Rooshad Shroff creates a sophisticated alliance between traditional techniques and design innovation in a new exhibition titled 15,556.
Rooshad Shroff Architecture + Design (RS A+D) is a multi-disciplinary design and research studio. Founded in June 2011 in Mumbai by Rooshad Shroff, the architectural practice predominantly dedicated to the realization of spaces soon developed its own design department, operating at nano-scales crafting bespoke furniture, products and materials. Using traditional Indian techniques and making it a point of honour to re-actualize the handmade, it became a reference within the design world for highly sophisticated pieces.
In a world where progress is defined by technology, Shroff declares the importance of craftsmanship in the legacy and evolution of design. We are excited about his debut showing of award winning hand crafted design. What also intrigues us is the name…it is titled 15,556 as a nod to the amount of hours put into this endeavour! The exhibit is presented in association with Pundole’s Gallery.
The exhibition, comprising 26 one-of-a-kind pieces, displays techniques that combine embroidery with wood, colour, sanding and marble carvings respectively. Each individual piece in the exhibit is custom designed. It brings into focus the luxurious element of the handmade, where Shroff revives the spirits of design for both medium and concept. His use of legacy techniques like embroidery, joinery and carving find expression here.
Indeed, Shroff has been known for applauded greatly for his exceptional furniture designs, especially his use of embroidery on wood, a rare feat that he has successfully made his trademark.
Rooshad Shroff – HOT converses with the man himself…
Your studio has never restricted itself to architecture alone. How do you feel your experience in architecture influences and informs furniture design?
As a practice, I don’t see them as having separate identities. They feed off each other. While designing furniture, I do a lot of research that gets implemented in the realm of architecture. Something may start off as a technique for furniture, but gets appropriated into a technique that I use for architecture. On the other hand, my architectural practice also influences the furniture design. It informs form finding. For example, the language of cantilevers, something that I use in architecture, has influenced my furniture design as well.
What are the challenges of working with craftsmen, in translating the ideas on wood?
In the beginning, the challenge was to convince them to do what they were not used to doing. Many carpenters do not want to work with traditional techniques of joinery. I have invested a lot of time and effort in training my small team of skilled carpenters. Doing embroidery on wood may seem simple, but it is technically very challenging. It all looks simple in the end, but the research and development process is long and arduous. However, I am happy to do it!
Can you give us a gist of local crafts used in the pieces?
For the 15,556 exhibit, we have wood work with traditional joinery, expressed through three techniques: embroidery on wood, coloured sanding and marble carving.
Bringing the focus back on craftsmanship and slow design, we look forward eagerly to this bespoke expression by Rooshad Shroff!
(The exhibition runs from 18th February- 3 March 2017 at Bikaner House, Delhi; and from 7th June 2017, Pundole’s, Mumbai)