Gifts Today magazine

Ambiente announces Partner Country designer

Designer Ayush Kasliwal is announced as curator and designer of the presentation of India as a partner country in 2019

The global consumer goods industry will be meeting in Frankfurt am Main from February 8-12, 2019. This time the partner country will be the Republic of India.

The designer Ayush Kasliwal will be demonstrating the importance of traditional craftsmanship for India today. His designer colleague Sandeep Sangaru will be inviting visitors to a picnic under a canopy of stars.

The presentation of the partner country will cover a wide range of products by traditional crafts and artisans and it reflects a deep understanding of mythology, architecture and culture through a contemporary aesthetic.

Curated and designed by the Jaipur-based India designer Ayush Kasliwal (Studio AKFD), next year’s exhibition will be shown again at Galleria 1.

“Many of India’s craft ecosystems still exist and have not been completely overwhelmed by industrial mass production. India makes a huge variety of handmade goods and this opens up enormous opportunities for the country. The future, especially for India, lies in craftsmanship. Ambiente is a fantastic place to present handmade products,” says Ayush Kasliwal.

Divided into two parts, the special presentation will be in discreet Indian colours, and the products will be beautifully illuminated in the style of a design gallery.

The first section, Timeless and Handmade, will celebrate products with everyday designs, including a number of authentic, classic originals. Other handmade products in this section have been developed to meet the expectations of today’s international audience. The items will be presented in a gallery-style format, showing how much India can offer in this area. The individual artisan stages of the work will be illustrated through photographs.

The second section of the presentation will focus on both established and emerging craft entrepreneurs, representing artisan communities and related organisations. The emphasis will be on their working methods and production techniques. This aspect is especially important, as many consumers expect to see the same high standards from craft enterprises as the ones they are used to from industrial companies working under standardised conditions.

Objects are messages in physical form
The designer Ayush Kasliwal, is an alumnus of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. He is one of India’s leading design thinkers, practitioners and advocates for artisans. Kasliwal, with his architect wife Geetanjali, is Creative Director and Co-founder of AKFD & Anan Taya, an interdisciplinary design company based in Jaipur, India. Through inclusive business practices, he redefines ancient local craft traditions and artisan communities by providing design, technology, capital and creative collaboration. He works in multiple ways, from small batch manufacturing, to artisan driven orders finished at his factory, to interiors and large-scale on-site installations throughout India. He believes that “objects are messages in physical form”.

Relaxing culinary time – Designer Sandeep Sangaru
The café in Hall 4.1, designed by Sandeep Sangaru, will be a place where visitors can find moments of peace and quiet.

It is designed as an installation offering visitors the opportunity to relax over a cup of coffee or to pause for thought as they enjoy a delicious snack. The designer has created an opulent Indian-style ambience for the Starry Night Café, much of which is built of bamboo. It is a place where visitors can stop and think for a moment. Sangaru is a multidisciplinary designer, educator and entrepreneur. Working with north-east Indian artisans, including women, he has turned bamboo into a more viable material for everyday use. The café will have strong shades of blue, creating an atmosphere of relaxation, peace and enjoyment. It is one of the many features at the trade fair that are dedicated entirely to the partner country.

Sandeep Sanguru studied industrial design at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India. His speciality is furniture design, and he also has a technical background in mechanical engineering. As a multidisciplinary designer, Sanguru uses a variety of different materials. He owns Sangaru Design Studio, a multidisciplinary design consultancy firm in Bangalore, India. From the very beginning Sanguru’s studio has been actively involved with the craft sector, working with local people and local material to create global products. Craft has always been a needs-focused process, and it is Sangaru’s aim to establish design as an interface for the skills of artisans. His work has won many design awards and has been exhibited at various design and craft museums across the world.

A special day themed on the partner country
As well as the partner country presentation and the Starry Night Café in Hall 4.1, Ambiente will follow its tradition of holding a special themed day once again on the Monday. This day will conclude in style, with a reception geared towards the partner country. In addition to the partner country programme, the forthcoming Ambiente will again feature numerous trend and product presentations, award ceremonies, special areas and a range of further events.

Ambiente 2019 will be held from 8 to 12 February.

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