THE DAWN OF ASIAN DESIGN
Held in on junction with HOMI Milan, HOMI Asia Design delivered yet again with a stunning collective of pieces from an array of brilliantly talented designers. We speak to Akhil M, co- founder of Deniable Studio, and Kunaal Kyhaan Seolekar, founder of KOY
We speak to Akhil M of Deniable Studio and Kunaal Kyhaan Seolekar of KOY about their participation in the recently-held HOMI Asia Design exhibition.
HOW DO YOU ENSURE QUALITY WHERE YOUR WORK IS CONCERNED?
Akhil, Deniable Studio: Empathy is essential to design, but the desire to be liked is not necessary in the final product. We use our products as modes of interaction with our users, instead of merely having them look impressive. More than look, the character should have a sense of purpose. When it comes to ensuring quality, we make sure the necessity, simplicity, and order should be served well along with craftsmanship.
Kunaal, KOY: In our studio, we are constantly playing with materials and creating new possibilities by combining various elements, textures, and finishes. To realise these ideas, it was natural that we collaborated with technically-sound professionals to let the creativity flow, and to produce goods of the highest quality under their guidance. Each day adds to our learning curve. We have our artisans come up to help us achieve our dream designs by incorporating their knowledge of their medium. The technical team tests the product quality and durability against the specifications.
TELL US ABOUT HOW YOU SOURCE MATERIALS.
Akhil, Deniable Studio: Our design philosophy is to source wood, brass, copper, and other materials, to explore them through the manufacturing process of a product. Our motive is to explore and the exploit the potential of raw materials with respect to their colour, scale, texture, and the behaviours they exhibit.
Kunaal, KOY: The sourcing of materials is a key factor, and an understanding of hard and soft materials helps. I travel extensively around India in search of unique stones and materials. I have a database of vendors specialising in materials unique due to their processing techniques. A healthy mix of
grassroots vendors and big corporates help towards a productive supply chain. A dialogue with them with a strong brief ensures we find the most suitable material for our designs. Each material goes through a screening process, which helps with our material and product compatibility study. I personally love the instinctive sourcing of materials, as it yields the most satisfactory results. Stumbling upon the material by chance!
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Akhil, Deniable Studio: We are quite eccentric in terms of perceiving things philosophically. We think complexity and depth of thoughts are on the edge, so it’s reasonable to us to create products that manifest some hidden, unexpected emotions along with their functions. Evoking these intended expressions and emotions fascinates and inspires us.
Kunaal, KOY: I find inspiration in everything around me: life, nature, travel, and pets. Having a workshop helps to feed my curiousity, because often, I can experiment and turn my multiple inspirations into a reality.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MOST MEMORABLE COMMENTS YOU’VE RECEIVED ABOUT YOUR WORK?
Akhil, Deniable Studio: Our interview with POOL magazine – Products with Purpose – depicting our process of merging the aesthetics of art with the functionality of architecture. The ‘Sexier Office Supplies’ article by Yanko Design Magazine, and the ‘Design Objects’ article by Producture Magazine are also memorable for us, as they share our content and work with a global audience. Kunaal, KOY: Galleries and concept stores have shown keen interest in
our work. This has helped me to channel my energy to design and promote our products in that genre. The statement pieces in our collection are exciting to work upon. The recurring compliments about our work being ‘original’, ‘fresh’, and ‘playful’ are definitely motivating and reassuring.
TELL US ABOUT SOME PROJECTS YOU’VE DONE.
Akhil, Deniable Studio: We did some furniture production for a designer in Milan. It was a notable project, as we had the chance to explore canning work in India for the first time.
Kunaal, KOY: Our portfolio today includes some of the most exclusive resorts, private homes, and boutique retail concepts in India. In recent years, we have extended the spectrum to a range of residential and commercial projects, and the launch of KOY, our interior design concept store, will introduce a bold, eclectic take on luxury to a wider audience.
TELL US ABOUT THE PROCESS OF EXHIBITING AT HOMI ASIA DESIGN. HOW DID YOU SELECT WHAT TO EXHIBIT? TELL US ABOUT THE PIECES, AND HOW THEY WERE RECEIVED.
Akhil, Deniable Studio: We were introduced to HOMI Asia Design by Bombay Atelier Studio. It was amazing. We got the opportunity to engage with users who believe in the spirit of creativity, exploration, and artistry through HOMI Asia Design. Deniability reflects our flexibility in adapting to human sensibilities and ergonomics in the context of design, and so we chose to exhibit products featuring experiments with the processes, materials, and manufacturing.
Kunaal, KOY: HOMI Asia Design has been on our radar for some time now. Sarpi Bridge made it possible for us to contribute towards the pavilion dedicated towards the Indian sub-continent. Our friends at Bombay Atelier extended the invitation and shared our work with Sarpi Bridge, which logistically worked out too.
Our exclusive series Tuxedo, caught some traction at the fair. We exhibited the Tuxedo Chair with its clean lines and exposed Rosewood bowtie joinery along with its siblings, the Tuxedo Coasters and Platters. The platters, that come in three forms, have been handcrafted from 80-year-old seasoned teak wood, combined with Himalayan pine and accented by storytelling. The European market is very welcoming towards new designers, and we enjoyed the attention.
HELD FROM THE 15TH – 1 8 TH SEPTEMBER 2017, HOMI MILAN I S A SHOW DEDICATED TO PROMOTING THE L IFESTYLES AND SPACES OF PEOPL E . FROM THE LATEST TRENDS TO THE BEST IN ASIAN DESIGN, V I S ITORS WERE GI VEN A VERI TABLE TREAT OVER THE COURSE OF THE FOUR DAYS IN F IERAMILANO.
LEFT TO RIGHT Tuxedo chair and Cosmos candle holders, both from KOY.
TOP TO B O T TO M Tuxedo costers, leaf paltter and Tuxedo platter, all from KOY.