by Jincy IypeAug 17, 2020
As countries across the globe battle the COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-economic impact, it becomes important to find ways to revive and rebuild economies worldwide with design innovation and intervention. The role of the design industry has never been as critical as it is now.
In light of this new duty of design, STIR in collaboration with Script – a Godrej venture and the first Indian premier design-oriented furniture and accessory brand - presents Made In: an original series that focuses on the best of native product design from across the world. Curated by Amit Gupta and Pramiti Madhavji, Made In travels across continents, scouts for great talent and brings to you the best of design narratives that establish how local design can also be universal, how it is one of the main strengths of a country in responding to, recovering from and evolving from crisis. Made In brings to you sustainable, homegrown practices looking inward and integrating local tradition with technology to establish a new order.
“I believe that design is a true reflection of our culture and heritage. Design emotes this; it is self-expression; it is problem solving. It is an approach or process to arrive at a solution to a given problem. This approach is beautifully diverse, as every designer can look at arriving at a solution using different points of view, influenced and directed by various stimuli,” observes Rajat Mathur, Business Head, Script.
“Homegrown design is amazingly diverse and dexterous. Right from small-scale artisanal designs to high-end, contemporary industrial brands, the talent is immense. It is time to recognise and nurture it! With Made In, we seek to find and uncover these talents, their originality and sustainable design perspectives and native products, which have the potential to influence the global economy,” Mathur shares.
Made In chronicles the identity of product design vocabularies across the globe, swathed in layers of tradition and history. These homegrown designs showcase insights of the countries' past and its cultural, political and environmental influences, making best use of modern technical skills. Led by their expertise and experience in the field, some of the best senior designers, architects and design influencers from across the world, such as the Campana Brothers (Co-Founders, Estudio Campana), Anubhav Gupta (Founder, GPL DesignStudio), Nada Debs (Founder, Creative Director, Studio Nada Debs) and Adrian Jankowiak (Director, Founder, Nairobi Design Week), have carefully curated a set of diverse creative talents from their respective countries like Brazil, India, Lebanon, Kenya, with many more to come.
After careful research, each feature presents an in-depth insight into the curator’s long-standing relationship with native design, followed by a brief study of the five selected designers’ practices, philosophies and their most prominent works. The selection is done across furniture, lighting and textile design, along with interior and home décor products, featuring works synonymous with conscious design processes, use of eco-friendly materials and innovative production.
Made In is an attempt to look inward while unifying diverse countries and creative individuals with the common denominator of sustainable design.
Chapter 1. Made in Brazil: Curated by Campana Brothers
Where form meets function and nature
In the first of our multi-part series, we present a carefully curated selection of five creative, sustainable and ardent designers from Brazil, picked by the Campana Brothers known internationally for their remarkable furniture designs such as the Favela and Vermelha chairs. They explain that the common thread between their picks - Domingos Tótora, Inês Schertel, Ricardo Graham, Hugo França and Luiza Caldari - is the craft, and the way they sustainably develop each process and end product. “They experiment and interpret the material with great respect and care. These materials determine the function of each project, imposing their own characteristics,” they say.
Chapter 2. Made in Mexico: Curated by Fernanda Canales
A future carved in colour and creativity
Architect Fernanda Canales, known for designing Casa Bruma and Terreno House, brings to us the best of native product design from her country, explaining that many young Mexican designers are coming up with clever, creative and imaginative works, making the selection a challenging process. “The designers that I’ve selected - Isabel Abascal and Alessandro Arienzo, Ariel Rojo, Juan José Nemer and Mauricio Álvarez, Joel Escalona and Marisol Centeno - portray diverse tendencies, but reveal strong traditional knowledge and skills of hand crafting, influenced by Mexican history, colours and culture, with a deep understanding of transforming simple materials into complex, rich and sustainable objects.”
Chapter 3. Made in Kenya: Curated by Adrian Jankowiak
Upcyling the past for richer futures
Adrian Jankowiak, the founder of Nairobi Design Week, curates the selection this time, carefully gathering conscientious Kenyan designers and their purposeful works. All of his picks - Swahili Chic Interiors, Cyrus Kabiru, Moran Munyuthe, Oyugie Allela and Ocean Sole - nurture a profound respect for the country’s heritage and a collective need to preserve natural resources. “From turning aquatic weed into a concrete alternative, to transforming trash into unpredictable, flashy eyewear designs, all of these designers are very inspiring. These are works and designs we should be celebrating and putting on the global map to learn from,” he asserts.
