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The Sufi Dancer
Crow Chair

Bombay Atelier’s Most Popular Products

Namaste, a Wireframe Café Chair
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Showcase 10 Apr 2017

What’s New at Bombay Atelier?

A cup of chai to start the morning, namaste as you greet your grandparents and head out for some asanas, spotting the crow that is perched on the windowsill as agarbatti wafts through the house. We’re not just describing a morning scene in your house; we’re talking about Farzin Adenwalla’s creations inspired by everyday objects at Mumbai-based design company, Bombay Atelier. Here, we find out more about the making of their latest products.

Founded in 2013 by Farzin Adenwalla, Bombay Atelier focuses on a juxtaposition of everyday objects and urban living. With peculiar names deriving inspiration from familiar objects, all products begin with sustainable materials and take fresh forms after close work with local artisans. Five years later, the company’s philosophy has grown stronger with a larger range of products.

When Adenwalla was stepping into the world of design, she knew that she would only make products with reason. “I don’t really believe in creating excess products because the world has enough objects in it. For me, design has to be functional and for that it has to be more than just a trend,” she said, adding that unlike fashion where every season unveils a new collection, with furniture and lighting, she takes her time to completely understand each material before fleshing out the best possible use for it and eventually creating a utilitarian object.

When Bombay Atelier began posting photographs of their latest product on their Facebook page, we knew we had to delve deeper. ‘The Sufi Dancer’ is a first of its kind for Adenwalla and the company because it fuses industrial design, fashion and lightning technology. Stemming from a desire to bring in different disciplines together, the huge pendant light inspired by the graceful movements of a Sufi dancer marks the collaboration between Farzin Adenwalla and fashion designer Aaliya Chikte. Adenwalla began designing the framework and understanding the mathematical equation while working closely with metal fabricators to turn 3d models into full-scale structures.

Chikte joined in after the initial construction was in place to translate the movement of a Sufi dancer onto the light with drapes. “It was important to understand how the body moves in relation to the fabric. I knew we would require a fashion designer to be able to capture that movement,” Adenwalla said, while mentioning that the drapes came together over 2000 pins and two hand-stitched layers. The final addition was the custom halo-like light fitting created with a combination of LED strips, halogen tubes and an acrylic diffuser.

The Sufi Dancer

Bombay Atelier’s products are distinct not only because of the names and design but also because of the organic materials that they incorporate in their making setting each one apart from the next. Taking a note from her childhood that she spent surrounded by nature in New Zealand, Adenwalla hopes to continue exploring the different options that organic materials have to offer. “I love going into the depths of understanding the origins of whatever material I work with. I really like working with cane. Maybe next I’ll work with hemp,” she expressed emphasizing her love for natural materials in urban contexts.

One of Bombay Atelier’s most popular products is the Crow Chair that breaks down the crow’s anatomy to basic lines. Crows are often spotted swooping across Mumbai’s skylines and making their way onto telecom wires. For Adenwalla the idea came from everyday life, much like her other ideas. “I like working with objects that people don’t necessarily consider beautiful. Most people don't like crows, but I loved the dynamic movement and delicate beauty,” she explained, talking about the way the bird was captured in the form of a chair, while also accounting for the interaction between the human body and the furniture.

Crow Chair

Bombay Atelier’s Most Popular Products

Mister Chai, a scalloped coffee table, Namaste, a wireframe café chair and Winnow Stool, a basket-shaped barstool among other products make their way to homes and offices across the world offering a glimpse of everyday life in India. While Agarbatti, a beech and steel high table and The Bombay Deck, a lounge recliner make their way to spaces across the country rendering fond memories of fleeting moments.

Namaste, a Wireframe Café Chair

For Bombay Atelier trends are irrelevant, because their vision is about continuing to develop and grow as a multidisciplinary studio. “It’s important for us as designers to work with artisans and their crafts and take it to the next level. We have to innovate and use these crafts in ways they haven’t been used before,” Farzin Adenwalla quips as she wanders the workshops in Bidar, Karnataka, developing her next product using the ancient craft of Bidriware.