Indian architect and founder of Studio Mumbai Bijoy Jain (and one of the designers we tapped as a potential Pritzker winner this year) has created a striking furniture collection, titled Maniera 06, inspired by traditional Indian craft. The line incorporates a range of materials, including brick and marble, for Brussels-based company Maniera. Each of the pieces in the four series collection is handmade by the studio's craftsmen.
In "Brick Studies," tiny true-to-scale bricks are stacked like a wall to form a curving back rest that is then set on top of a base of marble or wood (for the seat) and rosewood (for the legs). The contrast between the rough-hewn bricks—baked in the studio's workshops—and the smooth surface creates a bit of drama in the otherwise simple seats.
The abstract, free-form pieces in "Landscape Studies" are influenced by the country's agrarian lands and are made of papier maché, bitumen, and cow dung covered with wax and coal.
In "Charpai Studies," the studio takes on the charpai—a traditional daybed with a wood frame, to which a woven-cotton, hammock-like net is attached for resting upon.
The "Illumination Studies" series features a wiry lamp in the shape of a "Tazia," or a miniature model of a monument, made from thin bamboo sticks covered in gold leaf and tied together with silk thread. While there's no actual light fixture built into it, a bulb can be hung inside and fastened with thread.
Taken together, this beautiful, unusual collection offers a glimpse into Studio Mumbai's commitment to tradition, modernity, and the natural worlds in its designs.