Based out of Mumbai, Arjun Rathi Design is a young practice where experimentation and growing with collaboration lies at its core. A studio with a multidisciplinary approach in architecture, industrial, and product design, it caters to a wide variety of everyday objects and spaces to create a unique story out of the regular. Founded by Arjun Rathi, an architect and a photographer with a keen interest in the research and the design of artificial lights that accentuate space intents to imagine and narrate a story in their design through the lens of lighting, fixtures, and installations.
The studio has successfully carved out a niche for itself in the practice of architecture in India not by developing a particular style of design approach but, rather by questioning the objects, its cultural associations, and the context. The practice actively takes on the spatial forms to engage, enhance, and comprehend the relationship of the body to its built environment. The approach to design is practical and collaborative. On one hand, various projects require the studio to work in collaboration with craftsperson whereas other ones require them to collaborate with manufacturers for mass-produced pieces.
Inspired by the traditional crafts of rural India, the products designed by the studio includes a collection of lamps and light designs that are minimalistic and suit well to inhabit various spaces of an urban environment. With each product, the studio explores the deep understanding of materials, processes, user interaction to bring out the simplicity, functionality, and elegance to their works. Despite being unique in nature, the products allow customization for the users in terms of the colors to go with space.
1. The Loop Lamp
The Loop lamp series of the Bauhaus collection is minimal and elegant lamps suited for residential, commercial, or industrial aesthetics inspired by the slender chain-links. The frame of the lamp is brass or steel, bent to form the loop which holds the fluorescent tube of casted acrylic in its place. This sleek design is fixated on the metal rod to find its place to lit up the ambiance of the space.
2. The wavelength
Inspired from the form of the electromagnetic spectrum that indicates the frequency of the light wave, the wavelength with each up and down accentuates the fluidity of the wave. Bent in steel or brass, the design of this lighting fixture is divided into three components of a wave, its rod, and the opaline spheres that make it easier in its fixture, wiring, transport, and assembly.
3. The Birbal lamp
Inspired from the Birbal’s khichdi pot of the famous Akbar-Birbal folklore, the Birbal lamp takes further the rural Indian craft from Channapatna. The lamp, a metaphor of a ray of hope uses traditional techniques of making with organic lacquers and locally sourced Hale Mara wood. From the center of the tripod formed by the means of the traditional craft of Channapatna hangs the hand-blown glass form. The piece ingeniously fuses the tradition with modern aesthetics.
4. The Shikhara
The Shikhara Pendant light as inspired by the shikharas of temple architecture of India derives its proportions from there. The form represents the system of five elements or the Bhumi (Earth), Jala (Water), Agni (Fire), Vayu (Air or Wind), Akash (aether). These five elements embedded together as five hand-blown glass are melded on a metal frame in a single pendant to accentuate the beauty of the space. This hanging pendant explores the relationship between Light, Architecture, and Dance. Along with colors and different finishes, it is customizable in different sizes according to user requirements.
5. The ring chandelier
Inspired by the Deconstructivism movement in Architecture and customizable in various sizes and composition, this ring chandelier moves away from the minimal and fluid curvilinear forms. The series of rings suspended explores the void, continuity, and symmetry of the form. The palette of different materials of rings breaks away from the singularity of the lamps and is a fair attempt to explore the relationships of user interaction and taste.
6. The Umbrella light
Inspired by the structural support of the base of the umbrella, the umbrella light with metal frame and opaline globe suspends from the ceiling with a metal rod. These frames end at the globes which are the metaphors for the droplets of water.
7. The Geodesic lamp
Inspired from the structure of the geodesic dome, the geodesic lamps are hand made with metal frames as the base and the triangular rigidity forms the shade. For the Geodesic lamp I, the lamp frame is inspired by the lattice forms from the electricity transmission tower. The lamp base for Geodesic lamp II is a minimalist expression of electricity poles used for electricity transmission.
The maple wood lamp inspired by the wooden ladders is multivalent in nature as it allows for some storage shelves and doubles up as a reading light.
8. The Ambassador lamp
This lamp sets a unique approach of upcycling of the headlight of the Ambassador to the lamp. Crafted with minimal use of slender metal to balance the mass of the headlight, this adjustable pivoted lamp adorns the desk space.
9. The loop cluster
The loop cluster light is an assembly of several metal/brass frames of loops holding slender Acrylic tubes of light into a single chandelier. This design gives an outlook of industrial aesthetics with mass-produced modules of loops bunching as one.
10. The arch wall sconce
Inspired by the art-deco architecture, this lamp gets a contemporary touch to the form of the overlapping arches. This lamp replicates the idea of repetitive arch patterns with fine elegance and no ornamentation, making it timeless yet reminding of the art-deco time.
Apart from designing several products, the studio has actively been attempting to create the architecture of the interior spaces through light installations. The process of their production and crafting narratives out of light and varied materials is poetic.
This DNA inspired installation at the entrance of the Grand Ballroom of the world towers banquets comprises about 33k lead glass crystals. The two sizes of crystals dissipate to create an illusion and accentuate the light quality and its reflective nature to create magical poetry of the space.
Inspired by sea waves and flowing waters, the Sea of Blue installation comprises about 7000 cast glass modules. Each of the glass modules is hand-blown and embossed with textures of flowing water, arranged in shades of blue and clear glass.
At the Lodhi Hotel, a light installation inspired by the colors of the Italian Spring using blown glass florets accentuates the linearity of the space, thus enriching the ambiance and the strength of the light to transform spaces.
Ranging from industrial design to architecture, Arjun Rathi Design, an experimental studio explores and encompasses a variety of materials and processes to create transformative spaces using ‘lighting design’ as the tool.