This year the partner country is the Republic of India. The partner country presentation, curated and designed by Ayush Kasliwal, demonstrates the importance of traditional craftsmanship for India today.
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 is the 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”.
“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.
The partner country presentation covers a wide range of products by traditional crafts and artisans and reflects a deep understanding of mythology, architecture and culture through a contemporary aesthetic. Divided into two parts, the presentation features discreet Indian colours, and showcases the products in the style of a design gallery.
The first section, “Timeless and Handmade”, celebrates 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 individual artisan stages of the works are illustrated in photographs.
The second section of the presentation focuses on both established and emerging craft entrepreneurs, representing artisan communities and related organisations. The emphasis is on their working methods and production techniques.
Partner Land Day at Ambiente
As well as the partner country presentation, Ambiente is following its tradition of holding a special themed day once again on Monday, February 11. This day will conclude in style, with a reception geared towards the partner country.
Relaxing culinary time
The Starry Night Café in Hall 4.1 is 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 Sandeep Sangaru 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.
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 multi-disciplinary 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 materials 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.