By-products of cloth mills and discarded bits of cloth are collected and spun into ropes. These ropes are then handwoven onto metal frames,which when put together,take the form of a high-back chair. This quirky and eco-friendly piece is just one in the collection by interior designers Sahil Bagga and Sarthak Sengupta and will be exhibited at Londons Victoria and Albert Museum as part of its India Now exhibition. At the moment it is a work in progress.
Their Delhi-based studio called Sahil and Sarthak Design Co is three-years-old but has already marked its presence in the industry. Early this year,the duo participated in the Cappellini Next segment of the Salone del Mobile Milan 2012 (Milan Design Fair) known for showcasing trend-setting designs. Our stork chair was exhibited there and that was a big boost for us, Bagga says.
The two first met in 2006 at Italys Politecnico di Milan where they were both pursuing an MSc in Product Service System Design as part of a scholarship programme by the Italian Chamber of Commerce. For one of our projects,we got a chance to work for the historic furniture company,Poltrona Frau Group which was looking at entering the Indian market. We realised that as Indian designers with international exposure,we had the best of both worlds, recounts Bagga,who partnered with Sengupta in 2009.
The duo,who have also created a churi lamp made with a hanger and glass bangle pieces for the collection,now retails out of Mumbais Attic and Bombay Electric (both in Colaba) and takes up interior projects across the country. Particularly successful has been their Zero Kilometre Design approach where they source raw materials locally and work with local craftsmen to reduce their carbon footprint. They then work on products and spaces that are,in their words,ASAP (As Sustainable As Possible). It started with Lakshman Sagar Resort in Rajasthan,one of our earliest projects, points out Sengupta. The two have since worked on many such projects including their Katran collection that uses by-products of cloth mills. The Magia Nera collection uses traditional Manipuri skill of Longpi pottery.
In recognition of their work,the duo won the Elle Décor International Design award,India,in 2011. British Council India selected the two as finalists for the Young Creative Entrepreneur Awards in 2010.
The duo is busy putting up installations atThe Park Hotel,Kochi,where Bagga and Sengupta are working with the temple artisans of Thrissur. Our inspirations always include nature and culture. We have researched and incorporated the influences of Mohiniyattam dance form,banana and palm trees, reveals Sengupta,who is also simultaneously working on their next product line,the Pakhi collection. We want to make it an affordable line of items such as lamps,plates and wall hangings,so we are working mainly with aluminium as opposed to ceramics with gold plating or brass.