Heart of in­no­va­tion

Api­cal Re­form’s prin­ci­pal and founder, Am­r­ish Pa­tel, re­veals why Dubai’s de­sign-lovers are cel­e­brat­ing their new d3 gallery.

Identity - - CONTENTS - TEXT: JOANNE MOLINA

Api­cal Re­form’s prin­ci­pal and founder, Am­r­ish Pa­tel, re­veals why Dubai’s de­sign-lovers are cel­e­brat­ing their new d3 gallery

Founded in 2011, Api­cal Re­form is a col­lab­o­ra­tive de­sign stu­dio that spe­cialises in de­sign­ing items rang­ing from col­lectible fur­ni­ture to be­spoke de­sign-art pieces. Based in In­dia, the com­pany re­cently opened its show­room in Dubai De­sign District (d3) and ex­hib­ited the sound­wave-tech­nol­ogy-based ‘Sonuslex­ica’ in­stal­la­tion at De­sign Days Dubai. Pa­tel dis­cussed his phi­los­o­phy and his fu­ture with id.

What is your de­sign phi­los­o­phy?

We strive to de­sign mo­ments – and they can be a sin­gle cof­fee ta­ble or largescale in­stal­la­tions. We seek to cre­ate the ex­tra­or­di­nary by el­e­vat­ing the user’s ex­pe­ri­ence – both func­tion­ally and emo­tion­ally.

Why did you pur­sue sound and de­sign?

It’s ex­cit­ing to see some­thing you have [hith­erto] only heard, be it some­one’s name be­ing formed into a sound­wave graphic, or the sound of the city – the on­looker in­stantly con­nects with the graphic rep­re­sen­ta­tion of a sound.

Can you de­scribe the process of de­sign­ing your new d3 show­room?

We wanted to cre­ate a blank can­vas re­ally, [one] that was adap­tive to each piece and col­lec­tion. We like to stay min­i­mal and sleek, and let the work do the talk­ing. We wanted it to be a space that any­one could re­late to and feel wel­come [in].

What one item rep­re­sents your col­lec­tion?

Our chair, Be­tula. It’s a sin­u­ous struc­ture made en­tirely out of birch ply and it’s an ex­am­ple of fluid de­con­struc­tivism. Our next col­lec­tion will be in­spired by na­ture. Thanks to modern tech, we don’t need to limit our­selves to ex­plor­ing Earth. We are look­ing at the to­pog­ra­phy of the wider gal­axy!

Why is col­lab­o­ra­tion nec­es­sary for suc­cess?

We live in an ever-shrink­ing world. We all – as a race – need to col­lab­o­rate. If we don’t, we will all stag­nate. In the face of Brexit and Trump, we need to come to­gether.

Who are your top three favourite ar­chi­tects?

Zaha Ha­did, Santiago Cala­trava and Tadao Ando.

What is your ad­vice for de­sign stu­dents?

Go slow and ob­serve. See as much as you can, make as much as you can and make as many mis­takes as you can af­ford to. And be open to seek­ing out like-minded in­di­vid­u­als and men­tors.

What was the best part about ex­hibit­ing at this year’s De­sign Days?

It re­ally had a sense of com­mu­nity – every­one was root­ing for the oth­ers. To have His High­ness Sheikh Mo­hammed visit us was THE high­light. We didn’t even ex­pect he would know about us and the in­stal­la­tion but there he was, en­grossed in the process be­hind it.

What’s next?

The re­sponse at De­sign Days Dubai has been phe­nom­e­nal. I made re­ally cool contacts and met in­spir­ing peo­ple I can call friends. We look for­ward to col­lab­o­ra­tions and tour­ing with ‘ Sonuslex­ica’. Also on the cards are key col­lab­o­ra­tions with lo­cal de­sign­ers.

“Go slow and ob­serve. See as much as you can, make as much as you can and make as many mis­takes as you can af­ford to. And be open to seek­ing out like-minded in­di­vid­u­als and men­tors.” -Am­r­ish Pa­tel

Api­cal Re­form stu­dio

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