Inspiro India: Tell us something about yourself and your work?
– I started my design journey soon after school, majoring in product design in college in the US I acquired an interest for creating things. Making tangible products out of ideas was new and exciting for me and at Parsons the New School for Design, NY I was able to build up my prototyping skills in wood working, ceramics and a variety of other materials. It was here that I got interested in furniture making and hoped one day I would start something related to it. At the age of 24 I initiated Differniture: a furniture design studio with an alternative approach.
Inspiro India: Furniture Design. How did you decide it was your calling ? The challenges you faced as an artist?
– Having worked with wood and having physically created a number of prototypes in college I was familiar with the technicalities of the material. Wooden furniture is such an imperative part of our surrounding and says a lot about the type of people we are. It has a nostalgic connection and a warmth that other materials used in making furniture lack. Thus I was not only comfortable building things myself but also instructing others to create what I want made. Thus furniture design was the obvious choice for me to peruse a career in.
Inspiro India: We see this very unique name, What is the thought behind the name ‘Differniture’ ? And what is your vision for Differniture?
– Looking at our collection so far it’s safe to say we look at furniture in an alternative way. Thus pushing the envelope when it comes to design is what we are trying to achieve through Differniture. Our vision is simple: merging the aesthetics and sculptural aspects of art with the functional and practical aspects of design into a perfect melange of functional artistic furniture.
Inspiro India: We have seen use of layers in the most of your works. Any special reason for that?
– Most of our products are in some way inspired by nature. The undulations on the earths surface and the topography of the earths crust are a few such inspirations that we translate into our designs during the ideation stage. Picking the right material to accentuate the importance of the layering is also imperative in the material selection stage of the design process.
Inspiro India: What according to you is the future of Furniture Design in India?
– We are surrounded by opulence and high gloss finishes in furniture design these days. I hope the future will see a drastic shift to make way for more minimalistic, streamlined design inspired by nature and not be bogged done with heavy ornament and detailing like we have been used to seeing in the past. Differniture is a taste maker for the avant garde style of furniture and we hope through our alternate approach to design we can create a shift to this simplistic, minimal approach to the design of the future.
Inspiro India: What tools is the ‘Designer’ inside you ready with when working on a new project ? if you can Share your Technique and Work Flow?
– The design process when conceiving a product is first the ideation stage which include sketching, 3D modelling, prototypes and other initial investigation and experimentation. Once the details have been ironed out we can proceed to the materials selection and cut lists. The actual production stage is where all the excitement starts as well as all the questions. First time production has its fair share of experimenting but it is a good learning experience to explore new techniques that can evolve into different projects. Each day at the Differniture workshop is a new day of learning and experiencing the potential of the material.
Inspiro India: What kind of projects do you work on?
– We work on wooden furniture pieces. Either with the help of solid wood or layered sheet material. We do experiment with cement, metal and cut glass for some projects but the use of reclaimed pine wood and layered saal are predominant in our current collection. Our collection ranging from chairs, tables, consoles and we recently dove into lighting which has been an interesting place for innovation with wood.
Inspiro India: Who/What inspires you and why?
– My mother-Gopa Kumar has been a real inspiration to me. An artist and entrepreneur herself, she has been a great source of inspiration to me through out my growing up years and even now that I have started my own creative venture. Creativity and art has been an inherent part of my life because of her and I believe the reason I chose this path as a career attributes to that early on connection with the arts.
Inspiro India: What advice would you as an designer/entrepreneur give to other creative heads out there?
– It’s never to early to make your own mistakes, design is such a field where working under someone else’s aesthetic sense can be suffocating for a creative person. It’s good to learn from what’s out there but starting your own venture is a rewarding and inspiring journey of self discovery and the ability to explore your inner creativity. I urge anyone who thinks they have what it takes to give their passion a 200% should try starting off on their own at some point in life.
Inspiro India: What do you think about Inspiro India Magazine?
I like the youthful cheer that Inspiro brings to the table. Art and design has so much potential in India and I think it is important to target the younger generation to get excited about its endless possibilities. Inspiro is a true inspiration to those willing to explore the exciting field of art and design.