The four experts in their respective fields will unveil the Asian Paints ColourNext trends at India Design ID, New Delhi. Make sure you are there!
Harvest, Enchanted, F-lux and Adulting – these are the four trends that are going to take over the design world in 2019, according to Asian Paints. We speak to the four experts who are going to decode the trends at India Design ID, New Delhi.
Pavitra Rajaram, decor custodian for Asian Paints and Good Earth’s lead designer, decodes Enchanted for us and suggests practical applications:
What is the idea behind Enchanted?
Enchanted is inspired from a need for constructed storytelling in interiors. It’s about maximalism and moving away from austere, pared down aesthetics. Since technology has homogenised our lives, it has also left us feeling vulnerable and has characterised us down to a group of aspects and traits. Enchanted is about breaking away from such standardisation, and using our memories, imagination, fantasy and nostalgia to design, wherein technology plays no role.
Mumbai’s Slink & Bardot, a restaurant you designed, embraces this concept. Tell us about it.
I created a fictional world—imagining that the villa was inhabited 100 years ago and conceptualised a real and meaningful decor scheme. This bit alone was inspired in part by Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s masterpiece 100 Years of Solitude. I created wallpapers for the space, placed half-eaten artworks for a discovery-of-the-past feel, used frangipani in every corner as well as fantastical art inspired by the likes of Frieda Kahlo.
How can Enchanted be practically applied to homes?
Some of the best ways to break away from conventional design ideas are using wallpapers on the ceiling or even setting up the dining table with mix and match tableware, using pieces that have fond memories attached to them. One could even create an artwork—a collage of sorts—using important mementos and souvenirs mixed with a painting bought at an auction. The idea is to personalise spaces from one’s memory and imagination.
When an artist with a scientific bent reimagines the future, the possibilities seem endless. Tokyo-based Yoko Shimizu’s experimental presentation at India Design ID’s Colour Next panel will give a glimpse into the future of humankind, using art and science as a lens. She decodes the trend Harvest:
How do you use biotechnology to create art and how did you first find this path?
In Kyoto, Japan, I was surrounded by nature as well as ancient traditional art. I then moved to New York where I experienced contemporary art. I’ve been taking art lessons since I was very small. I chose biochemistry at university because I wanted to learn about the beautiful mechanisms of nature. I was fascinated by how cells proliferate and the strong, functional and beautiful structures of living things. I know that to many people science and art and design are opposite things, but, to me, both are creative fields that explore new ideas and concepts and break conventional boundaries. I take the natural and scientific phenomenon occurring around us to create installations, and art or design materials.
Please tell us more about some of your current projects.
I’ve been working on projects where I cultivate different artistic or design materials, like a type of textile or paper that can be processed into design or 3-D structural products. I have this installation called Gravitropism, where plants are grown in different angles or upside down. People don’t think plants move much, but they sense the environment and gravity accurately. For example, when you grow a tulip upside down, almost overnight it starts to grow upward. Gravity in relation to how organisms grow is very interesting because mankind is trying to go to outer space and in order to do that, we need to grow things in locations other than earth.
Your theme is Harvest: Growing the Future. What do you have in store for the audience?
I believe we will be cultivating more and more things and discover ones that haven’t been found yet. Cultivating and growing things is a sustainable, ecological and innovative way for next gen technology. I’ll show design materials that are like textiles and paper, laser cut and engraved, but grown in a seamless, 3-D manner. I’ve cultivated sound speaker cones in a tank, creating a warm, natural, nostalgic sound. That will be installed in the exhibition, playing music by an experimental sound artist from Tokyo.
Maximiliano Modesti has spent the past 25 years in India bringing modern design expertise and sensibility to Indian artisans, and in turn, is nourished by their incredible skill and passion for craft. He’s the founder of Les Ateliers 2M, an embroidery and textile production business supplying to leading international couture houses such as Hermès and Christian Dior, and Jaipur Modern, a store championing contemporary Indian design. For the panel Modesti brings his views on F-luxe - a change in the way we view luxury. It is about breaking into the luxury domain by telling authentic, intimate, immersive stories that celebrate the creator and the process. The new luxury is authentic, intimate and meaningful.
What attracted you to Indian crafts and artisans at first and what about them gives you passion today?
It is the uniqueness of it and the fact that it can't be done anywhere else. What I'm passionate about even today with respect to craft and artisans, is the fact that nothing much has changed. Even though machines may have taken away the essence of made-by-hand pieces, fine craftsmanship in the country has stayed the same for centuries. Therein lies the beauty of it all—the creation process is still the same and a new generation of designers is working to open new avenues within the realm of craft.
You’re very invested in helping Indian artisans flourish, why this is so important to you?
Centuries-old craft forms are already in danger of being a thing of the past; we absolutely cannot afford to lose our collective craftsmanship history the way certain regions of the world have. It is exactly this, that makes me, and others like me all around the country, strive towards preserving what we have for the generations to come. Craft is part of the DNA of India. I founded the Kalhath Institute on the premise that traditional craft forms such as zardozi, ari etc. be formalised by way of student training and education. Education is key for the karigar to challenge their own skills and go beyond their usual territory.
Life seems like a sweet ride when you’re India’s favourite pastry chef. But Pooja Dhingra started Adulting earlier than most - she founded her brand Le 15 Patisserie at 23, and will be sharing her story at India Design ID. She talks to us about how millennials approach success, part of which is ensuring they make time for fun.
What was it like having to adult at an age when your friends were still doing stuff other conventional twenty-year-olds do?
I started my business when most of my friends were still figuring out what to do with their lives at that point. I always had to sacrifice fun for work for the first four years (I still do). I had to miss weddings, birthdays, parties and holidays because I had to be at work every single day. I don't regret any of it, to be honest. Work is where I chose to be.
What were the advantages of starting a business at that age?
I think lack of experience was the biggest advantage for me. You think you can do everything because you don't have the life experience to tell you that you can’t! Then, you eventually learn, but your mind is open, and your spirit is determined. You also are more optimistic, have more energy and can do much more at a younger age. You also have fewer responsibilities, which makes it easier to only focus on work.
How do you balance work and fun?
I run on a very tight schedule and try to fit in the things I love. For me, the ability to go work out in the morning is fun, or to see a friend for drinks after work is fun, so I ensure to always make time for both.
The four panellists will be speaking at the ID Sympsium at 3.30 pm on February 12 at India Design ID, New Delhi
Yoko Shimizu runs her own innovation lab, and her creative biology-inspired installations have travelled the world.
Maximiliano Modesti has spent the past 25 years in India, carrying out a cultural exchange of sorts with Indian craft.
Pavitra Rajaram has design Mumbai’s popular French restaurant Slink and Bardot.
With inputs from Anamika Butalia
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