Log / Talks

WIP Sessions #07

A glimpse at what went down at our first New Delhi edition of WIP Sessions, our most intimate yet, as a part of Asian Paints’ Trends pavilion at India Design ID.

By Rohini Kejriwal on 26 February

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The seventh edition of Design Fabric’s WIP Sessions, featuring talks by creative professionals, took place at Asian Paints’ Colour Next Trends pavilion at India Design ID.

Insightful and entertaining in equal measure, the speakers spanned the creative spectrum, each talk embodying a trend by Asian Paints - Architect Ayaz Basrai (Alchemy of Memories), Graphic Designer Pavithra Dikshit (#BusyCool), Fashion Designer Suket Dhir (Humane), Visual Artist Archan Nair (Untamed).

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A meaningful enquiry into the future — Ayaz Basrai

In a most fascinating presentation to represent Asian Paints’ trend of ‘Alchemy of Memories’, architect Ayaz Basrai’s talk took the audience through The Busride Design Studio’s shift towards a public sphere, going into a more symbiotic approach to their work with collaborations, thought experiments, heritage conservation and futures’ research that steer away from the commercial work he has been known to do. As a part of this reformat, the studio is shifting from building spaces to ecosystems, from creating answers to asking meaningful questions, and from copyright to an environment that is more open-source in nature because the future lies in sharing, not hoarding.

Ayaz briefly discussed some ongoing projects in this attempt at creating Utopias – The Bandra Project – an architectural project to understand and preserve Bandra; The Gypsy Kitchen – a zero profit restaurant that creates a symbiotic relationship towards food; the conservation of a local oratory by creating architectural DIY kits; and Heritage Next in association with Asian Paints, a futuristic look at heritage conservation which looks at the richness of the past and the speculative visions of the future.

On this new trajectory, Ayaz said that the focus is on 2035, towards which the studio is creating a culture map where they are extrapolating different cultural trends, exploring AR/VR, Artificial Intelligence and Data, where data can be used to build everything - from lie detectors to entire cities. We can’t wait to see how this futuristic shift plays out in Ayaz’s work in the coming years.

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Where graphic design and real life meet — Pavithra Dikshit

“Graphic design has become a part of every aspect of my life, with or without my knowing,” said illustrator and graphic designer Pavithra Dikshit, whose refreshingly personal talk for the Asian Paints' trend ‘#Busy Cool’ took listeners through the beautiful place where life and art merge effortlessly. The first project she showcased was Graphic Design x Plants, where her newfound love for gardening and her successes and failures nurturing plants influenced her work and experiments with illustration and the new medium of paper art for a 100 day art project. For Graphic Design x Celebration, she shared her collaborations for The Postcard People, using 4 x 6 postcards as a canvas to create art for peoples’ proposals, anniversaries, farewells etc. Her Graphic Design x Mom project Ma’s Apothecary’, a series of stamp-sized paper illustrations documenting her favorite mother’s recipes, was charming too.

Pavithra also spoke of the intersection of Graphic Design x Health, sharing her story of tackling obesity with running and a good diet, of which salads were a big part. To have fun with food and art, she started an art project creating paper salads, experimenting with different colour combinations, ingredients, shapes, and textures to create a visual identity to the food. Her documentation process was eventually compiled into a book called Discipline about her experiments gone right.

Finally, she brought up Kadak Collective – a group of women artists worldwide who are changing the gender narrative through art. For Graphic Design x Gender, Pavithra performed stories from her latest project – an experiential experimental book Shifting, a collection of real narratives as visual essays that explores how gender influences us and how it precedes us in society.

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Pave your own path — Suket Dhir

Fashion designer Suket Dhir clearly has a lucky streak working for him, and his talk at WIP Sessions on the trend ‘Humane’ was more of a free flowing walk down memory lane into his life as a WIP, and the play of choices, fate and skills that made him the designer he is today. A fan of sabbaticals aka bumming around (which he believes is when all the genius occurs), Suket shared that his reason for joining NIFT was seeing hot women in lingerie. Ironically, he stopped seeing the hot models and couldn’t take his eyes off seams, a love that steered to refocus his career towards menswear.

He openly shared his struggles in the first job and within the design world, his attitude to work and how he learnt to dream with doubt to dreaming without. Suket took the audience his Woolmark Prize winning presentation, a prize that pushed him to look at his work afresh and that put him on the global fashion map.

Inspiring and full of anecdotes, he left the humored crowd with the advice of following one’s heart and process and to carve one’s own niche rather than trying to fit into the existing scene.

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Pushing the limits — Archan Nair

Digital artist and mixed media illustrator Archan Nair’s talk on the trend of ‘Untamed’ was a perfect end to the evening, sharing his journey as a self-taught artist, the importance of moving out of one’s comfort job to allow good art to flow, and the many projects and collaborations he’s done in the last decade.

After a short process video of his piece The Human Experience, he spoke about being disillusioned with his family business at 17, and turning to Photoshop and DeviantArt as an emotional release and to discover his love for creating. A few initial years of experimental art later, he found himself taking on the Daily Art Project, where he created an artwork for 365 days, the phases he went through, how he tapped into the flow state, and overcoming limitations like being bedridden and creating a makeshift studio on his bed and still creating.

Having made artworks for the likes of Kanye West, Lindsay Lohan and Chris Brown in the past, Archan is used to being in the news for his work and in the limelight. But he emphasized that while his life was hunky dory and work kept flowing, he found it crucial to create a zone for himself that wasn’t easy. “The answer for me was moving out, which is why I shifted to Berlin last year, which has been the start of many beautiful explorations.’ He concluded with his latest series Day Dream, where he is creating contemplative faces of real people he meets in Berlin.

The next WIP Sessions will take place on March 29 as part of Design Fabric Festival. Watch this space.

The next WIP Sessions will take place on March 29 as part of Design Fabric Festival. Watch this space.

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This WIP Sessions was supported by Asian Paints Colour Next 2018.

ColourNext is an annual trend forecast done by Asian Paints. Tapping onto to the socio-economic trends & other environmental, lifestyle-driven changes that affect our society, the forecast is translated for the design industry and presented in the form of Colours, Materials, Textures, Finishes & Patterns.

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