Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication

Farzin Adenwala is the proprietor of a young furniture studio in Mumbai. She was the winner of 2013-2014 Elle Deco “Young Talent of the Year” amongst the chosen 30 young designers from across the globe, by Elle Deco and Ambiente Frankurt in “Young Talent” section. I was fortunate to spot her works at BE OPEN foundation’s exhibition “Samkara, Made in India” earlier this year in New Delhi.

Her parents migrated to New Zealand from Mumbai in the 80’s. She grew up in a small town in the North Island, near the beach and mountains, amidst nature. Happiness was simply about being outdoors, having good friends, and eating yummy food.

Read on for her thoughts on design and more…..

What were your design influences while growing up?

I think it was only when I reached university that I noticed a design culture. I always appreciated architects and designers who worked in vernacular New Zealand and overseas. Some of these include David Trubridge-the furniture designer or Glenn Murcutt and Kengo Kuma in Architecture. Also studying in Wellington, the creative and cultural hub, helped me mingle with people from varied design disciplines.

What are your present day global favourites in design?

It’s constantly evolving, the more I see the more I learn. I love designers who work locally, using traditional skills in new ways. At present the South American designers are altering my aesthetic sensibilities as it is similar to that of India, in terms of architecture and product design.

How do you see the change in the Indian mindset towards design in their everyday lives?

Many Indians are still unsure about design and it’s possibilities. They seem to term “design” as a product only from an aesthetic tangent, especially contemporary design, and it’s understandable. There are lots of things produced without any thought of where it comes from, who made it, its purpose, or significance in an Indian context. But design strategy and innovation is the key to a developing nation and it needs to infiltrate through all fields, be it product design, healthcare, transportation design or engineering.

What are your future plans for Bombay Atelier?

I would like to carry on producing products and developing ideas that are evolving along with the country and have a sense of design value. Also would like to work with more master craftsmen from all over India to totally reinterpret their skills, that would change the face of contemporary Indian design.

What are your hobbies?

I like exploring new places. I love walking around Mumbai alone and watching people. I’ve always been an observer of the supposedly mundane. I like to make up stories on everyday life. On the normal side I love food, music, going for a run to filter my mind and shooting the breeze with interesting people who are as mad as me.

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