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Colour Inspiration for Ambrish Arora

The ceiling and wall decorations are crafted in finely cut painted glass to create intricate motifs which follow the Rajput tradition of using colour to make a decorative statement.

Colour Inspiration for Ambrish Arora

This crisp, fresh palette is an ode to the vibrancy and fine craftsmanship found abundantly in our heritage, which when reinterpreted is still relevant today.

Ambrish Arora

Inspired by the colours of phulkari, an embroidery technique native to Punjab, we worked with brightly coloured cotton fabrics to create a playful and festive atmosphere.

MAYANK MANSINGH KAUL: Colour Inspirations

My festive colour palette consists of quintessentially jewel tones—the red and green is a combination often found in Buddhist monasteries.

MAYANK MANSINGH KAUL: Colour Inspirations

I find that colours like sea-green or turquoise blue lift these qualities of red. With this palette I am immediately transported to the world of Buddhist monasteries in Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh...

MAYANK MANSINGH KAUL

The Devi Ratn Hotel in Jaipur, Rajasthan is a five star boutique hotel, and as the name suggests uses the leitmotif of Indian jewels— ratn. The guest rooms here use a combination of new materials and traditional hand-crafted architectural techniques and are inspired by different jewels.

SARTHAK SENGUPTA: Colour Inspirations

The pink and the green together are reminiscent of the colour combination of a traditional Indian saree.

SARTHAK SENGUPTA: Colour Inspirations

They contrast each other and may seem loud for a western audience but remain a classic combination within the Indian context.

SARTHAK SENGUPTA

Katran in Hindi means small pieces of left over cloth which are the by-product of textile mills.

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Showcase 31 Oct 2012

Colour stories of festive India

With the onset of October the subcontinent plunges into multiple occasions of joyous celebration. Across India, rituals and festivities find expression in a riot of colours, textures, and motifs.

In this issue of Colour Quarterly we explore the colour stories of festive India through conversations with three design professionals representing three unique design practices based in India—Ambrish Arora (Lotus), Mayank Mansingh Kaul (The Design Project India), and Sarthak Sengupta (Sarthak Sahil Design Co). Inspired by the issue theme colour (Deep Pink–X132), the three design professionals talk about their colour ideas based on the festive theme. In “Essence of Indian Celebration” and “Colour Inspiration”, each designer shares their interpretation of and inspirations for India Celebrates, and presents a custom colour palette for the same. In the section “Showcase”, each designer delves into their folio of work, selecting an instance of the festive theme from a diverse selection of projects—ranging from a craft fair, to textile and apparel, and furniture and lifestyle products.

AMBRISH ARORA 

Architect and Interior Designer
Design Principal and CEO, Lotus

Lotus is a multidisciplinary design practice whose work includes design for interior and exterior spaces, ranging from large architectural ideas to the smallest furniture details. Ambrish Arora, Design Principal & CEO at Lotus, has over 20 years of domain experience, and has worked in India and abroad as part of design teams on diverse projects including hotels, F&B spaces, retail design, offices, residences, furniture, films, museums, and exhibitions. Ambrish trained and worked as a boat designer before turning his interest to architecture and interior design. He was a partner at Design Habit, a leading exhibit design firm in New Delhi for three years, before setting up Lotus in June 2002. He has also served as a visiting faculty to NIFT Delhi, a consultant to NID Ahmedabad and a visiting juror to the School of Interior Design, CEPT Ahmedabad, apart from being a keynote speaker at several design events in India and abroad. 

Essence of Indian Celebration 

“India Celebrates” for us finds meaning in the freedom to celebrate our diversity and in not being shy about expressing ourselves. India is a country of rich traditions, vibrant colours, and age-old craft techniques. For us, a celebration of India is not in the reminiscence of what once was but rather is in the ability to revive traditional materials and techniques through contemporary interpretations that seamlessly weave our past with our future.

Colour Inspiration for Ambrish Arora

The ceiling and wall decorations are crafted in finely cut painted glass to create intricate motifs which follow the Rajput tradition of using colour to make a decorative statement.

Colour Inspiration for Ambrish Arora

This crisp, fresh palette is an ode to the vibrancy and fine craftsmanship found abundantly in our heritage, which when reinterpreted is still relevant today.

