Ashiesh Shah

Stories Interviews Ashiesh Shah

India’s superstar architect Ashiesh Shah was our guest at Invisible Collection Rive Gauche. It was the perfect opportunity for a relaxed conversation about design inspirations and the creative process.

Known for his innovative signature style, Ashiesh Shah is a master at creating a modern, minimalist aesthetic elevated by traditional Indian design elements and materials. He works on a diverse range of projects, from luxury homes and commercial spaces to public installations and furniture design, seeing “all forms of creativity as part of the same platform”. Favoring unconventional materials, mixed with handcrafted textiles, woodcarvings, and natural stone, Ashiesh Shah authors beautiful spaces that are defined by a distinct sense of place and imbued with a sense of long-lasting relevance.  

We caught up with him while he was visiting Invisible Collection Rive Gauche, our new home in Paris: an enlightening conversation that suggests a perspective that values creativity without boundaries.  

When did you know you were going to be a designer? 
I started admiring art at a very young age. I was about 10 years old when I convinced my mom to buy an art piece from Jehangir art gallery, in Mumbai. And the love for art only continued…  

What is design to you? 
Design to me is a meditative process. It inspires, engages and moves me.  

What comes first, the shape or material? 
It’s a free-flowing process. The first ever bench we made at the Atelier was formed after the shape was defined and we then finalized the material. The Channapatna and Naga weaving was introduced as a material first because we wanted to develop the craft further.  

Tell us about the creativity process: 
“Art is bracket-less.” I don’t see Art, Design, Architecture as different categories, I see everything as the same platform. I don’t like to be “bracketed”, I design objects that sit in contemporary living but could be something that you look back a hundred years from now and still find it extremely relevant and meaningful.    

Where do you find your inspirations? 
A great idea starts with a blank canvas. If you think about it, inspiration can flow from anywhere. At times, it is the blank canvas that ignites the flame of creativity. Indian Mythology, Indian form, tribal geometry has been a great inspiration. I like to work as a sculptor; design pieces as sculptures, as one-offs and make them in collaboration with craftsmen within the interiors of India within the crafts villages of India.  

You champion Karigar, the art of craftsmanship. Tell us more about your involvement in preserving ancient techniques and seeking all around India: 
I believe in the tribal philosophy of design, and I want to bring that part of Indian culture into my practice. Crafts are a repository of cultures, traditions, and practices and thus carry a rich heritage. They are behind an imprint that honors the glory of our past and inspires visions of the future.  

What kind of relationship do you have with the artisans you work with? 
Through consistent effort and a focus on mutual growth, the Atelier aims to empower the artisans to not only develop their skills but also pass them down to future generations, ensuring longevity and sustainable progress for years to come.  

You have designed many outstanding private projects; how does the collaboration process work?
I think the way we design homes and spaces; everything is fluid. Everything comes together for me as one language. Through collaborations, we aim to complement the design and evolve the language. When everybody was looking to the west for procuring furniture, at the Atelier, we chose to look inwards, gravitating towards Indian crafts, designing luxury furniture products and objects. A platform such as Invisible Collection has definitely helped forge a presence for Indian crafts giving them a voice globally. We take pride in being the first Indian brand to debut on this platform. While this presence makes us more relevant within the country, it also connects us to multiple connoisseurs of art and design across the world making Indian craftsmanship more accessible. 

How difficult is it to find the right balance between the client’s demand and your vision? 
We start with a blank canvas; it helps us imagine and explore a new language.  

What is your idea of a beautiful home? 
To me, a beautiful home is a place that inspires you, makes you feel warm and helps you widen your imagination.  

Would you say that contemporary Indian design is defined by a distinct style? 
I feel the idea of our contemporary Indian design is to bridge the gap between “then and now”, to make it relevant for this and many generations to come.  

Atelier Ashiesh Shah

After pursuing a degree in Interior Architecture, Ashiesh Shah began his career in New York City in the early 2000’s before finding his way back to India where he stirred change in the perception of design nation-wide through his rather intriguing outlook on Indian minimalism and what it entails. Finding a semblance between art, craftsmanship and design, Shah has been spearheading his own design firm Ashiesh Shah Architecture + Design, handling various high-end design projects in India and beyond that resonate with his characteristic of being a tastemaker in the architectural world. His rooted upbringing and passion for Indian craftsmanship has resulted in a composition of inventiveness through Atelier Ashiesh Shah, a collaborative extension of his design studio, born from a vision to blur the boundaries between art and design in 2017. Empowering the ‘karigar’, The Atelier aims to work alongside award-winning master craftsmen from all over the country to create design objects honouring artisanship layered with a contemporary flair.  

Discover the portrait

Architect or Interior Designer?

Join our trade programme

    My Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to shop
    Pierre Frey
    F3702002 Hendaye
    Select Material
    • Flint Terracotta
    • Linterno Fabric : St Moritz/Nobili