designed sofas, wardrobes, diwans, metal frame doors and windows here and learned the functioning of a studio and rekindled my love of expressing through design.
I joined an export house after my internship designing furniture and home decor accessories like pendants, votive holders, hurricanes, vases, serve ware and more in glass, iron, wood, etc. for international buyers like Pier1 Imports, Home Goods, Zodax, Uttermost, ZGallerie.
This was a challenging profile as I was working on different products on an everyday basis and it was difficult to come up with fresh new ideas in different product areas.
At present I design furniture and hard goods for a reputed buying house with billion dollar clients. I literally go to work with a pencil, sketchbook and brainstorm new ideas and products on an everyday basis. The work also involves presenting my designs to our client and visiting international fairs and therefore keeps me updated on trends.
The design of the center table takes inspiration from nano images of organic textures and interprets them in a contemporary light and was part of ‘origins’ collections. While the book shelf is a reduced one third scale prototype of a magazine/book shelf which is a part of the Origins collection and takes inspiration from microscopic images of a single cell nucleus. Also a part of the Origins collection is the floor lamp which is inspired by the nucleus.
The product shelf was a prototype designed as part of an industry project for salons with limited space and takes its inspiration from Chinese architecture. On the other hand, ceiling lamp aims to interpret traditional Chinese architecture in a product.
The Freedom series consists of multiple table lamps that express the idea of light being synonymous with hope and that hope/light will find its way out no matter the obstacles.
I consider myself lucky for I have never had to struggle much with coming up with a design solution. I don’t force myself to generate ideas, it happens on its own. I have always had a different thought process than others since as long as I can remember.
For me, inspirations are everywhere and anywhere; I can get inspired from a broken architectural element of a fort, a beautiful leaf vibrant in the monsoon, microscopic images capturing nano-organic textures, the view from the top of a mountain at the end of a long trek or the feeling when I listen to good music and flush out the world.
I have always dreamed of being a globally recognised designer like Philippe Starck, Karim Rashid, etc. and to design everything from a small accent table or vase to a yacht! I want to come up with designs that ‘wow’ people and work on projects that challenge my design muscle in new creative ways.
Text By Bharat Tiwari