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Wabi-Sabi: Manifestation of ethereal into material

Design ni Dukaan translates the notion of Wabi-Sabi into the decor of a doctor’s cabin - a warm, inviting and healing space.

The console

Backdrop: Off-white Cotton curtains | Frame: Ground Brass | Shelves: Teakwood | Lamp: Cotton

The console framework

The brass frame accommodates teak planks that are placed on it sans any fixing or gluing.

The pinched lamp

Frame: Metal | Body: Organic dyed fabric The pinched lamp is crafted from cotton fabric. The fabric is pinched to form French tucks that is wrapped around a metal frame.

The organic dyed cotton curtains

7 organically dyed cotton sheets are stitched together, following the Golden Ratio, to create the curtain as a backdrop for the doctor’s cabin.

The partition

Frame: Teakwood | Partition plane: Netar (Wicker) | Legs: Patinated brass

The partition

The partition has a teakwood frame with netar weaving. The square block at the bottom is patinated brass has a pivot that facilitates the fold-and- extend mechanism.

The work desk

Base: Unpolished Kota stone | Top: Teakwood

The rotating chair

Frame: Brass | Base and legs: Teakwood | Backrest: Netar

Wabi Sabi

Beauty that lies in paradoxes of perfection.

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Lab 21 Feb 2018

Design ni Dukaan translates the intangible notion of Wabi-Sabi into a doctor’s private cabin at Nimaaya

Imagine a perfect world with impeccable beings and objects. Of precise geometry, existence that never ceased and mechanisms that didn’t rot or wither! Does desire exist after perfection is achieved?

Intangibles

Dr. Prabhakar Singh, the chief doctor at Nimaaya, at the recommendation of  Studio4 Architects, commissioned Design ni Dukaan to craft a warm, inviting and healing space based on Wabi-Sabi principles for his private cabin. Wabi-Sabi is a Japanese concept that advocates beauty in imperfection and impermanence. The architects at Design ni Dukaan, an Ahmedabad-based studio, deploy similar princi­ples and observations in their design language. They work with natural materials that age gracefully and use minimal finishes. For Nimaaya, they steered clear of adhering to any predefined ‘style’. “We realized that we can take this project using the same principles to a higher level in terms of the visuals and the tactile sensations” – Design ni Dukaan. 

Wabi-Sabi: Manifestation of ethereal into material

Design ni Dukaan translates the notion of Wabi-Sabi into the decor of a doctor’s cabin - a warm, inviting and healing space.

Conception and birth

Brass, teakwood, stone, cotton and netar (wicker) create a material palette that is raw and earthy. Brass darkens as it ages. To further emphasise the dark demeanour that it would take on in the future, the brass was ground with stone grinders and given a coarse finish. The ground brass is used as the metal framework. The brass for the bottom support and hinges were fired at a high temperature and patinated. Patina is a shade and texture that metals acquire when exposed to high temperatures. Under dictionary terms, the metal is deformed. But viewed from the perspective of Wabi-Sabi, it acquires beauty when pushed to its extreme under duress. 

The console

Backdrop: Off-white Cotton curtains | Frame: Ground Brass | Shelves: Teakwood | Lamp: Cotton

 
The console framework

The brass frame accommodates teak planks that are placed on it sans any fixing or gluing.

“We realized that we can take this project using the same principles to a higher level in terms of the visuals and the tactile sensations.”

A similar experiment was undertaken with the teakwood. Teakwood is commonly polished with melamine or a similar polish. To explore its natural aesthetic, the architects, Veeram & Akshita, sanded the teakwood and revealed its natural grains. It was burnt with kerosene to develop a dark shade. Cotton, netar (wicker) and stone are used sans any treatment. 

The pinched lamp

Frame: Metal | Body: Organic dyed fabric The pinched lamp is crafted from cotton fabric. The fabric is pinched to form French tucks that is wrapped around a metal frame.

Manifestations

The burnt wood and coarse granite convene in the rotating chair and console. The rotating chair, also known as the ‘Incomplete Circle’ is crafted in the ground brass framework that rests on a teakwood base and legs. It has a netar backrest. The console has a brass frame with teakwood planks resting on it. The planks are detached and modular that can be added or subtracted as needed. The console dominates the backdrop and its evolving nature keeps the space mobile and impermanent. 

The partition

Frame: Teakwood | Partition plane: Netar (Wicker) | Legs: Patinated brass

 

To further emphasise this impermanence and movement, a teakwood and wicker partition divides the cabin into the waiting area and lounge. It folds up to expand the space and can be aligned in a straight line to create a precise division. The square block at the bottom is patinated brass with a pivot to facilitate the fold-and-straighten mechanism. 

The partition

The partition has a teakwood frame with netar weaving. The square block at the bottom is patinated brass has a pivot that facilitates the fold-and- extend mechanism.

 
The rotating chair

Frame: Brass | Base and legs: Teakwood | Backrest: Netar

“In Nimaaya, Design ni Dukaan has set in motion a transformative process. The space with its elements is intended to progress sans interventions or touch-ups and gradually unravel itself.”

While most elements are variable, the work-table is crafted akin to a fixed sculpture. Its base resembles a deconstructed boulder. Unpolished Kota stone slabs were cut into shapes determined by a 1:1 model made to configure the deconstructed boulder profile. A part of the flooring was cut to fit the bottom stone slab. Each slab has a cut-out in the centre. 

The work desk

Base: Unpolished Kota stone | Top: Teakwood

A mild- steel pipe is welded on the floor and the slabs are passed through these pipes to create the base. The pipe top is adhered to the bottom of a wooden table top that was chamfered to accommodate it. The table top (wooden piece) is anchored from the wall for support. The backdrop to the cabin crafted on Wabi-Sabi is an organic-dyed-cotton curtain stitched from 7 fabrics, based on the golden ratio, crafted by Priyanshi jariwala of the khadicult. It diffuses the sunlight and adds a soft glow to the space.

The organic dyed cotton curtains

7 organically dyed cotton sheets are stitched together, following the Golden Ratio, to create the curtain as a backdrop for the doctor’s cabin.

Evolution and progression

In Nimaaya, Design ni Dukaan has set in motion a transformative process. The space with its elements is intended to progress sans interventions or touch-ups and gradually unravel itself. Brass, wood and netar will darken; cotton will mature with wash and wear. It is only after a year that the element of Wabi-Sabi will emanate. The designer has consciously steered clear of deploying too many ‘concepts’ even though Wabi-Sabi is an open ended idea. They believe that too much concept goes haywire. “Don’t talk too much about it, let the space speak.” 

Wabi Sabi

Beauty that lies in paradoxes of perfection.

Design ni Dukaan explores modernist principles, art, music, experiences and observations. Keep track of their work here!