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.
With a style deeply rooted in the philosophies of Indian minimalism, Shah is consistently inspired by Indian mythology through his spatial and sculptural inceptions. ‘The Lingam,’ a form unique to ancient Indian geometry is a representation of Lord Shiva, the Hindu deity through a perfectly elliptical arched form, bulbous at the ends and distinctly proportionate as a whole. The archetype is often a starting point for most of Shah’s objects that draw from the commonalities of form and function to create these heirlooms of the future honouring Indian craftsmanship with a contemporary flair. His Atelier works in collaboration with artisans from remote villages of India celebrating perfect imperfection through a distinct, brutalist tribal characteristic. Additionally, Shah applies the philosophies of ‘wabi-sabi,’ a Japanese concept of balancing elements, thus asymmetry and asperity play a major role in his practice, showcased by an appreciation and gravitation towards spaces that incorporate natural objects and processes. Nothing is permanent, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.
‘The Naga Chair ’, a marriage of a cast aluminum, cold metal frame and a warm traditional raincoat woven using elephant grass from Nagaland, an East Indian state. ‘The Lingam Bench’, a marble bench inspired by the ‘lingam’, a form often associated with Lord Shiva where modern lines meet ancient Indian geometry to create an object that is both sculptural and functional.