Submitted by Varun Kumar
The Objective Basket, Studio Wood, Kochi Biennale Foundation
India Architecture News - Jan 15, 2019 - 09:52 8364 views
Basketry items, prevalent among Kochi’s artisans, are now interpreted as a single transformative item handy for everyday human activities. Studio Wood was commissioned by Kochi Biennale Foundation for a project and the alchemy of basketry displayed is the result.
“The basket collection was designed as part of a site specific furniture project in Kochi’s Cabral Yard; a space imagined as a hub for art, interaction and inspiration during the span of the event”, says Studio Wood.
The Kochi Muziris Biennale 2018, during Kerala’s rehabilitation from the recent floods, explored into “Possiblities for a Non-alienated Life”. Curator Anita Dube elaborates the importance of being away from the fascist-like mastery of today’s virtual world which enslaves the people’s consciousness, and bring up liberal ideals.
What is The Objective basket?
“The concept”, says Studio Wood, “is that in an environment which promotes expression through different mediums, we designed the basket collection to engage and intrigue the client by metaphorically representing an everyday object into a larger piece of furniture.”
“A simple basket was reimagined into various products such as seats, tables, community resting spots and integrated within the architecture after a careful analysis of the different movements and postures of the human body”, says Studio Wood.
“For instance, we designed a ten-foot coracle inspired basket which seats 7-8 persons, placed strategically on a green berm, it encourages the user to immerse themselves in a child-like experience”, says Studio Wood.
Why The Objective Basket and how it is made
“While researching on the different crafts of Kerala, we came across basketry and it instantly clicked”, says Studio Wood. “To be able to create interesting products with a craft input and in turn providing a platform to the artisans was our utmost priority.”
“Since these pieces were to be used directly by the audience, an integral part of our design process was to analyze the different ways one would interact with the product and then carefully gave form to the function. Be it simply sitting, relaxing or other activities such as community workshops and group discussions etc.”, says Studio Wood.
“The collection includes stools, tables, community hubs, dining spaces and relaxation spots”, says Studio Wood. On the material of the basket, “all the pieces in this collection have been designed using a material mix of natural cane, mild steel and sustainable fabrics such as jute and cotton canvas”, says Studio Wood.
Studio Wood had to find an appropriate method of weaving and finishing the basket. “Rains are predicted in the winter months which meant that all of our furniture had to be designed keeping in mind the precipitation and its impact. For this reason, we made drainage points in all the large coracle inspired baskets, chose to go for a natural glue lamination in the fabrics and also a basic varnish on the cane weaving”, says Studio Wood.
Putting a Dying Art on the Map
On the scope for innovation, Studio Wood says “As designers, it is essential for us to re-imagine the future and possibilities of the deteriorating arts and bring them back on the map for a global audience.”
“This collection of furniture has been a step towards uplifting the artisans of Kochi, in the flood-stricken state of Kerala to gain momentum and opportunities through the exhibit of the pieces at the prestigious Kochi Muziris Biennale 2018-2019”, says Studio Wood.
“Along with the makers, the products are equally engaging for the users as they instil a feeling of unity within the environment by weaving form and function together with a distinct craft input”, says Studio Wood.
All images courtesy of Studio Wood.
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