Chapter 4. Made in Lebanon: Curated by Nada Debs
Resilience by Design
STIR stands in solidarity with the country as it slowly recovers from the devastating explosions in Beirut, and applauds the power of its native design in restoring hope for the future. Beirut-based designer Nada Debs, the curator of this selection, relays that her picks are a curiously creative and stubborn bunch – “Stephanie Sayar and Charbel Garibeh, Rana Haddad and Pascal Hachem, Carlo Massoud, Thomas Trad and Carla Baz, all of them imbibe the resilience of our culture in their magnetic work and production choices fluently. They work with local craftsmen and use locally produced material in a majority of their products. They are passionate and thirsty to do more. They are not afraid to fail,” says Nada.
Chapter 5: Made in the Netherlands: Curated by Wendy Plomp
Going Dutch for a Greener Tomorrow
Wendy Plomp, Founder, Curator and Design Director of Dutch Invertuals, brings to us futuristic and circular product designers from the Netherlands, with their innovative works promising a better, greener future. “This worldwide sabbatical has presented us with time to pause and think. How can we effectively move away from careless, money-driven systems of ‘hunting and consuming', towards a more ‘community driven and caring’ design approach? This is what I was primarily searching for when curating this selection for STIR. More than being creators, these designers - Marjan van Aubel, Rachel Griffin, Studio Klarenbeek & Dros, Studio Truly Truly and Lex Pott, are true innovators, questioners and change makers,” she deliberates.
Chapter 6: Made in Sri Lanka: Curated by Colomboscope
Where Hope is Handmade
The Colomboscope interdisciplinary arts festival team brings to us conscious and circular design ideologies of four product designers and collectives from Sri Lanka, their handmade works an honest brew of eco-friendly materials and age old Sri Lankan craftsmanship and aesthetic. “These designers - Luka Nina Alagiyawanna, Deepthi Wickremasinghe, Nihara Fernando and Sagara Ranga Liyanage, use local materials, practise upcycling in the purest sense, and support local businesses and vulnerable groups of society. This is what makes their work so relevant, in a process of establishing explorative journeys with solid results,” shares the Colomboscope team.
Chapter 7: Made in India: Curated by Anubhav Gupta
Colourful tapestries of functional design
Anubhav Gupta, founder of GPL Design Studio at Godrej, speaks about his curation – “These eclectic mix of passionate designers - Ishrat Sahgal, Tejas Sidnal, Chinar Farooqui, Tushant Bansal and SPIN - share a collective interest for research, foster a need to reinterpret relevant traditions in interesting ways and address the evolving aspirations of the well-travelled Indian. A strong focus on storytelling with a unique blend of the old and new, and an involvement of eco-friendly materials and processes unites them, ranging from upcycling waste into products, reviving traditional crafts and supporting the skills of local craftsmen and artisans,” observes Gupta.
Chapter 8: Made in Turkey: Curated by Arhan Kayar
Linking tenses in rhythm and colour
Co-Founder of Dream Design Factory and Founder and Director of Istanbul Design Week, Arhan Kayar believes that his selection of designers for the feature - Tamer Nakisci, Meriç Kara, Inci Ozman, Tulya Madra, Seyhan Özdemir and Sefer Çağlar – have a similar yet wonderfully unique way of handling materials, of respectfully contemporising their local Turkish culture and nurturing global design sensibilities. “I believe that we should and we can redesign all of our sectors – from politics to design to trade and entertainment, in a way that it focuses and celebrates the local and ecological, and produce with a global awareness,” he shares.
Chapter 9: Made in Taiwan: Curated by Ben Chiu
Design Notes from Nature
“Taiwanese design is all inclusive; a balanced fusion that embraces multiple cultures and design styles. Ever evolving in its aesthetic and discourse, it demonstrates traditional perspectives and our indigenous nature in contemporary light,” says Ben Chiu, Executive Director, Taiwan Designers’ Web who leads the curation for this episode. He shares that his selection of Taiwanese designers approach design issues from fresh perspectives, inclusive of Taiwan’s traditional industries, indigenous culture, traditional bamboo craft and history.
Watch this space and tune into our social media channels for more updates.
SCRIPT – A Godrej Venture
Combining beauty and intelligence, SCRIPT, part of Godrej Group, makes multifaceted furniture and accessories that are luxurious, interactive and refreshing. Furniture that cares for the smallest details, the planet, as well as the user. The brand’s products are purposeful and aesthetic, designed entirely around and for the user, to give them a fluid living experience that SCRIPT calls ‘Freedom of Living’.
Know more on www.scriptonline.com