India Designs ID 2017 proves that Indian design is carving a niche for itself globally and Delhi is emerging as a design hub.
Local and global, traditional and modern have come together in a beautiful blend to salute the art and functionality of design. Over 100 established and upcoming designers and brands are showcasing the latest trends in the design industry at the fifth edition of the India Designs ID 2017 at NSIC grounds in Okhla.
“In India design is considered something that the rich enjoy, but design has come a long way. It now trickles down to everybody,” says Prateek Jain from Klove. Talking about the collaboration between grassroots Indian artisans and premier design brands, he says, “In the last 40-50 years, artisans were not able to update themselves with the products they were making and the Indian design scene had taken a backseat. But in the last ten years, the economy has improved relatively, people have more disposable incomes and design has come back to the forefront. With the kind of knowledge that we have, India will soon come to the forefront in the design scene.”
That said, many of the artisans present at the exhibition rued that there is a huge gap between the market prices and their reimbursement. “A lot of money actually goes into setting up a saleable profile and such displays also significantly eat into the designer’s pocket, ultimately leading to a surge in the price of the final products. But artisans are still being paid better than before,” Prateek adds.
Despite struggling with such issues, the market for Indian design is slowly growing, claim designers. “Design is evolving, and we have seen that there is a huge market for designs inspired from India. The foreign market is specially keen on seeing what India is all about, so Indian design has a lot of potential internationally,” says Parth Parikh from Design Clinic, adding that their Safa and Phoolmandi collections, inspired from Indian tradition, have got a great response.
Merging Indian design with western taste, Sarita Handa’s designs reiterate the point made by Parth. “Indian handloom and embroidery merge in a great way with western designs, one of our first lines was in fact a French-inspired look. The response is great and the designs feel fresh to the clients, it is a great time for amalgamation,” says Deirde Elia, creative and business head for Sarita Handa designs.
The exhibition also showcases a lot of quirky furniture designs incorporating traditional Indian motifs and prints like the ones by Pallavi Gupta at Inliving.
Organiser Pramati Madhavji firmly believes India is growing as a design hub. “A lot of clients this year have said that they no longer need to head to Milan or other places to look for good design. The future is here and the exhibition has seen a great response,” he said.
Apart for the blend of Indian design with global trends, a lot of work at the exhibition is also based on up-cycling. Manish Gulati, from urbanscape, has designed metallic tree trunks, chopped at the top as an ode to the lost trees of Delhi and hopes the future of design will be more green and sustainable.
The ID Symposium also saw ‘Intense ocean’, defined as ‘greener than blue and bluer than green’, chosen as the colour of the year.
Weaving ‘ethic, ethnic and ecology’ together, Sarthak Sahil Design has brought together installations, furniture and lighting with interesting use of Indian craftsmanship. The vibrant colours and crafty designs bring together functionality and eccentricity. The brand tries to create sustainability through their products. The designs are targeted at boutique hotels, high-end homes and landmark restaurants.
Combining oriental and occidental design styles, Sarita Handa has brought traditional hand-woven textiles and Indian needlework to contemporary design. With an international aesthetic, her works have carved a niche market globally.
Working with almost 40.000 artisans the Jaipur Rugs Foundation works to transform their lives one rug at a time. The artisans are also preserving the traditional designs and patterns from around 600 villages. Apart from the commercial aspects of design, the foundation is also working towards health care, education programs, financial inclusion and insurance for these artisans.