As part of our ongoing digital campaign AVID Online, Kala Ghoda Association (KGA) and Avid Learning present Blurring Boundaries: The Global Language of Design a live session on the culturally determined growth of a universal design language that spans across disciplines and borders.
Award-winning Interior Designer Sunita Kohli, Art Connoisseur, Textile Revivalist and Designer Deepak Badhwar and Architect and Academic Smita Dalvi will be in conversation with Interior Stylist and Artistic Curator Srila Chatterjee.
These expert speakers will examine how design- from textile to monument – from lettering to design object, from colour to pattern- all have cultural lineages and linkages- that have become globalised and have come to speak a common tongue. What are the cultural strains and historic strands connecting kilims, pashmina, and chintz? How can the Bombay fornicator trace its history to colonial living rooms- but also be found today in contemporary variants? Can the proclivity for colour (as in Indian and Italian design) be transmuted? How have the rich motifs and particular principles of Islamic architecture been adapted in Indian and European building design and even contemporary versions of architecture?
Further, how have even the very nomenclatures of certain words or concepts in the global design lexicon originated from certain cultures or places? How can practitioners from diverse disciplines of design – such as architects, textile specialists, even researchers, graphic designers, conservationists and historians – from across the globe- be custodians and preservers of this cross-cultural legacy?
The digital space has dissolved boundaries and borders to enable us to collaborate, innovate and develop processes and approaches to design cross-culturally. How has technology and connectivity through the digital space expanded the design lexicon to be cross-culturally legible? Is the digital space the Silk Route of today?
This panel will be part of Blurring Boundaries, a larger virtual collaborative series that aims to engage with emerging voices from the visual arts and established voices from design while examining the interstices where various aspects and disciplines of the arts intersect.
Join us to understand the cultural complexities and legacies in the global design language of today!
About the Speakers :
Sunita Kohli, is a globally recognized national award-winning interior designer and furniture manufacturer since 1971 and an architectural conservator-restorer since 1981. Her professional portfolio includes several significant public and heritage buildings, hotels and hotel boats, forts, palaces, libraries, museums and select residences in India, Egypt, Pakistan, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. She is the President of K2India, an award winning architectural and design firm, whose Co-Founder and CEO is Kohelika Kohli. Sunita Kohli is a former Chairperson of the School of Planning and Architecture in Bhopal- the first women to head a National Institute of Excellence. She has lectured and presented papers, on various subjects, at several universities in the UK, the USA and South-East Asia. She has had the distinction of being the first Indian designer or architect to be invited in 2003, to deliver an illustrated talk at the National Buildings Museum in Washington DC. In 1992, Sunita Kohli was conferred the Padma Shri, for contribution to national life in the field of interior design and architectural restoration, by the President of India. She was the first person to be conferred in this category and, to date, is the only recipient. In 1992, she was also presented the Mahila Shiromani Award by Mother Teresa, now St. Teresa, in Kolkata.
Deepak Badhwar joined his father's concern Indian Art Carpets in 1978 after completing his graduation in Srinagar. He started studying the Kashmiri carpet in detail and got into commissioning fine and unique carpets breaking away from the traditional design while retaining the original techniques. His keen interest in Indian art, culminated in him delving deep into Kashmiri Arts. The interest reached its zenith in 2006 when he got a pure pashmina carpet made by a master craftsman. This was a revival after the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh when pashmina carpets were made for the influential people. In 2015 the first Pashmina shawl was created in kaani with pure zari from Varanasi. This seems to be pioneer work as there is no known record of pashmina and zari woven together. Deepak has also delved into the revival of Kangra and Basohli miniature paintings with natural pigments and pure gold leaf.
Smita Dalvi is a Professor at MES Pillai College of Architecture and the editor of Tekton – a scholarly journal of architecture published biannually. She has a PhD in Visual Communication from IIT-Bombay. She is a co-author of ‘Panvel: Great City, Fading Heritage’ (2020) (In English and Marathi). She has published several essays on the cultural significance of community built religious architecture in the Konkan and the Malabar. Her area of special interest is in Indo-Islamic Art and Architecture, and on this she has delivered several guest lectures in India and abroad. She is a recipient of the fellowship of 'Fulbright Visiting Specialist: Direct Access to the Muslim world' – as a part of this fellowship, she taught modules on Indo-Islamic architecture in four universities in America’s mid-west and also made presentations to school children and community groups on diversity of Indian culture as contributions of Muslims in India’s cultural landscape.
Srila Chatterjee has worn many hats in the course of her career: starting with marketing, she moved through advertising to 25 years in film production where she ran Highlight Films, an award winning iconic production house. In 2004/5, she was Festival Director of the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival in Bombay, responsible for transforming it into a multi-disciplinary public celebration. She is a co-founder of the Blue Frog, Bombay that was listed in 2008 as one of the 10 best music performance venues in the world. In 2014 she co-founded Highlight Living, a furniture and interiors venture that morphed into the lifestyle store Baro in 2016. Srila also works as an independent Stylist for interiors.