Sustainable design practices are proving to be one of the most prominent ideas in today’s times, and the world of architecture is quickly adapting and openly embracing this change. Among the many start ups exploring new design techniques that are springing up across the globe, Casegoods is one of our favourites!
A Mumbai-based venture, Casegoods seeks to unite Indian traditional craft with contemporary standards of living through its products. It showcases its love for materials and the act of making through an impressive and wide-ranging collection of furniture, lights and various objects
Conceptualised by Sam Barclay and Anne Geenen, Casegoods blossomed as an extension of the architectural practice Case Design, which works on the principle that objects and spaces around us have a deep impact on our relationship with the world.
The greatest form of sustainability is to produce work of lasting value and in that spirit aspire to create things that are simple, beautiful and functional.
These delicate creations are a means of universal human interaction and each product is distinguished by variations in material, texture, style and grain to impart a unique sense of character to it. TYS got a chance to interact with the team of Casegoods and here is what we learnt from them!
Q. First off, what was the inspiration behind you starting an extension which focussed on traditional craft products that have a modern twist to them?
Casegoods evolved as a natural extension of our design practice which is very closely connected to how objects, artefacts and spaces are made. While working on architectural projects, we always ended up designing a piece of furniture or a light fixture that was specific to that space and soon realized that others might also be interested in them.
We are very fortunate to be able to work closely with local craftsmen and carpenters whose skills and knowledge of materials have been passed on for generations, and that is very inspiring to us. The collaboration has been taking that very deep expertise and translating it into something that is personally and culturally relevant to the user in a contemporary context.
Q. Tell us more about your founders…
Sam Barclay is from the USA while Anne Geenen from The Netherlands. The two met in Mumbai in 2013 after working at Studio Mumbai Architects. Sam earned his bachelor degrees in architecture and civil engineering from Lehigh University, and went on to obtain his M. Arch from the Southern California Institute of Architecture in 2004. Anne received both her Bachelor and Master Degree at Delft University of Technology and previously worked for David Chipperfield Architects in Berlin and Balkrishna Doshi in Ahmedabad. Both have a passion for making and believe that collaboration is an integral part of the design process.
Q. How does the typical product go from ‘a design in your head’ to the final outcome?
In every design project we are committed to exploring the process of making, whether it is a building, an interior or a piece of furniture. For a new object we often start with sketches and models but very quickly move towards prototypes in collaboration with the carpenters. We use this physical artefact to develop proportions, function, finishes and details for each piece through multiple iterations. Some products evolve very quickly in a handful of small samples while others take months or years to develop. Our office right now is filled with all of the chairs that didn’t quite meet the standard we had hoped to achieve.
Q. What was the inspiration behind ‘Rolling Round Light’? Our viewers haven’t seen a product like that ever before!
We like the simplicity of basic geometric forms and often use these shapes in our designs. The idea to have it roll developed from the desire to not compromise that purity by making a flat area for it to rest on. Once those principles were established it became an exercise in engineering to develop the right balance for each of the different materials. We have resolved this for brass and rosewood but are still working on the prototype to make this lamp in stone. We select these materials because they show subtle variations in the grain, figure and luminosity that will change through use as they patinate over time.
Q. Any new and exciting products in the line up? What can we watch out for?
We are planning to open our webshop in the coming months and will have an official launch event in Mumbai for Casegoods in October where we plan to show a series of new products, prototypes and samples that are currently under development.
Casegoods showcases a unique interweaving of sustainable products coupled with traditional and innovation techniques melted into stunning product creations, watch this space for more updates on their launch!