The first seeds of my design journey were instilled in me by my family history. Growing up in Moradabad – which is famous for its handcrafted goods – and being born in a family which owned a handicraft manufacturing company, allowed me to be around manufacturing processes and that’s where my creative curiosity initially stemmed from.
For schooling, I went to New Delhi and after spending a significant amount of time looking at conventional avenues for my career direction and choices, I took the path less travelled and attended Rhode Island School of Design, USA to study Industrial Design.
As an Industrial Designer, I enjoy the freedom to learn about different materials, manufacturing techniques and get opportunities to design a diverse variety of products. So far, I have been lucky enough to work on subjects as diverse as jewellery, furniture, toys, baby products and accessories.
For me, what makes varied projects really interesting is that each project comes with a different set of challenges and goals to achieve, and my philosophy in design is to enjoy the process as much as I enjoy the final product and at the same time, keep things simple.
I think of myself as a problem solver and that’s how I approach my design projects, by keeping my designs as simple as possible and focusing on the functionality of the project. The Block bench is inspired by the visuals of piled up wooden logs at a lumber yard. The bench is a furniture piece which can work in many different settings with its minimalistic design, clean lines and simple geometric profile.
The wood used in the bench is planned and polished to highlight its natural grains and colour, and for legs, brass sheet is rolled and braised to achieve strong cones which are finished in a reflective polished finish to compliment the colour of the wood.
The Grab bench, as the name suggests, is inspired by the visual representation of hands grabbing a wooden plank. The minimalistic design allows the beautiful wooden slab to be the main attention grabber when viewed from the front, while when viewed from the sides, the legs (or hands as visualised) in steel give the bench a completely different perspective.
Straight lines in the front design are complemented with small curves on the side of the legs. The wooden slab of the bench is polished in matte finish, and the wood colour is left natural to emphasise the natural beauty of wood.
The Hour Bar Stool design is quite simplified so that it reminds you of an hourglass figure, but the seat element is unique, as it takes the place of sand in a traditional hourglass.
The top half of the hourglass allows the cushion to be enclosed, yet be completely visible, while the bottom half allows the user to place their feet and sit comfortably. The seat is upholstered in textured leather with seamless stitching all around, while the unique shape and sturdy materials used make this stool strong and durable.
The Bell Pendant Lamp is inspired by glass encased, ship-in-a-bottle decorative pieces. The design of the lamp is such that the bell always remains the highlight and the clear glass case mimics the display box. This lamp design gives the classic bell a new purpose with a modern look. The bell body – made out of brass – has a polished, reflective surface which takes on the characteristics of its surroundings. This lamp can be used in a room, over a dining table or a bar.The Blanco lamp is designed to work in both indoor and outdoor conditions.
My inspirations for the lamp were from a traditional nón lá (Vietnamese leaf hat) and straw hut. The lamp is designed to stand out in any environment it is being used in, yet it doesn’t overpower the surroundings.
The ceramic body element in the centre of the piece compliments the metal shade and the texture on the metal shade allows light to be reflected in beautiful patterns. The cage around the ceramic body is made up of metal, on top of which rests the shade. Its tall tripod legs help makes this lamp stand 147cm tall and make it the centre of attention in any setting.
For my upcoming projects, I am working on experimenting and exploring new materials for future designs, and because as a designer I have a responsibility to design and manufacture products which are environment friendly and help local communities to grow and in the immediate future, that’s what I plan to focus on.
Text By Akshat Raghava