Colour Inspiration

Our inspiration for this colour palette comes from the anteroom of the Shiv Niwas in the City Palace at Udaipur, Rajasthan. The ceiling and wall decorations are crafted in finely cut painted glass to create intricate motifs which follow the Rajput tradition of using colour to make a decorative statement. This crisp, fresh palette is an ode to the vibrancy and fine craftsmanship found abundantly in our heritage, which when reinterpreted is still relevant today.

Ambrish Arora

Inspired by the colours of phulkari, an embroidery technique native to Punjab, we worked with brightly coloured cotton fabrics to create a playful and festive atmosphere.

Ambrish Arora's Showcase

The Patiala Crafts Mela is an annual fair held in February around Qila Mubarak in Punjab, which brings together artistry and fine craftsmanship from various parts of the country. Our brief for this project was to create a vibrant low-cost outdoor environment that embodied the spirit of the Mela. Inspired by the colours of phulkari, an embroidery technique native to Punjab, we worked with brightly coloured cotton fabrics to create a playful and festive atmosphere. The choice of materials was crucial as we were looking for a cost-effective solution and could only work with local tenting contractors to execute the project. We chose to work with reusable materials such as cotton fabric and bamboo, and created a variety of sheltering structures by playing with how the materials responded to the elements such as sunlight and wind.

Image Credits
IMAGES
• McKay Savage » flickr.com/photos/mckaysavage/2508074680 
AMBRISH ARORA 
• All images courtesy Lotus, except; 
• Johnpaulsimpson » flickr.com/photos/monkeygrimace/6942942508/ 
 

MAYANK MANSINGH KAUL 

Textile and Fashion Designer
Creative Director & Founder Director, The Design Project India

Mayank Mansingh Kaul is a Delhi-based textile and fashion designer working with contemporary Indian hand-crafted textiles. A graduate of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, Mayank has worked in the field of Cultural and Creative Industries at the Planning Commission of India. He is the Founder Director of The Design Project India, a not for-profit organisation that supports writing and curatorial projects, and is an archive of modern and contemporary Indian design. He has written on Indian culture, design, and the need to revive India's vast craft heritage for publications like Vogue India, Mint Lounge, Domus International, and The Craft Revival Trust. His design work has been featured in international publications including The Financial Times (London) and The National (Abu Dhabi) along with several Indian publications.

Essence of Indian Celebration

“India Celebrates” to me means an abundance of bold and bright colours subdued with nuanced lighting allowing subtle movements in them, enabling a myriad play of shades and tints. India is a land where riots of colours are commonplace—from everyday events to the most sacred of occasions. I find that it is exciting to subvert these bold, bright colours with dark tonal values and hints of gold and silver which allow the colours to acquire an intrinsic dynamism.

MAYANK MANSINGH KAUL: Colour Inspirations

My festive colour palette consists of quintessentially jewel tones—the red and green is a combination often found in Buddhist monasteries.

MAYANK MANSINGH KAUL: Colour Inspirations

I find that colours like sea-green or turquoise blue lift these qualities of red. With this palette I am immediately transported to the world of Buddhist monasteries in Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh...

Colour Inspiration

My festive colour palette consists of quintessentially jewel tones—the red and green is a combination often found in Buddhist monasteries. The reds here are used predominantly for their various symbolic and spiritual values, as also for their availability in natural materials like stone and lacquer. Often the different shades of red acquire a rich and layered quality, and when used together they appear as one, yet ever-changing in their reflective qualities. I find that colours like sea-green or turquoise blue lift these qualities of red. With this palette I am immediately transported to the world of Buddhist monasteries in Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh, where large expanses of red walls are accentuated with the green and gold detailing of idols and a hint of glistening fuchsia rubies visible through candlelight.

MAYANK MANSINGH KAUL

The Devi Ratn Hotel in Jaipur, Rajasthan is a five star boutique hotel, and as the name suggests uses the leitmotif of Indian jewels— ratn. The guest rooms here use a combination of new materials and traditional hand-crafted architectural techniques and are inspired by different jewels.

