In the studio of Klove

Delhi-based product designers, Gautam Seth and Prateek Jain let us into their magical glass bubble, a studio that is home to installations created from blown glass

It was sometime in 2005, when the two launched Klove from a 700 sqft studio. A decade later, they have moved into a 5,000 sqft floor, which houses some of the most stunning lighting installations witnessed here in the country. They sure have come a long way. Today, Klove boasts of an award-winning portfolio, including commissions for some of the most sought after installations. While the pair has a lot in common, they have just as many distinctive points of view – a fantastic thing, if you ask us when it comes to design. They can be as different as chalk and cheese – one calm and composed, and the other, a fireball, to put it mildly. We caught up with them at their studio, and we will let you guess who fits which description.

How did you two decide to work together?
Prateek Jain We both come non-design backgrounds but were very keen on exploring our creative sides. At that time we realised that there was a huge gap in the product line available in the home market. So we decided to work on our first decor line using blown glass, metal and mesh. It was called, “Transparent, Translucent, Opaque”, because we created the same forms in different materials. It was while working on this that we realised that blown glass was our calling. And over a period of time, it has evolved into lighting installations.

Gautam Seth When we started out we had a common vision but our design sensibilities were poles apart. Our thoughts were diametrically opposite but with time, it is more in tune with each other.

When did you move into this space? Who designed it?
PJ
We have always been in this building but on different floors. So it’s an evolution in a sense that when we started we took a small area in this house, and as our installations got larger, we expanded to a bigger space. Our business model is such that it didn't require us to be in a retail environment. We designed the space keeping in mind the way we see our work, part installation, part product-led.

GS We worked very closely with a very dear friend of ours, Vishal Dar. We were clear that we wanted a space that was as much an experience as it was a showcase of our products. When the clients come in, we wanted them to take in the whole ambience and realise this is what their space can be. All the spaces in the studio have been created like mini boxes, where each box allows a certain kind of installation to play. We keep on changing the look and feel of our studio time and again.

Which is your favourite part of the studio, or your design you love?
PJ
I love the Artichoke room with its periphery of glass sticks around it. I think it makes it look very luxurious and glamorous. I can imagine hosting parties in there.

GS The Boondh chandelier is my favourite. For me, it's very peaceful despite its size, which is very true to the purpose of a raindrop or the boondh. I one actually imagine reading a book below that, it really inspires me.

What is a day in the studio like?
PJ
It is mostly divided between design and marketing. I spend a lot of time with the design team thinking of new ideas and exploring different ways of improving what we have done before. More than just simply creating a product, it’s about creating a story, an experience around it. Every time we do something new, we work with new collaborators. The idea is to try and bring a new skillset to the table each time.

How would you define your style?
PJ
I think there is a bit of Jekyll and Hyde in me. I like extremes. I am a complete night person; I prefer darker shades, stronger hues and over the top sensual in terms of design. Then there are days when I feel more spiritual preferring calmer tones. In terms of work, it depends on what part of my personality is more aggressive at that time and that takes over my design sensibilities as well. What I am feeling, very easily translates into my clothing, food, choice of travel and also my approach to work.

GS My personal design style varies from simple to eclectic with a lot of colour.

What are the five things we will always find at your desk?
PJ
My iPod, speakers, laptop, magazines and lots of pending bills.

GS Pen, paper, lot of pencils, calculator – all basics.

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