The Mumbai Architect who’s trading in the slow Fashion for Furniture

Trained as an architect, Rooshad Shroff’s furniture lines pay homage to Indian tradition as the designing involves marrying wood with the crafts like marble inlay and digital embroidery.

While striving for innovation in furniture design, Shroff collaborated with Telangana artist T. Venkanna for his recent line of coffee tables under The Gyaan Project, where he invited 12 artists to provide sketches that were then translated into marble inlays on some furniture pieces.  

His pieces offer a symphony of form and function, the latter being so important that Shroff has categorically stated that he “does not want people to treat his work like art”.

Earlier his furniture line has been pioneering in marrying embroidery techniques with wood, blurring the line between the two disciplines.What compels him about creating furniture of the future while drawing from heritage and history.

The idea of having a skin and structure over wood was appealing and challenging to him, and the concept of embroidering wood came from here. The technique redefines traditional upholstery by enabling the embroidery to become an integral part of the wood.

ROOSHAD SHROFF AND T. VENKANNA, DEOCH AND DORIS (COFFEE TABLE),  RECYCLED OLD BURMA TEAK WOOD WITH NATURAL PU POLISH AND MARBLE. 2’ X 4’ X 16”. COURTESY  ROOSHAD SHROFF

The embroidered panels consist of thousands of minute holes hand-drilled into the seating area, to allow for the wood to be upholstered using zardozi hand embroidery and French knotting techniques. The gridded base serves as a canvas, each piece is signed with an inlay of hand-cut brass, and then embroidered with customised patterns.

Luckily, The best embroidery in India is concentrated in Mumbai, it is a craft that is still relevant in terms of the number of artisans, because it is what sustains the fashion industry.

In this rapid world of fast production, we want everything to be done at an extraordinary pace, be it art, fashion or consumer goods. he really wants to highlight the essence of slow production.

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