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indiadesignid / July 17, 2020

Life with/in Objects provokes a new inquiry into our forced domesticity

‘Life with/in Objects’ is an unconventional exhibition experience, born from the necessity of current circumstance, that has been founded and conceptualised by Curator Farah Siddiqui and Design aficionado Natasha Mehta. The project provokes a new inquiry into our forced domesticity–a space shaped by the secret life of objects. It is an exploration through a collection of objects that bring value, thereby infusing meaning into the muted mutterings of life that have been expounded in times of uncertainty and anxiety. The initiative, that has seen contributions from designers such as Studio Sangath (founded by B V Doshi), Annabel Karim Kassar, Anupama Kundoo, Pallavi Dean, Mayice Studio and Studio Nucleo, allows us to stay open to our communities, new ideas and experiences despite our physical limitations. Scroll down to read excerpts from the eloquent curatorial note by Anuj Daga, and details about the objects pictured above, illustrated by their creators.

Home is the inevitable locus of everyday design, it is a default museum. It is the place where we curate our lives. Our homes are filled with objects; sites where our everyday primarily unfolds. We choose to organise it with certain specificities from past or present, by making or borrowing, of our own, or received. Often, we exhibit these objects in the public domain of our domesticities or if private, visit them occasionally in solitude.

To look at objects through the filter of design helps enable an archaeology of curiosity. How a specific thing has been made, what ideas have travelled and crystallised into it, how has it exchanged places and people, what are its future trajectories and what will be its eventual place in the humankind – all such questions may allow us to initiate a dialogue into the secret life of things. In their critical encounter of everyday, designers are able to communicate intimately with objects as well as swerve their destinies into new directions. Therefore, designers may often find themselves in the heart of such discourse around objects for they are active agents in their catalysis. Designers may help us look at ordinary things in new ways by shifting registers of perception and interpretation. Only if we were to hack into these non-verbal exchanges, we may be able to harness codes through which we may script or situate our everyday histories.

Click here to read the complete curatorial note.

Pictured Above

Lumbro Pendant Lights by Carolina Palombo Píriz  (Image 1 & 4)

Celebrating the centenary of Uruguayan main poetess Juana de Ibarbourou’s Las Lenguas de Diamante was the starting point for a collection of furniture. The challenge was to materialise a piece of design not from something visual or physical, but instead from poetry. Shapes, colours, textures and materials where delineated from an interpretation, emotions and feelings. “Lumbro” is a collection of pendant lights and flower holders that gives shape to “The Little Flame” poem. The poem refers to the concept of love and passion between a man and a woman, translated into the figure of a warm flame. Straight lines in combination with the curves, are the means with which this design represents the essence of the man and the woman. The hardness and darkness of the burnt wood, in combination with the fragility and delicateness of the light rattan, made the perfect combination to represent masculinity and the femininity. Simplicity and elegance are the main concepts in this design. Light shaped in different forms is the protagonist in this lyrical interpretation. Lumbro is made with Duglas Fir wood, rattan fibres and bronze details and entirely produced in Uruguay.


Untitled ‘Kitchen’ by 200 Grs. (Image 2)

“Can you tell what this object is for? Does it matter?” state design duo Rana Haddad & Pascal Hachem. “This object has been here laying on the center table in our workshop, that we actually refer to as our kitchen. A very rough finish, all in one piece, one material: black steel. From one end, its shape reminds us of scooping, only scooping and not spooning. From the other, quiet a sharp end that could pierce through easily. 17.9 cm long, with two extremes elevated from the surface of the table. Moving from a smooth circular section to elliptical then totally flatten through a hammering process, leaving the edge as rough as it is thin. For us this object is existing as an expression of the process of its creation. Furthermore, its placement on the central table between other objects has erased the boundaries between the object and its function, allocating to it a totally new function by every visitor.”


Wave sculpture by Tracy Wilkinson (Image 3)

“This sculpture is something I can’t let go. I made it early in the years I started to work in basketry and it holds a place in time for me. I have moved away from working in this medium a few years ago and most of these pieces have sold, but when I am asked if I am willing to sell it, a sadness pops up and I just can’t do it. It represents the love I have for living in Los Angeles. My home looks out to the mountains and this piece reminds me of the beauty of California. I started working in clay in 2008, at a time when there was a lot of change and uncertainty. I had closed a business I had for 10 years and had no idea what my future would be. I started to experiment with mixed media and developed a way of working with clay and basketry using negative space and tension to create sculptures that were both strong and soft. Some of them were a way to complete broken vessels and some just went off on their own way, like this piece. I was not conscious of the end shape or had any idea where it was going, but it ended up here and I love it.”

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