Congregating designers from all around the nation, Raw Collaborative’s 3rd edition has brought vibrance to the Mill Owner’s Association Building. From intuitive product displays to minimalistic furniture, this amazing exhibition has it all.
Adding a whole new dimension to the architecture of Mill Owner’s Association Building, Raw Collaborative’s 3rd edition is an impeccably well-designed exhibition. It is a fine display that showcases the designing landscape of India, atleast the furniture and interior products space.
Conceptualised by Tanvi Karia and brought to life in association with Priyadarshini Rathore and Vishwa Bhatt Weir, Raw Collaborative is an excellent platform that brings together young designers from across the country to showcase their works, amidst the beautiful setting of Le Corbusier’s Mill Owners Building. These are primarily furniture and home décor products that are designed to have a distinct character, unlike the mundane. While a majority of the designers at their 3rd edition have flown down from Mumbai, Delhi and Ahmedabad, it is not uncommon to find exhibits by designers who belong to Kashmir, Orissa, Bangalore, Sikkim, Jaipur, Chennai, Pune, Gurgaon and various other places.
There is a lilting music that plays in the background as one walks around the campus. You can wander into any corner and you will be amazed by the unique products that the designers have on display. From opulent wood crafted furniture to futuristic mosaic-style sculptures, it is a joy to get to witness all of it.
There are two aisles at the entrance that comprise various kiosks that belong to different design studios. Each kiosk is more interesting and unique than the other. They display a wide range of products, like artisan lamps, linen drapes, comfortable low seating dining tables, crafty stone chairs, burnt wood furniture, kitchen décor and marble tiles that mimic the rippling of water. There is also a booth by MuseLab that has conceptualised their entire collection of furniture from a box of chocolates, while another display by Gunava Designs from Chennai has handcrafted a wide range of products inspired by the environment.
As one enters the main facility of the campus, the ground floor is divided into different segments dedicated to groups of artworks. On the right you can find a wide range of crafts that have been summoned from all around India to showcase the local artistry of different regions. On the left is a quaint little glass hall which is beautifully designed with wall pieces made by Smitamoksh, a husband-wife artist duo that creates multi-disciplinary artworks embodying visual jaap (visual prayer) and artsy yet comfortable furniture by ConiFur.
The first floor, has various visual arts & product displays all curated so as to add to the viewer experience. The “Young Designers Gallery” is an isolated segment that demonstrates the artwork of five budding young designers who have a distinctive style of their own. In the far end of the first floor is the Visual Arts Gallery which features three artists with three distinct styles of art. The “Centre for Mosaic Art” exhibits a wide range of mosaic artworks that are innovative and attractive, “Red Lotus Stories” displays some unique and trippy oil pastel paintings inspired from Devdutt Pattanaik’s book Shikhandi, and “HOBOHOUZ” showcases some intricate textile artwork.
Raw Collaborative invited various guest curators who were responsible for the display of each section and also for the products it exhibited. Noted architect Hiren Patel, designer Rooshad Shroff were among the curators who were engaged. The second floor is dedicated to the curated collections, worth to mention is the playful “Re-imagination of the Primitive” collection which carries traces from tradition yet displayed a very contemporary flavour in their execution and the “Inspire and Ignite” collection which displays some of the most vibrant furniture. But amidst these collections is one that captures some of the most beautiful parts of our nation—the “Kashmir and Northeast’ collection showcasing the quaint designs of designers who belong to these regions. Most of the products are made out of bamboo, metal and papier-mache but they have been moulded into things that aren’t ordinarily seen papier-mached. Have you ever seen a bamboo bicycle, or a speaker made from papier-mache? Neither had I.
The collection of artworks is a solid showcase of Indian design sensibility. It is commendable that Raw Collaborative has taken up such an initiative of bringing Indian design at the forefront of the rapidly changing design segment. The exhibition was open till Dec 1, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The showcase was as much an exploration of India’s design potential as it was about the joy of discovering that unique piece of furniture that you always wanted to own.
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