Rounding up the highlights and moments of Day 2 of the India Design Forum.
Starting off with iconic shoe designer Christian Louboutin. Who was absolutely fabulous. Starting with a brilliant video of burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese who morphs into a stiletto shoe every fifteen minutes in a holographic performance. It was created by London company Musion for the Design Museum’s exhibition on Christian Louboutin. (See video above).
In an animated conversation with Bandan Tewari he talks about his design, the philosophy behind his famous studded shoes, the indian influence on his designs and his experiences. He spoke about his nude shoe being made in all skin tones, so it is actually nude on the wearer.
Architect Rahul Mehrotra spoke about the Kinetic city, Mumbai. He divided his lecture into two parts in the first he shared his readings and observations of a city that has influenced him greatly Mumbai. In the second part, he showcased six projects across the whole gamut from corporate clients, to NGOs, to government- all to thunderous applause from the audience. He spoke about the pluralism prevalent in Indian society which he said was probably the country’s biggest advantage- it was a duality that gave rise to the complexity and dynamism that we seemed to take for granted.
Artist Subodh Gupta, in conversation with Stephanie Romanov, an American actor, took the audience through the thinking behind some of his more recent exhibits. These included exhibitions like 29 Mornings, Bihari, There’s always Cinema, Cross 7 seas, Very Hungry Gods, Aam aadmi, Gandhi’s 3 Monkeys, Take off your shoes and wash your hands, Black & White, Et Tu Duchamp, Line of Control and Cactus. He spoke about making the transition into the world of design- and also showcased experiments in furniture and jewellery design that he had carried out himself, an exercise that he says intrigued him enough to keep exploring it further.
I kick myself for not hearing about Sumant Jayakrishnan before. After seeig his work I was mesmerised. It felt like a plunge into a zillion mood boards, all of which came to life celebrating materiality to reveal the intangible by creating soulful, curated spaces and experiences. His all- encompassing practice devised beautiful visual vocabularies by appreciating and engendering the ephemeral, the philosophical, the lyrical, the alchemical and the organic. Theatre, dance, creation of installations, design of sets and spaces for theatrical performances (like Mahabharata and Midsummers Night Dream), spatial design at massive gatherings of the likes of NH7, India Art Fair, Lakme Fashion Week, launch events for Vogue and Dior, weddings, parties, converting junkyards into sets for car launches are a few examples of what seemed like several lifetimes of work.
In his concluding note Sumant stated ‘What I work at, is making dreams come true’. His acknowledgement of ‘God lies in the detail’, co-existing alongside his ability to zoom out and conceive the bigger picture produced spectacular experiences and memories.
Multidisciplinary Design: Studio Dror
‘Our strength lies not in what we are doing but in what we have never done before’, was Dror Benshetrit’s (the founder and director of a 13,000 square feet space with 220 collaborators) opening note at the saturday morning address at IDF. Professing and exemplifying the importance of an inter-disciplinary collaborative practice, Dror unveiled successful examples of design projects undertaken by his studio spanning across a wide gamut. He showcase his largest project and explained the design nuances behind it. Click here to see the project presentation.
Photos courtesy India Design Forum