unliked – the UNLIKE DESIGN CO. blog

in books we trust

Posted in 1, books, indiandesign by unliked on December 7, 2015

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One can read about the history of the National Book Trust on the website and several other government htmls. Like many other organisations and government bodies, the original and often genuine intention at the time of establishment has stayed constant. It’s time that has moved on. Whether this is a consequence of the usual government-body culture or a deliberate intention, it is by both perspectives a nice thing.

At Unlike, we have a special interest in the children’s titles – the ones that speak of an innocent India – where children wake up at the crack of dawn and don eager smiles as they get ready for a beautiful sunny day at school. The father drives a scooter and the mother packs everyone off before sitting down to knit or chop green mangoes for the yearly pickling. Parents seldom quarrel and old clothes can still be exchanged for steel vessels via loud travelling saleswomen.

As much as it is about an erstwhile era, it is also about an alternate India that still exists in majority and is a bit removed from the culture of her large cities. In a nostalgic few minutes that it takes to read a story, readers like us whose childhoods have been immersed in the modest and frugal eighties can look back and remember the good times.

In Japanese culture, there is a word that somehow encapsulates the subject, characters and nature of these children’s stories – Ninjô: translated roughly as “the heart or feelings common to man; human affections; humanity; kindness”. 

It will be interesting to see how the National Book Trust manages to generate contemporary content while retaining this inherent goodness – which continues to be a relevant and craving need in these modern times.

 

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National Book Trust publications can be ordered here.

Illustration by Shaival Chatterjee / Text on Ninjô reference: The Circle of On, Giri and Ninjo – Sociologist’s Point of View – Kiyohide SEKI, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan (Hokkaido University Library)

 

 

 

unlike design co. for godrej design lab

Posted in 1, Designed, indiandesign by unliked on February 19, 2015

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For the past few months, we have been working to develop a new design prototype with Godrej Design Lab and Elle Decor. The lab is an initiative by Navroze Godrej of Godrej & Boyce to promote and support Indian design and designers. Unlike Design Co. were amongst eight designers and studios selected to be part of the first edition of this very welcome initiative by a proudly Indian consumer product giant.

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Our product proposal with the lab began with a wall utility unit designed for speedy urban lifestyles. Placed next to the main door of the apartment, the idea was to provide the functions of a mirror, shelf and hooks, all installed by the user without much effort. In close collaboration with the team at Godrej, this idea has now further developed into KVIKK – a versatile wall system offering further flexibility and enjoyment for the user.

 

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This week, the prototype developed as a result of this process was presented at the India Design ID 2015 – an annual design event dedicated to interior and space design. The response has been more than enthusiastic from potential consumers, architects, interior designers and retailers.

More details to follow as the lab continues to gains momentum. In the meantime, stay updated at: www.godrejdesignlab.com

Photographs © Vikas Dutt Photography / © Zero9 / © Unlike Design Co. / Video © Godrej Design Lab

The TV series CNBC Young Turks recently covered the Godrej Design Lab as a unique initiative by Navroze Godrej. Watch the video here.

new products in the shop

Posted in 1, Designed, indiandesign, towithfrom, Web by unliked on January 2, 2015

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Our TOWITHFROM webshop has received a new stock of products – this above is a set of Toss soft cases, available in three vibrant colour combinations. Order at this link. It might also be a good idea to follow the TWF Instagram feed and Facebook page to be the first to know of the special stuff (you know what that means).

Photograph © Unlike Design Co. / TOWITHFROM

 

 

new products at salone satellite 2014

Posted in 1, Designed, indiandesign by unliked on May 19, 2014

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Last month at the Salone Satellite 2014 in Milan, we showcased our new furniture and accessories.

The Milan furniture fair is the largest of its kind in the world. Come April and the entire city celebrates its love for design through events, exhibitions, launches and shows. At the heart of this activity is the Salone Del Mobile trade fair that spreads across the Rho Fiera grounds, a complex designed by the Italian architect Massimiliano Fuksas. Within this mega fairground, the Salone Satellite exhibition takes up a portion of Halls 13 and 15 in an area large enough to park two Boeings.

Founded and curated by Marva Griffin Wilshire (We think her interview here is a great introduction) since 1998, the Salone Satellite brings together almost 700 young designers below the age of 35 from proposals that are examined and evaluated by a prestigious Selection Committee drawn from a pool of international professionals from the world of design, architecture and media. 

The focus of the Salone Satellite is to connect young designers with the big guns of manufacturing. Designers showcase their design prototypes with the objective of signing design contracts with a now almost global list of brands and manufacturers. Extensive press and media reports on these prototypes is only natural and an added benefit.

We received our letter of confirmation in November last year and designed and developed these product prototypes to be launched at the fair in April. Focusing more on furniture complements and accessories, our work looks at ‘functional decoration’ – a balance of utility coupled with the pleasure of its visual and emotional ownership.

 

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As a holder of stationery or as an object of decoration, AMMO provides the freedom to decide how and where to use it. Handcrafted in hand rubbed leather, walnut wood and turned eucalyptus wood.

 

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MARGIN is a colour reversible side table in two colored leather that can be flatpacked and assembled easily. Made of plywood and clad in leather. 

 

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KVIKK is a modular wall unit consisting of a mirror, shelf and hooks. Made of ash wood and aluminium, it allows for quick installation with the help of only two screws. The shelf, hooks and mirror slide and lock into the slotted wooden block. A handy assistant while entering or leaving the house.

 

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The HOMETOWN lamp is inspired by the decorated cycle rickshaws from the old city of Banaras. Hand embossed by the same rickshaw craftsman in aluminium, the embossing creates an interesting visual texture even on the inside.

 

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Using only wood and decoratively knotted natural fibre rope, the reversible TEJA frame uses a rope fastening method to do away with cold and un-emotional hardware. No hinges, clasps, wire or hooks. An attempt to return to a sense of functional romanticism. 

 

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Designed in accordance with our approach to decorative function, the SOMEWHAT mirror is handcrafted in leather and offers the additional function of an incorporated shelf.

 

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Adding to the function of a mirror, the ALSO mirror is handmade in leather and includes an inbuilt anodised aluminium hook. 

 

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The SLOT shelf is cut from a single piece of MDF in a way that each piece slots into itself to form a wall shelf.

Delhi, though vast and very resourceful, is not an easy city for a designer to make prototypes to exact and intended specifications. Add a strict deadline, and you’re headed to almost certain disappointment. Within these situations, it is a pleasure to be able to work with Cuir Inde (the manufacturing arm of designer Parminder Pal Singh), BeeHive (the workshop and studio of designer Pankaj Narain) and The New Black Design Studio (by designer and dear friend Rohit Kumar). Them, we thank.

All Photographs © Unlike Design Co.

 

go rubberband

Posted in indiandesign, Spotted, Web by unliked on April 28, 2014

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Boosting our much needed sense of national design pride this month, Indian design brand Rubberband expands its retail wings to Colette in Paris, The Lollipop Shop at London, the Cooper Hewitt Shop at New York and several locations in Switzerland. In focus is Rubberband’s collaboration with graphic artist Anthony Burrill – a set of notebooks in signature Rubberband style complemented with typographic messages by Anthony Burrill. If you haven’t switched to Rubberband yet, now would be a great time to start. #doeverythingyoulove

All photographs courtesy Rubberband and © Rubberband Products

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