What if you could spend the lockdown at Hogwarts?
In ‘The Rooms Project’, a Delhi-based product designer imagines what social isolation would feel like within iconic films, paintings and books
What if you were quarantined inside Aladdin’s cave or Bilbo Baggins’ study during the lockdown? In the recent 'The Rooms Project', you can exactly picture what social isolation would feel like if you were a character from a famous book or film.
This unique series is the brainchild of Delhi-based product designer, Amrit Pal Singh, who has, in the past, designed filters for Snapchat, among other things.
The project has allowed Singh, 30, to rekindle his passion for three-dimensional art and design. “Being bound to a single space during this period of social distancing, I began to think of a series on rooms that act as portals to adventure and possibilities," he says.
Singh drew on his favourite artworks, films and literature for inspiration and the project grew organically. “I didn’t set out with a list of rooms to create. I designed one and then waited for inspiration," he adds.
The first one in The Rooms Project was a reimagining of Vincent Van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arles. “I have a replica of the original painting in my studio and I see it everyday. It has always been at the back of my mind to do something around it. And this was the perfect opportunity," he says.
The latest in the series, which went up yesterday, is Bilbo Baggin’s study, as described by JRR Tolkien in The Hobbit and Lord of The Rings. “Whether you like the series or not, you can’t deny a deep-rooted desire to visit The Shire in Hobbiton, Middle Earth," writes Singh in his Instagram post.
The cosy little room, envisioned by him, has a tiny fireplace, reams of parchment, a writing desk, several pots of ink, quills and books scattered all around. It seems like the perfect space to curl up with a tome during the isolation.
Since April 12, when the first design in The Rooms Project was posted on Instagram, Singh has created seven rooms inspired by the Harry Potter books, Murph’s room in Interstellar, the Tom and Jerry cartoon series and The Simpsons.
Instead of going down the usual route of reimagining the Gryffindor common room or Harry’s dorm in Hogwarts castle, Singh decided to create the room containing the Mirror of Erised as mentioned in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
“The Mirror of Erised reflected the deepest desires of a person. A person could go on looking at it for eternity. It’s somewhat similar to the time we are spending these days, staring at our screens, watching Netflix or Prime Video," he says.
Creating Jerry’s room from Tom and Jerry offered a trip down memory lane for him. Perhaps it is because of this nostalgic touch that this room has got a huge response online.
“A lot of studios have worked on the series over the years, so there was no one particular iconic design for Jerry’s room. This made sense as the mouse had to keep shifting his room. But I have observed that Jerry has a very noticeable taste and that reflects in his rooms," says Singh. So he created a bed made of fish cans and bottle caps, a lamp crafted from thread spools and thimble, and portraits of Jerry’s loved ones beaming down from the walls.
Singh now wants to do a room based on the animated sitcom, The Jetsons. “I watched the series 15 years ago. It’s amazing how a lot of situations described in the series are coming true now. I want to create a futuristic room with floating plants, and more," he says, already dreaming of other possibilities and ideas that he could translate into a three-dimensional world.
The Rooms Project can be viewed here.