Over the years, we have come to enjoy — and even expect — great things in design from our times. We’re definitely spoilt for choice, and there’s so much already happening in the designer space that most brands are making the added extra effort to reinvent themselves and their designs for the sake of their patrons and consumers. It is the perfect setting, as we see it, for unique collaborations to thrive. In fact, one of the best examples of this is the coming together of the market leader in interiors, Asian Paints, and designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee for Chapter II of Nilaya: India Revival Project. We caught up with India’s favourite bridal designer to pick his brains about his ode to India’s culture, architecture and natural beauty, and what actually goes into a successful collaboration. And we have to say, he did throw light on a few key pointers for the rest of the design industry to take the cue from.
“When I started out, the first question I asked myself as an entrepreneur was, ‘So Sabyasachi, what route do you want to take? Do you want to take the money route or do you want to take the wealth path?’ And the answer was clear — I wanted to take the wealth path. When you do things on your own, you do create a lot of money for yourself. When you collaborate, you create wealth, because you are working with two different kinds of eco-systems. The good thing about collaborations is that there are some people who become a great front, and some who become a great back or support system for the front. For us designers, the best thing about getting into a collaboration is that you can focus on the design and leave the rest to the other collaborator,” he explains. It’s a simple principle that Sabyasachi practises, and it seems to be working for him, because he has not only taken his partnership with Asian Paints to unprecedented levels, he has also announced another collaboration with Thomas Goode & Co. for bespoke dinner service design.
While we thought Sabya’s perspective on the creative side was completely on point, we also met up with Amit Syngle of Asian Paints to get the business angle on collaborative design. “Thanks to the Internet, the consumer is more aware of what is going on in the world of design around the world. The market was ready to break away from the conventional way of thinking and working. Asian Paints has always been an Indian company, very strongly Indian at heart, thinking of how we can inspire the Indian consumer at every step. Sabya was the perfect fit for our vision…but the collaboration wasn’t easy. It was a totally different experience for all of us,” explains Syngle. At this point, we tip our hats to both these geniuses because they’ve not only created a stunning smorgasbord of surface design but also paved the way for more collaborations in the future.