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

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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.

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