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Architectural Digest India March - April 2021

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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Conde Nast India Pvt. Ltd
6 Issues

in this issue

2 min
one year

I’ve already written about my lockdown experience so don’t worry, I’m not going to bore you again with my clichéd account of smug DIY and domestic chores. And anyway, I couldn’t possibly compete with the poetic prose of the writers on page 114, who cleverly—and succinctly—encapsulate the last 365 days in just 365 words. This issue is full of stories from the extraordinary year we have spent at home. Among the most poignant is the portfolio by the red-hot photographer Ashish Shah, who went back to Dehradun to shoot intimate family portraits for the first time. His pictures capture the idea that lockdown may have brought families closer than ever, a heartening observation that may get lost in the tragedy. Not long after our office closed last March, when wash your hands…

5 min

GAUTAMI REDDY WRITER The director of digital and communications at India Art Fair, Reddy is a true believer in the power of art and storytelling. In this issue, she reflects on her visit to Nature Morte’s new space in Delhi, and writes about The Sapper, a series by the brilliant Bharat Sikka (pg 72). SIDDHARTH DHANVANT SHANGHVI WRITER The bestselling author of The Last Song of Dusk and, his latest book, Loss, Shanghvi writes a crisp but revealing personal essay on the nature and experience of isolation in the past year (pg 118). SHILPA GUPTA ARTIST India’s leading contemporary artist Shilpa Gupta’s work has been shown at biennales in Venice, Kochi, Berlin, MOMA and Tate Modern. Her works are in the Guggenheim Museum and Centre Pompidou collections, amongst others. As we complete one year of Covid-19 lockdown, Gupta…

4 min
unlocking the past

Say hello to the prolific grandaddy of Indian architecture—with his silver hair and winter jacket, on a sunny day at Sangath in Ahmedabad, as he stands next to a door that he had designed almost five decades ago for a dear friend. Today the door stands removed and reclaimed from that friend’s house—which was demolished—and BV Doshi can be seen here looking at it and through it, at time and projects past, present, and continuing. “He never really stops working. Through the lockdown, over the past year, he’s been pulling out previous artworks—layering them, super-imposing, juxtaposing, changing mediums and scale; it’s how he works. That’s his process,” says Khushnu Panthaki-Hoof, Doshi’s granddaughter, and an architect, curator and archivist. For a group show titled On Site that was held early this month (3-9…

1 min
game of life

To play Walk of Life is to dive head first into an introspective exercise. Created by Jiten Thukral and Sumir Tagra in 2015, the game was first designed for Games People Play an exhibition at the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum, for which they were invited to respond to the museum’s collection. While scouring the archives, the duo found Ganjifa, an 18th-century card game, which “derives its narrative from Dashavatara, the 10 earthly incarnations of the Hindu god Vishnu”. Originally played with a set of 120 hand-painted cards, Thukral and Tagra recalibrated it into a board game, which has since travelled across institutions and museums. “During the lockdown, we got a chance to edit the scale, and released it as a board game for the first time,” says Tagra.…

1 min
turn it on

As a designer, you’re always aware how much thought and skill goes into the small details that are often overlooked, like switch plates,” says Marc Newson talking exclusively to AD about the Solaris collection, his new range for Meljac. “Design is often a question of scale. I see working on these switches, similar to the door handles and soap dish I’ve designed in the past, as opportunities to refine details.” The collaboration began when Newson reached out to the French luxury switch maker for a project of his own. “In 2018, Marc Newson came to visit our production site and bought Meljac products—in the Laiton Vieilli Ciré (aged brass) finish—for personal use. He also asked us to study and manufacture tailor-made plates, buttons and toggles of his own design,” says managing…

1 min
quilt notes

In 2020, at the peak of the Covid-19-induced restrictions, artist Dia Mehhta Bhupal (pictured, standing) and fashion entrepreneur Neha Modi started a community engagement initiative they named The Corona Quilt Project. They invited their friends—among them blue-chip artists and A-list architects—to design fabric squares, which were pieced together with many others to craft giant quilts and then displayed as public installations. “The intention was to create a healing space within the city that is restorative, uplifting and inspiring,” Bhupal says. The duo began by reaching out to their influential network across the globe. Internationally, the squares came in from places as far as the US, Netherlands, Australia and the UK. Locally, the project garnered support from organizations like Wipro, the RPG Art Foundation and Teach for India, and names including Sussanne…