Please tell us about yourself
Kashyap Rawat’s fascination for art began at school, evolved into design in college, and took on a life of its own when he started his enterprise. The transition from a student to designer was as seamless as it was serendipitous. It was the summer of 2003 and the then 18-year-old was pursuing a degree in management studies from Mumbai University.
How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and cool career?
“If you tell people where to go but not how to get there… you will be amazed at the results.” Anonymous. This quote describes my design journey well. Ever since my childhood I was inclined towards creativity. I found solace in colours, sketch pencils and sketch books; they were my preferred pals over expensive toys or clothes.
I have always been inquisitive about how products are created and when I look at something, my brain subconsciously starts pondering on how I can create a customised version myself. Not just understanding products but creating them became my zeal, however I could not find the right course to pursue until I discovered the Product Design course offered by Raffles Design International Institute.
How was the experience at Raffles?
While some students get to work with designers after they finish their studies, at Raffles, I was lucky to have a rare combination of three senior lecturers, Corrado Cotignano, Lisa Perrine Brown and Samvit Blass who acted as a source of inspiration and helped me in numerous ways. All of them were experienced designers with their own forte.
In 2009, Samvit Blass offered me the post of an assistant product designer in his new company LiGHT-FiSH and my first project with him was a colossal and dynamic magnetic picture wall for a jungle themed party at Bonobo, a restobar.
Tell us about your career path
The party was attended by the architect of Kino 108 who gave us our first big commercial project. The project involved customised lighting for the lounge, based on a retro rock theme. This became my first self managed project at LiGHT-FiSH.
My key focus was to make it crazy yet sustainable. Enfield bike parts, 108 wine bottles and LEDs were utilised for the project which became a success and a landmark – a completely fresh approach to lighting design. Working with Samvit, I learnt to take my own decisions, never compromise on quality and always strive to beat my own standards.
This was the beginning of my design journey, wherein I started getting many freelance projects from companies like JWT (Chandelier for Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Signage for Taj Falaknuma Palace Hotel), Plastemart.Com (Martman for K Trade Fair Germany), People Interactive (I) Pvt Ltd (CEO Awards), etc.
My association with the Kalaghoda festival which started in 2008 gave me an opportunity to showcase some of my innovative installations like HIGH-LIGHTS (recycle/reuse lighting installation), Psychedelic Avatar (mushroom lights installation) and Chat-in-denim (denim art with graphic expressions).
My work was noticed by Anjali Mody, principal designer at Josmo Studio and I was appointed as the furniture designer for a couple of their key assignments for hotels and bungalows.
With my passion towards customised solutions in furniture, lighting and home décor, I started KSR Design Studio in 2012. KSR has designed numerous light and furniture solutions for high end projects. One of our notable projects is the Ixora flower lamp which was designed for a plush residence in Bandra.
We took a form inspired from the Ixora flowers and the purple leaves of a plant keeping in mind the young girl’s liking for nature. Stackzy (multi-utility stacking storage units) is another acclaimed modular and portable KSR product.
In the recent past KSR has also done projects based on décor lighting for Surreal Retail Design Pvt. Ltd. in Palladium and Phoenix Market City. We have also received support from the architect community which has provided our products a place of pride in various cities.
Who inspires you?
Few international designers who continue to inspire me with their practical yet modern designs are Marcel Breuer, Philippe Starck and Alessi.
Their influence can be seen in some of my work. The Lotus Lamp designed by KSR for a jewel company exhibited at the India International Jewellery Show is probably one such product. The lamp was made from a single laser cut piece of acrylic with an incredible play of red in layers.
As learning is a never-ending process, I continue to learn and evolve as a designer. I look forward to un-wrap a surprise soon with a completely new and crazy, yet high on utility product category.