The Cool Collective

Delhi-based design collective Studio Wood is all about simple living, high thinking

Published: 16th May 2015 10:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th May 2015 01:07 AM   |  A+A-

For Studio Wood, it’s all in the details. On the face of it, their furniture pieces may appear simple and sophisticated, but the more you observe, the more subtle details come to light. It may be the cleverly hidden mirror underneath a table, or the manner in which the legs of a chair suggests art deco, or the novel (our favourite) cement top circular dining table. What sets the collective apart is the innovative, updated and bespoke versions of everyday design rendered intelligently.

Collective2.jpgSet up in March 2014, the company was cofounded by four young troopers—Vrinda Mathur, Navya Aggarwal, Gazal Bawa and Sahej Bhatia. Vrinda, Navya and Gazal graduated from NIFT, New Delhi, with Vrinda and Navya earning their bachelor’s degrees in lifestyle accessory design and Gazal in communication design, whereas Sahej completed his B.Arch from the University School of Architecture and Planning, IP University, New Delhi. “After half a year of intense discussions, lots of R&D and finally a first collection, we launched Studio Wood with a one-of-its-kind service of re-love, re-purpose and re-design through the concept of a garage sale,” says Vrinda, who envisioned the concept of bringing together this collective. Presently, Vrinda and Navya are working towards making Studio Wood the brand it was envisioned to be.

Today, with its prime focus on furniture design through custom-made and bespoke pieces, Studio Wood also provides design consultancy services for residential and office projects. “The name Studio Wood effortlessly translates to a space/hub that deals in wood-led design and products. Albeit we’ve also branched out to creating products with a mixed bag of materials such as metal, glass, resin and concrete, our eternal love for natural wood, grains, knots and textures remains the USP of our brand,” adds Navya. 

Studio Wood shares its infrastructure with parent company Cane Kriti, a furniture manufacturing unit dealing in institutional and hospitality projects pan India, which was established in 1999. Says Navya: “We believe design should be accessible and, therefore, lay importance on balance; design that adds function yet has subtle aesthetic qualities. Most importantly, we as a collective believe design shouldn’t take away from spaces but add to them.”

The expertise of each member instinctively divides the work of the business as per the requirement of the project. “We, however, understand that our core strength lies in the fact that we operate as one unit and not individuals. Together we manage all aspects of our business, from taking up designations that handle finances, administrative set-ups, sourcing, installation and of course, design and manufacturing,” says Navya.

“The final product brings together a great mix of good design enveloped with precise execution and an enhanced thought process. Since we also design spaces, we have learnt that experiences are guided by the places we live in. So our design is not a derivative of the place but of the people who will inhabit it,” explains Vrinda.

Studio Wood started out as a furniture design studio and has designed a bespoke range of products like tables, chairs, consoles, shelves, cabinets, sofas and lights.

So what is the method behind the madness, we ask. “One just jots down the idea in the form of a product and leaves it to the team to work on. The team, with the technical consultancy of the karigars, deconstructs the idea and re-constructs it. Our varying expertise comes into play at this stage, where everyone puts in his or her individual knowledge and skill set to create a single design. Once it is in place (which usually gets cracked in two-four days) and technical workability has been set, the product is prototyped and put into production which takes four-six weeks. In bespoke furniture pieces, even as the drawing takes its life-size form, brainstorming continues through the finishing phases until it’s ready to be showcased,” says Navya.

A group favourite is the dining set that was designed for their latest collection. The dining table, with a cross base finished with handcrafted oak wood legs, was teamed up with a light grey concrete. “To match this, we designed upholstered chairs silhouetted with an oak wood structure. This set demonstrates the philosophy of the collective—keep experimenting and do something new every day,” says Vrinda.

The studio finds immense inspiration in the works of Charles and Ray Eames. “We are also influenced by Scandinavian design sensibilities that prioritises functionality without eliminating grace and beauty,” says Vrinda.

To place an order, the studio hosts semi-annual exhibits where everyone can directly pick up the products displayed. Or you could be old-fashioned and pop by their studio. Plans for an e-commerce site are also on the anvil. What next? The studio is working on space design projects and plans to venture into restaurant and retail design.

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