“We are speaking to an audience that is receptive to good design and aspires to live well.”
Although Spandana Gopal runs a successful design studio in London, she doesn’t consider herself a designer in the conventional sense of the word; she likes to believe she is more of a visualiser. This is why her brainchild Tiipoi, named after ‘tiinpai’ (a 3-legged stool that has its colonial origins from the British Raj), is forever in a state of flux and evolution. Setting up a design studio came very naturally to her as it was incidental to the dialogue she wanted to initiate about creating a new narrative and space for everyday objects. Product wastage being one of Spandana’s pet peeves, she discusses her influences and inspirations as one of the contributors for Verve‘s upcoming Design issue…
What does design mean to you? “You may have been led to believe that design is the reflection of a designer’s ego. Not for me. On the contrary, objects that come out of my studio are the result of a focused brief. It’s beautiful to create something that is its own entity and can exist independently. My products create their own relationship with the people around them much like nature does.”
How has the field and its perception changed from when you started out? “It’s an exciting time for Indian design. We are speaking to an audience that is receptive and aspires to live well. As a designer, I see that as an opportunity. Design needs to be inclusive and we have the right ingredients to do just that.”
What are the changes that you’d like to see in Indian design?
“We need to eliminate the production of needless objects and think of design in far more sustainable ways. Objects should be repaired, restored and used over and over again to maximise longevity.”
What is most exciting about Indian design today?
“That you can literally make anything!”
What inspires you?
“I am all about the imperceptible things. I think one event that is really inspiring is the way the dabbawallas operate in Mumbai. The simple act of getting hot food from your home every day has such a nice aesthetic to it.”
Who are some people whose work you admire?
“Peggy Guggeheim. She had a fearless soul and saved so many artists and their works.”
Have you read about Chinar Farooqui from our ‘Talking Design’ series? Check it out here.