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Business News/ Opinion / Online-views/  The balancing act

The balancing act

The balancing act

Object of desire: Pi ke puht Premium

Object of desire: Pi ke puht

Even for design junkies such as myself, the world of product design is overwhelming. An obvious—and useful—constraint is budget: How much are you willing to spend to own an object by a designer you adore? But even there, the spread is pretty wide—you can own a beautifully designed object for a few thousand rupees, and it goes all the way to several crores. For example, a friend gifted me Philippe Starck’s Juicy Salif citrus squeezer, an iconic piece that Starck designed. It costs almost $100 (around 4,900) on Amazon and it doesn’t work. It sits on my kitchen counter as a decorative object. Even Starck admitted that his Juicy Salif was a conversation opener as much as it was a functional object. Buying well-designed but functionally poor objects is not sustainable long-term because there is only so much “stuff" that your home can accommodate. But for those with huge homes, unlimited space and an extendable budget, the world of design offers a pleasure that is nonpareil. Here are a few well-designed objects to add to your collection. Each has an Indian link: Either the designer is Indian or the inspiration is Indian or it is created in India.

Pi ke puht


Object of desire: Pi ke puht

Lace Fence


Dutch brothers Joep and Jeroen Verhoeven used to spend half their time in India. Today, they collaborate with Bangalore-based designer Vivek Radhakrishnan to create this “high-end metal fabric" that combines the Indian art of lacemaking with metal fabrication ( The product is developed and manufactured in Bangalore by Radhakrishnan, a graduate of the Design Academy Eindhoven, the Netherlands, arguably the best design school in the world today. Radhakrishnan’s design firm Kynkyny specializes in wood furniture. I saw his dining table at my friend Gauri Manepally’s home in Bangalore and fell in love with it. It is simple, square and made of a dark wood that is the colour of rich dark chocolate. For details, visit

Leather Lampshades


Leather Lampshades.

Flexie totes


Flexie totes

Honest by


On a sabbatical in south India, Antwerp-based designer Bruno Pieters, previously with Hugo Boss, observed how local fashion was traceable to its source. I am not sure this is universally true in India, given our chain stores, but certainly for Indian women who buy bolts of fabric and then have it tailored, the experience of fashion is completely different from buying a global luxury product without any knowledge of its provenance. Pieters started his “Honest by" line, conceived during his south Indian experience. The idea is to give a complete breakdown of the cost of every jacket, sweater or dress that you buy from his website. As the website says, “Honest by wants to shed light on the questions: where is it made and by whom." And for how much, I might add. For details, visit

Also Read | Shoba’s previous Lounge columns

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Published: 23 Mar 2012, 08:45 PM IST
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