by Zohra KhanNov 20, 2020
Rooshad Shroff, an Indian architect and designer, completed his graduation from Cornell University in New York and Masters from Harvard University, Massachusetts in the US. Having worked briefly with Zaha Hadid Architects in London and OMA/REX in New York, he returned to India to set up his multi-disciplinary design and research studio in Mumbai. Since his days at architecture and design schools, Shroff has developed a keen interest in the cause and romantic appeal of the handmade and has been collaborating with artisans across the country to promote the craft.
Shroff has invested considerable time and effort into extensive research and experimentation with centuries-old techniques, to create some never-seen-before fusions in products and finishes. “This modus-operandi typically commences with a furniture line as the testing point of craft focus, which then translates into interiors and techniques borrowed for the creation of finishes,” explains Shroff.
Attempting to induce a new respect for traditional Indian craft techniques and skills, Shroff believes the work of a studio plays a vital role in their resurgence. “Knowledge of the craft, underscored by innovation, goes a long way in producing quality work that is at par with international requirements,” he mentions. Based in a country where abundance of craft is a unique advantage, Shroff is working toward contemporising artisanry in order to make it relevant in today’s design language. This has led to Shroff collaborating with artisans from Jaipur for marble carving, from New Delhi for woodwork and Mumbai and Lucknow for embroidery, re-honing their crafts and techniques - rooted in India - into a modern aesthetic.
Below, STIR documents and celebrates these collaborations with craftsmen in India, through which Shroff has created extraordinary contemporary products.