The six months project started with understanding oneself in context to Reaction, Projection and Reflection.
When you throw a ball at a wall, it bounces back, in aggression, in anger ; in answer i.e. ‘Reaction’. Everyone has reactions. Every action or every word is a reaction. And ‘How’ we react is ‘Projection’. It is magnified and glorified. It is the means to a reaction. What is ‘Reflection’ is our ‘True’ self. The way we look into a mirror, is our true reflection. It is Pure. It does not have reaction or projection.
That is what one has to achieve in life, Reflection. Our true self.
We absorb, we learn, we understand, we contemplate, we reason and we imbibe. That is the truth, devoid of any conditioning, devoid of any impurities.
The next phase involved me to understand the meaning of surface ornamentation. I was asked to ornament my face, of which I realised, that any surface needs enhancement and value addition to either improve the look or to correct the imperfections, or fill the void.
The project also involved studying the organisation in terms of its Vision, Design Philosophy, identity and their position in market, infrastructure, and working environment which enabled me to understand and work in real life situation with its set of constraints. The
phase after that involved observing a given inspiration and sketching it in likeness to its original form and design. This was mandatory to improve my drawing skills and observation for detail.
In the next phase I was asked to observe a set of 50 chinese lattice design patterns and write down my observations. I had to select any 10 patterns and explore the designs in any which way I liked. Thereafter I was required to get inspired and create a range of design patterns from the selected lattices.
The design patterns were not to be manipulated from its original form yet were to be translated as patterns emerging out in layers. I had to maintain the purity, the realness and proportion in the motifs and form.
I was soon achieving 5-6 patterns from a single design. The experience of bringing out the essence of the lattices was exhilarating. The patterns developed would be used in textural fabric development for home furnishing or apparel.
The phase after that required me to get inspired from ‘Pebbles’ found at the sea/river bed and conceptualize designs for floor rugs and cushions. The design again had to be in likeness to the inspiration, without manipulating the form or shape of the object.
The last phase was the most exciting project for me as I was asked to create innovative lounge-cushions taking any inspiration of my interest. The only constraint I had was that the cushions should be away from the traditional form and shape. I worked on the inspiration of ‘Pasta’ and developed sample explorations using dimension and moulding, out of which one concept of ‘Coiling’ was selected by my mentor. I explored with various ways of creating
different yet functional forms out of the concept. This project concentrated on form development, understanding ergonomics, and function as well as making it attractive for the international market. Exploration with different embroidery techniques, surface embellishment, colors and moulded forms was the highlight of the project.
On the whole this tenure of six months proved
ideal for the planning and execution of the work. It helped me to improve my design vocabulary, enriching and supplementing my views and ideas. Although the products made were experimental and innovative, which yet have to find their way into the commercial arena, but they were made keeping in mind the clientele and their requirements.
The recommendations or suggestions made regarding the products/prototypes would increase the visual appeal and flexibility of the end use of the products.
The objective of this diploma training was to understand a new stream of design, color, texture or surface ornamentation and explore my own potential within it. Mr. Satya Paul was my mentor, guide and philosopher who gave me the resources, space and the freedom of thought to go through a journey of life in which one can relate design to not only oneself but also to God and all Life on earth. The focus was not on creating something that is specified and in demand by the consumer particularly, but on creating something that the consumer would inevitably ‘want’ to possess, on presentation.
After the initial discussion with my guide at NID and my mentor – Mr. Paul, to enable me to work with greater clarity and in a definite direction certain points were suggested regarding the varied projects, which are as follows –
a. The explorations were to be done by hand to improve my observation skills and to understand what kind of treatment a design required on its execution.
b. Design manipulation was strictly prohibited. The essence of the design lies in its proximity to the original form of inspiration, and I had to translate the de- sign as close to reality. The design patterns or forms should be full of life and should be derived closely from the inspiration.
c. The method of translating a lattice is to separate it in layers and new forms and motifs automatically surface from it.
d. A clean, uncluttered, minimal and elegant look was the recommended highlight.
e. Color stories too should be as close to nature as possible.
f. Texture and surface ornamentation explorations will be the focus of the collection, apart from form and color.
Apart from these my designs should be innovative, and should reflect function and quality, as well as simplicity. The idea was not to worry whether the de- signs are aimed at a finished product or a definite client, but the idea was to learn and understand the essence of designing in relation to nature and one’s inner-self. All creations should be creations from within the heart and soul, everything else eventually follows.
The philosophy of the design studio stands for the fact that ‘’we create, rest follows’’. The client is given the freedom to reject or select and even suggest any changes.
INSPIRATION – LATTICE WORK CUSHIONS
The inspiration for SYMPHONY OF SPACE cushions was Chinese Lattice Patterns, which bring a very oriental flavour to the design. Jaali or Lattice work was the guiding concept on which a series of pattern designs were created to be used as surface ornamentation on fabric.
INSPIRATION – MOODY CUSHIONS
The inspiration for moody cushions is in- sync with our taste buds! ‘Noodles and Pastas’, ‘ Candies and Confectionaries’, which almost everyone enjoys eating, from the kids to adults. These items derive their form and structure from ‘Nature’.
A range of lounge cushions were developed, concentrating on the form and shape of the product, called the ‘moody cushions’ , and textile development exercise where in the fabric would incorporate design patterns based on the concept of lattices which were explored in print and embroidery for surface ornamentation. The fabric can then be utilised in any home-furnishing product and even apparel.