Showcase

The Devi Ratn Hotel in Jaipur, Rajasthan is a five star boutique hotel, and as the name suggests uses the leitmotif of Indian jewels— ratn. The guest rooms here use a combination of new materials and traditional hand-crafted architectural techniques and are inspired by different jewels. The interior design technique plays with monochrome effects and employs novel expressions of style whether through use of digital pichwais (Rajasthani paintings), reflective stones, or ceramic tiles, which allows for an opulent play of colour. Naturally, colour was the starting point of the textiles for the property. However, I was keen that we add, keeping in mind the design approach of the interiors, a three-dimensionality to the two-dimensionality of textiles. I therefore used multiple versions of the same colour in the same fabric within each room, to create patchwork textiles which would look three-dimensioned and bounce off different shades.

Image Credits
PROFILE IMAGE
• Courtesy Sanjit Das 
COLOUR INSPIRATION
• Honolulu Academy of Arts » en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:'The_Dhyani_Buddha_Akshobhya',_Tibetan_thangka,_late_13th_ century,_Honolulu_Academy_of_Arts.jpg 
• Shankar Gallery » flickr.com/photos/shankargallery/175865754/ 
• Vera & Jean-Christophe » flickr.com/photos/magicalworld/1376838531/ 
RECENT WORKS
• All images courtesy Devi Ratn Jaipur

SARTHAK SENGUPTA 

Product Designer
Director, Sarthak Sahil Design Co

Sarthak Sahil Design Co was founded in 2009 by designers Sarthak Sengupta and Sahil Bagga, with the belief that ‘ethics, ethnic, and ecology’ can be interwoven with contemporary lifestyles. Prior to founding the studio, Sarthak Sengupta, a graduate from NIFT, New Delhi and Sahil Bagga, a graduate from College of Art, New Delhi studied furniture design and product service system design in Milan. The studio designs products and interiors that are beautiful, functional, and “ASAP” (As Sustainable As Possible). Their expertise lies in customising products, furniture, lighting, and installations that make innovative use of Indian craftsmanship and materials to furnish contemporary spaces such as boutique hotels, residential properties, and restaurants. Besides product design, the studio also provides holistic design solutions which include creative management, knowledge of production chains, communication design, and the ability to synchronize these different processes.

Essence of Indian Celebration

“India Celebrates” to us means Joy, Tradition, Unions, and Gifts. Most Indian festivals are celebrated as a community. It is about leaving one’s individual identity and becoming part of a bigger entity, and thus the significance of Unions. Indian festivals are a living culture that is deeply rooted in history, symbolism, and mythology. Thus Joy symbolizes the living and Tradition symbolizes the legend. As for Gifts—well, everyone likes presents.

SARTHAK SENGUPTA: Colour Inspirations

The pink and the green together are reminiscent of the colour combination of a traditional Indian saree.

SARTHAK SENGUPTA: Colour Inspirations

They contrast each other and may seem loud for a western audience but remain a classic combination within the Indian context.

Colour Inspiration

The pink and the green together are reminiscent of the colour combination of a traditional Indian saree. They contrast each other and may seem loud for a western audience but remain a classic combination within the Indian context. The orange symbolises culture and wellness, which again is rooted in tradition. Inspiration and context for this colour comes from the iconic marigold flower, spices, diyas (terracotta lamps), henna, and kesar (saffron).

SARTHAK SENGUPTA

Katran in Hindi means small pieces of left over cloth which are the by-product of textile mills.

Showcase

Our Katran collection is a unique expression of the Indian celebratory theme. Developed as part of the Zero Kilometer® Design concept, the Katran collection has been an effort to design ethically responsible, ethnic products which are ecologically sustainable. Katran in Hindi means small pieces of left over cloth which is the by-product of textile mills. These pieces of cloth are collected by farmers during the off-season, spun into rope and sold for additional income. The rope is used to weave traditional Indian day beds called khatiyas. Our effort has been to use this vibrant, colourful material in an innovative way to create a collection of contemporary furniture and products that are sustainable, beautiful, and have a “glocal” appeal. The furniture is completely handmade and is produced through ethical interactions between various people within the production line, from the village to the city. Owing to the handmade nature of the furniture, as well as the diversity of colour and texture of the rope, each piece is exclusive and unique.

Image Credits 
PROFILE IMAGE & RECENT WORKS
• All images courtesy Sarthak Sahil Design Co 
COLOUR INSPIRATION
• Girish Gopi » flickr.com/photos/thegman/2799893512/
• Larsa » flickr.com/photos/larsa/366103795/ 
• Amanda Richards » flickr.com/photos/arichards -gallery/4055238785/ 
• Maari » commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_saree.JPG