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This city architect incorporates modern aesthetics in traditional designs
Architect-designer Faisal Manzur’s debut furniture collection does not see modern and traditional as mutually exclusive, but rather how the two can behave in perfect synchronicity.
The young architect’s upcoming furniture line is an amalgamation of Indian history with a touch of Europeanism and it evokes a sense of bringing people together for a little bit of camaraderie. “As an architect and designer, I constantly try to discover how my designs can weave Indian traditionalism into the fabric of modern India. My designs respect the work of local artisans and craftsmen. I prefer local and familiar materials as they are better suited to our environmental conditions," Faisal Manzur tells DT Next.
In his new two designs, the kongu lamp and thinnai day bed, the architect has made sure to incorporate a little bit of local flavour. Talking about the kongu lamp (pillar lamp) that is a prominent piece in Faisal's upcoming furniture line, he says, "This piece of furniture is symbolic of quality craftsmanship that most south Indians associate with summers at their ancestral homes and memories of their childhood. Each pillar has its individual style and uniqueness based on the region and provides a certain element of grandeur and enigma. The lamps retrofitted on the traditional pillars are customised based on the space to ensure the right throw of light and overall aesthetic appeal. In this particular piece, the pillar is made of country wood and teak that are sourced from an ancestral home in Kongunadu, Coimbatore and it harbours six decades of memories within its structure."
India has a rich tradition of arts and crafts and the architect believes that one should incorporate them into any design. "Designers who are commercially or critically successful have cultivated their identity, otherwise one ends up borrowing culture and sensibilities which do not belong to them. So, as an Indian designer, I am incorporating local aesthetics in my designs. We have to revive our traditional architecture and designs," he says.
His thinnai day bed, a relatively new concept, is an ode to the grand courtyards of ancestral homes that were infused with sunlight and the wafting aromas of South Indian cuisine.
"Courtyards or thinnais is the place where the family members gather for a casual conversation or evening tea. One can also spot women weaving flowers, men discussing business or politics and children playing at the courtyards. In this particular piece of furniture, the seating blends the function of a thinnai in a modern aesthetic with its solid teak frame, elegant woven rattan and brass detailing that translate it into a modern and sophisticated piece of furniture. This highly versatile piece brings in the essence of south India and more so the elements of Chettinad with its earthy and summer tones," Faisal sums up.