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Architectural Digest India January - February 2020

AD's special issue dedicated to craftsmanship is back. This issue explores new forms of craftsmanship in multiple mediums—from Kashmiri cashmere to handcrafted metalware. It spotlights thought leaders who have worked with craft communities for decades, and it shows homes and spaces that exemplify the best of craftsmanship. Also in this issue: the Watch Report, which features the best new timepieces released for 2021.

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6 Issues

in this issue

2 min
rolling in the hay

Would you like a picnic lunch from our vegetable garden?” asked interior designer Shalini Misra via text message. I already knew this was going to be a great day as we were shooting her majestic estate in New Delhi with a garden designed by the late, legendary landscape architect Charles Jencks. I won’t fawn too much over what a BIG DEAL it is to have Charles Jencks design your garden. But can you imagine what it took to persuade the manipulator of mountains, who worked mostly on public projects and almost exclusively in Scotland, not Chhatarpur, to create his only Eden that actually morphs into a house with architecture by Delhi-based Morphogenesis? He wasn’t exactly prolific, nor did he just lend his name. Yet this is the most classic Jencks…

4 min

ALMAS JANI deputy art director In her eight glorious years at Condé Nast, AD’s deputy art director has been integral to the way the magazine looks and feels today. “It’s been a heck of a rollercoaster ride with never a dull moment—unforgettable all the way!” says Jani, who is moving on to new adventures. AXEL VERVOORDT interior architect The Belgian designer has crafted some of the most soulful interiors worldwide. As his new coffee table book, Axel Vervoordt: Portraits of Interiors comes out, AD excerpts a few leaves out of his exceptional body of work (pg 131). JITISH KALLAT artist Jitish Kallat has exhibited widely across the world at major museums, galleries and art institutions. In 2017, the NGMA in Delhi presented a mid-career survey covering 25 years of his work. His solo exhibition at the Frist Museum…

1 min
green fields

This month, art patron Shalini Passi’s foundation, MASH Sculptural Space, opens a group exhibition titled ‘We are Still Alive: Strategies in Surviving the Anthropocene’ from 21 January to 2 February 2020, in the sculpture garden of the India International Centre in New Delhi. Curated by Arshiya Lokhandwala, it features sculptural works by seven artists, one of which, Goat Eater by Priyanka Choudhary, found its way into ’s January-February issue. Here’s to a wild, sustainable and climate-conscious 2020!…

1 min

POD is an abbreviation for ‘Pieces of Desire’,” says Nishita Kamdar, co-founder—with architect Veeram Shah—of her eponymous architecture studio, and now, POD. The idea of POD was born out of two motives: Kamdar’s, to fill the gap in the market with designs that were sophisticated as well as affordable; and Shah’s, to immerse himself in a research-driven unlearning experience that would also result in good design. The idea took hold in March last year, and by April, the studio was ready to go. The team today comprises six architects (including Shah and Kamdar) and six artisans, all of whom are encouraged to “express themselves and bring together Indian craft traditions with modern ideas”, says Kamdar. Within five months, the studio was ready with its first collection. Crafted in a material palette…

4 min

Twenty five years ago, Malini Vachani Akerkar found herself trampling through the interiors of rural Rajasthan with a bag full of very serious cash, bodyguard in tow. She was looking for craftspeople—potters, textile weavers, artists who painted tribal art on walls of buildings, and furniture makers in Churu who sold their wares to Pottery Barn. None of this had been part of her plan. It all started when danseuse Protima Bedi visited Under The Over—a South Mumbai restaurant Vachani Akerkar ran with her husband, chef Rahul Akerkar, in the early 1990s. Bedi came in for a meal, met the couple, saw how lovingly the eatery had been decorated...and asked the restaurateurs to move. Bedi’s plan was to have them come down to Bengaluru to run a 10-room resort she was building…

2 min
contemporary classic

Along-shuttered space, tucked away on the ground floor of Kamani Chambers in the historic district of Ballard Estate, recently transformed into a new home for Galerie Isa. The hunt for a new address began in 2016, when founder Ashwin Thadani realized that the gallery’s growing programme called for a more expansive exhibition space. “We were quickly running out of space at the last venue; it didn’t give us enough room to be brave with our ideas,” says Thadani. The last iconic building to be designed by 19th-century British architect Frederick William Stevens (best known for building what is today known as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus), Kamani Chambers’ heritage and architecture instantly appealed to Thadani. Like many of Stevens’s projects in India, this too was designed in the neoclassical style, and…