Indian artisanal traditions meet contemporary, international design in Casegoods
Reposted from: ArchitecturalDigest
Mumbai-based studio Case Design has applied its architectural expertise to product design, the result of which is Casegoods—a sophisticated collection of furniture, lights and accessories
A creative eye and curious spirit brought a young American architecture student to Mumbai over a decade ago. The wide-eyed student was Samuel Barclay whom Bijoy Jain, one of India’s most celebrated architects, took under his wing. Fast-forward to 11 years later and Barclay, with a dynamic international team of designers and architects, runs Case Design—a successful architectural practice that ties together his core belief in high-quality, sustainable design.
Over the years, as Barclay and his team crisscrossed the country, working on projects and discovering the wealth of Indian craft, they found themselves frequently seeking out carpenters and craftsmen who could collaborate with them in designing and fabricating customized furniture, lights and objects. Today, the small-scale, one-off production has blossomed into Casegoods—a brand that extends the parent firm’s refined design sensibilities and ethics into contemporary furniture and accessories.
Only a couple of months old, Casegoods has its vision firmly in place. Barclay says, “We are focused on creating products of exceptional quality. Rather than chasing an aesthetic or style, we try to emphasize the material richness and sensuous form of each piece.” The debut collection has been created using superior quality materials like teak, rosewood and brass, which are both durable and alluring.
Casegoods is led by a team consisting of Barclay, Anne Geenen—his partner in Case Design—and Paul Michelon, who is the lead designer for the brand. Additionally, they are supported by a team of craftsmen—long-time collaborators of Barclay—who create the brand’s unique range of products at its Mumbai studio.
Drawing upon the wealth of Indian artisanal traditions while also referencing contemporary, international design, Casegoods’ products bear the mark of a lively, collaborative process. Take the ‘Rolling Round’ lamp for example; the perfection of the globular body—available in rosewood or brass—is reminiscent of the timeless Indian lota. It’s been given, quite literally, a playful spin, through the meticulous calibration of the sphere’s centre of gravity, so that a gentle nudge gets the lamp rolling on its base, eventually coming to rest in its original position.
The brand’s belief in the universal appeal of pure geometry and stimulating design is also articulated in its other products. The ‘Topologic’ bowls—available in multiple sizes, with material options of teak, rosewood or mahogany—play with squares, circles and triangles; and the ‘Three Leg’ tables, with options of rosewood or teak for the legs, and stone or wood for the tops, are connected by a unique T-formation. The wooden furniture, in particular, embodies the ethics of sustainability that drive Casegoods. Each piece of teak or mahogany wood is sourced locally, reclaimed from old buildings being taken down.
Even at its infant stage, Casegoods appears to be a vital movement in the right direction when it comes to beautiful, wholesome and sustainable design. We’re watching this brand closely for its sophisticated mix of contemporary design and traditional craftsmanship.
The article was first published in ArchitecturalDigest