On the 14th of January, 2020, Aziz Kachwalla met with a tragic and fatal accident. Aziz Kachwalla’s work pushed the limits of material understanding through an involved and iterative design process, for objects that he often co-authored with architects and designers his firm worked with. His work demonstrated an intuitive grasp of the nature of materials he worked with, and he was often instrumental in the development of decisive details for complex design issues in products and spaces. A contextual and textural comprehension enabled him to create organic and surreal products, emanating the honesty from which they were conceived.
To many, Aziz was an enabler, a co-conspirator and a bridge to a good product, a complex spatial assembly or a new way of looking at a material. There are very few individuals of his calibre today, who appreciate the finesse and humility demanded to execute compelling ideas with dexterity. This editorial was originally authored by Anusha Narayanan in June 2018 for [IN]SIDE Volume 01 and Issue 02. This article is republished in memory and as a tribute to Aziz Kachwalla.
ORIGINAL: Edited from 2018 text.
With over 20 years in the product, industrial and interior design space, Aziz Kachwalla runs a practice around experimentation with materials and forms overlaid with fine craftsmanship. He is also a frequent collaborator for other architects, designers and artists of renown.
The space/studio Aziz works out of now, is a double-heighted, gritty, imperfect yet honest warehouse-turned-workshop tucked away in one of the lanes of Mazgaon, Mumbai. It has nothing to hide, no lies or pretense, similar to the nature of the designs it is home to. Resembling a theatre backstage, pieces are strewn about the space but upon observation, the emphasis on understanding each material is hard to miss. Continue reading In Memoriam: The Objects of Aziz Kachwalla→
Industrial Playground (now a part of Rubberband) – a furniture design initiative by Ajay Shah Design Studio [ASDS] – juxtaposes playful formal and visual qualities of the objects they make with process-driven industrial manufacturing for characteristic precision and uniformity. Their contemporary aesthetic is derived from the intrinsic quality of materials they work with and the nature of this specific process.
Design, in a context like that of India, can mean many things. From improvisations on existing situations to ideas that are points of the genesis of the new and unexplored avenues; the context of a developing nation enables one to deal with a range of unprecedented challenges. In 1990, Ajay Shah, then a young NID graduate, founded the Circus Design Company after a few stints of working as a designer and a furniture producer. This new company was imagined to be a multi-disciplinary design firm that dealt with design as the process of thought rather than a professional service. The conceptual framework of the present-day Ajay Shah Design Studio can be traced back to this office. Continue reading Design of the Idea with Ajay Shah Design Studio [ASDS]→
Published by SID Research Cell at the CEPT University, Rishav Jain’s book on ‘Crafts in Interior Architecture’ takes a critical view of the history of building crafts in the context of space-making while analysing recent attitudes towards their integration in contemporary work.
Historically, building crafts have been an intrinsic part of making architecture in India. We have all known and been intimate with the practice. In the Indian context, the idea of ‘kala’ is rooted in many ways of working with materials and mediums. There is a great significance to the relationship of the artisan with the architecture of our subcontinent. There are, of course, many and complex layers of this relationship. That is where this book dwells. Continue reading Crafts in Interior Architecture: India. 1990 Onwards.→
Melbourne and Mumbai-based practice Young Citizens curates the transition of a derelict bus shelter into a training centre for WomenWeave with a hands-on engagement with the process, context and the users. Sian Pascale, Founder of Young Citizens elaborates on her ideas and experiences with the project in an interview accompanying the feature.