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Time, belief and design

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Time, belief and design

An article by Mr. Ayush Kasliwal | Furniture Designer

  • Creative Director and Co-founder- AKFD & Anan Taya
  • Ayush’s design versatility is expressed in the extensive projects undertaken, including the VIP lounges and the ‘Mudra’, Suryanamaskar installations at the T3 Delhi International Airport, New Delhi, Kiosks at the T2 international Terminal, Mumbai,’ Handmade in Rajasthan’ Logo for the Government of Rajasthan launched at the 2016 Rajasthan Heritage Week, Pink City E-Rickshaw Design to empower women drivers of Rajasthan.
  • His work has been featured worldwide on different media like BBC Arts Hour 2016, New York Times, Financial Times, Condenast Traveller, Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Wallpaper ,Architectural Digest amongst others.
  • Ayush has been a Panelist, Speaker, Faculty, Jury member, at ICFF at New York, London Design Show 2017. Named 100 most Influential Design firms in the Indian Subcontinent 2018 by Architectural Digest, Ayush won the Lexus Design Award India 2019, EDIDA India Designer of the year 2013. . The UNESCO Award of Excellence recognized his designs in 2017, 2007 and 2006. Edition Nouveau Objet (ENO), France, launched Ayush as a designer.
Time, belief and design
  • The question between the past and to continue it or to leap into an unknown future is something that all of us have at one time or the other faced. In my opinion the past and the future or not two different things- the past is the past and we make what we want to make of it and the future is based upon assumptions of how we are, where we are and how we’ve come here. For example we might look into our past as a country and see ourselves as people who had a colonial history and continue to look at our future from that point. And then make changes in how we are today to meet that future. If for a second we said no we did not have that past, would our future change? Such and many other questions would come to the mind of a designer. However I would probably choose to look at things in a slightly different manner. Our standpoint is something that continuously changes. We react to every situation based on what we see, what we think what we see its future might be. But this standpoint is almost always informed by what we believe in or what our believe structure is. Community has often shared a belief structure and therefore had a common way of reacting or a common way of dealing with things around them. However the very idea of community has changed. No longer are we bound by Geographic limitations – with friends across the world, with groups in social network; having at one end torn apart existing communities and on the other end created new ones. So where does this belief structure come in and where do we talk about what we believe in. This discussion is probably paramount. Do we as people believe in the liberal principles of equality, of not having gender biases. Or do we believe other things. Do we believe that some people are born better than the others. It is not a question of value judgement. It’s a question of knowing why and what we think.
  • As a person who belongs to the Jain community Ahinsa, Aparigraha, and Anekvantvaad – the three things that I believe in strongly. Anekantvad is the non singularity or the validity of multiple viewpoints, multiple ideas, multiple opinions at the same time. This belief that everybody can be right opens up my windows and opens up my opportunities in sharing and in and in presenting new possibilities. Likewise different people would believe in different things- Our constitution is a collective belief structure that we have that forms the basis of our community. This probably is a more valid, a more pertinent discussion to have to how do we share a belief system.

Products designed by Mr. Kasliwal
Pic courtesy – Editorial team
  • The question of the past and the future can both be addressed from them. The past is as told to us is not bereft of a belief system. The war of 1857 is sometimes called the first mutiny, sometime its called the first war of independence. What is it? Either which is tainted by a belief or an opinion and as I said history is always the victor’s, not of the vanquished. So the past that we see is always through tainted glasses. It is always from the viewpoint of what we think today. The caste system which may have had some functionality is seen today from the liberal eyes as something being wrong , something incorrect. But was it so at that time? Probably not. So how we choose to take a history celebrated or created as part of our identity is a thought that we have today. The history is as we know it or may not be what we know of. The things that we celebrate today as our jewels are to a very large extent based upon what we think of ourselves today. So the question again remains what we believe in and how does that affect our view of the past and our view of the future. While this discussion may not seem to have a very dirty connect with what we think of as design, I would choose to say that design is an outcome of our beliefs. Any object or any space is an outcome of what we believe in. The idea of the bedroom or the idea of separation of the private from the public is steeped in a belief of what is private. Likewise the choice of having a telephone cell phone or any such gadget is given by our beliefs, not just buy our needs. The challenge is can we see them can we know what is behind that thought and is that thought what is behind it something that we agree with within our belief structure. And constantly look in challenge everything around us and see through the scepter of whether it fits in to what we believe in.