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D/Code 2018: From bacterial purses to artisan barstools

The first edition of the art and design fair features the ingenuous and the outlandish

Wyck Incense Holders.
Wyck Incense Holders.

Collaboration between craftspeople and designers is the future of design in India," says architect, interior designer and “fair junkie" Ashiesh Shah. As curator of the inaugural edition of the D/code exhibition, billed as “India’s first curated art + design fair", which takes place in Mumbai this weekend, he aims to bring together champions of local crafts.

Another curatorial objective, Shah says, has been to showcase the intersectionality of art and design and bring to the fore young studios that deserve a greater share of the spotlight. “For instance, a section called ‘Handmade in Jaipur’ features galleries and studios from the city that have shown in different parts of the world, but not in India," says Shah.

The Atelier section of the fair, which is co-curated by Tarini Jindal of the JSW Group, showcases standout contemporary designers such as product designer Saif Faisal, who teamed up with Bidriware artisans to create hexagonal snowflake coasters, and Delhi-based studio Objectry, which marries contrasting local materials like stone and brass in the Un Even series. “A lot of young brands cannot afford a fair, because it is expensive to buy a booth and showcase your work. So, for Atelier, we have invited young designers to give them a space to get noticed," says Shah.

Lounge picks from the Atelier at D/code.

Seamless coin purse
by Malai

The Kerala-based studio uses bacterial cellulose from coconut water to create a flexible, durable material that can be coated in a matte, semi-glossy or glossy finish. These bags are coloured with natural dyes and are available in a range of muted, nature-inspired colours like “manjal (turmeric) yellow" and “root red".

Wyck Incense Holders
by Josmo Studio

This series of geometric incense holders offers an elegant solution to the inconvenience of scattered ash. The holders come in three solid brass shapes—pyramid, sphere and cube—with a hidden magnet in the base for the objects to slide across.

Pitoloi collection
by Studio Bordoloi

For this collection, designer Ranjan Bordoloi collaborated with a master artisan from the Assamese village of Hajo to revive the fading technique of brass hammering. The result is a contemporary range of small stools and bar stools that won the 2017 Red Dot Design Concept Award.

D/code is on from 17-18 March at Hotel Four Seasons in Mumbai.

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