“The world has been waiting for what India has to offer”
There’s a fine line that separates the old from the new, the traditional from the contemporary and the high-tech from the antiquated; and it’s a line that interior and product designer Gunjan Gupta has been proudly blurring since she started her practice Wrap in 2006. From displaying at Salone del Mobile, Milan to having her pieces acquired by Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris and M+ Museum, Hong Kong— Gupta is known globally for creating iconic objects. Her designs take what is quintessentially Indian and give it a modern spin. Her latest, a new brand called Ikkis.21, which she launched at Maison et Objet is Paris earlier this year, is no different. It is a series of 21 innovative objects. “The response was incredible. It just felt like the world has been waiting for what India has to offer.” So, the cutting-chai glass turns into an elegant
brass stem champagne holder, a brass balti (bucket) into a chic wine chiller and a diya (earthen lamp) into a copper candle holder. Then there’s the matka (an earthen vessel to hold water) that serves as inspiration behind the Matka Tiffin, where terracotta-coated copper bowls separate into three pieces. Sitting in her home-office in Ghitorni, Delhi, surrounded by sketches and prototypes, Gupta, who is a masters in design from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, shares a few insights.
What is India modern?
Designs that are to do with indigenous stories and materials, reinterpreted and reimagined for contemporary living. This has always been in the background as the inspiration of my work. I just feel that India as a culture has really not been explored from a modern standpoint.
Do you have a favourite product from the new line?
We have a terracotta and copper range and I love the idea of combining the two materials. (The terracotta coating is a unique technique with a pending patent.) In this collection my favourite piece is the khullar transformed into a water goblet. Another favourite is the chakla belan that can be used as a trivet, or a cheese board. PRICE `1,850 to `21,550
GUNJAN GUPTA, 44 Designer, Ikkis.21, Delhi @ikkis.21 (Instagram)
INDIA INSPIRED A few of the pieces from Ikkis.21’s debut line that modernises traditional designs