The Gujral Foundation in collaboration with Apparao Galleries presented a talk on Indian design language by graphic artist and designer Ishan Khosla at Studio G-Spot in September 2016.
Ishan Khosla is an object and graphic designer, who was featured in the book ‘New Graphic Design’. After 12 years in the US, Ishan set up his design team in Delhi in 2008. Concept, research and storytelling are strong aspects of his work.
This bench is inspired by a country where work always seems to be in progress, but that better tomorrow is somehow always out of reach. The form of the bench was influenced by the scaffolding surrounding Kitab Mahal, the building where Studio X is housed.
This is a functional object that will never be complete — as it will change in terms of structure as well as surface treatments — thus standing as a metaphor of India itself, where, work is always on-going but somehow never really complete. It also straddles the worlds of “art” and “design” by being functional yet incomplete. The idea was also to explore the Indian concept of #MakeFirstThinkLater and bring it into the design lexicon as well.
Another aspect being explored here is where the maker also becomes the designer — which used to be the case — but in contemporary society there is a rift between the mind of the "creator" and the hands of the "maker". Here we are taking an idea that the designer has still conceived of but giving enough freedom to the maker to try out new things. In this case the makers are laborers on daily wage — who, are used to doing certain tasks on an everyday basis, which made this task of thinking of the form and the design challenging for them. There was a lot of debate and discussion amongst themselves to try to understand how to create what the designer had conceived on paper. For a while, I let them do their thing and see the outcome, but after some time my interference was needed to reach to the outcome.