What standout characteristics make the EDIDA Designer of the Year? In our opinion, the candidate obviously needs to be an astute matchmaker of the right materials with techniques, and qualify as a trendsetter with a distinct style you recognise in an instant.
Ashiesh ticks all boxes, but he also gets brownie points for never being shy of taking on something challenging and new – whether it’s massive condos for stars, or collaborating with EDIDA India Designers of the Year 2015 Klove Studio for the Tusk Light, or even imagining a fine-dining “transformative” restaurant like Masque in Mumbai. In the business for 10 years now, he talks about what keeps his brain cells going, and why he’s taking this well-earned title quite seriously.
1. He thinks a good idea needs to be engineered, not manufactured. “We are witnessing the first generation of Indian design. Although our products and projects are being seen globally, it is still nascent because we don’t have the production capabilities to achieve the right finish yet (as compared to Europe).”
2. Instagram is his sketchbook. “My feed reflects exactly how my mind works. I go from spiritual to cosmic to geometry….”
3. He dreams of whimsical spaces. “Funnily enough, I keep dreaming about roofs made of translucent marble slabs with veins that are almost human-like. I imagine a space surrounded by white light – spiritual, almost nirvana-esque, supported by these slats.”
4. Winning EDIDA Designer of the Year 2016 means “it’s time to wake up, and not get complacent. If I’m getting noticed, that means I need to be the best at everything I do.”
5. He is an astute art collector. His passion for art is reflected in the spaces he imagines, balancing his dexterity at reinventing tradition in a modern context.
Hear him speak at ID Symposium, India Design ID 2017 on February 17 at NSIC Grounds, New Delhi
Photographs courtesy AA Studio, Bajirao Pawar, Fabien Charuau