Product designer Aziz Kachwalla started the Mazgaon-based design store At-Tin (which means fig tree in Arabic) in January this year. The store features uniquely designed products made from recycled materials.
Since the launch of the store, Kachwalla, an alumni of the National Institute of Design (NID), has been developing products and collaborating with other like-minded designers to showcase their products. Some of their new products will be on display at Artisans’ on September 13 and 14.
Arm chair design
It includes an arm chair with a foot stool in bent plywood on a metal framework, an arm chair made from recycled cloth rope woven on a cane framework, a screen in metal and polycarbonate sheet and table lamps made from thin polypropylene sheets which are hand-textured.
Explaining the constant process of product development at At-Tin, Kachwalla says, “At-Tin is essentially a ‘studio store’. We do not just source and sell products; rather we develop new products. We also customise some of these products, especially some of the furniture, as per the client’s needs.”
The collection emphasises on being eco-friendly. “We are sensitive to environmental issues and believe in a raison d’etre for the products we develop. Simplicity and integrity in the materials and the processes of making are important factors. None of the products that we offer require very sophisticated, high-tech, expensive processes or materials. These are more labour intensive in the making, and to a small extent this helps in creating jobs (skilled) as we believe every small effort helps,” he adds.
For Kachwalla, the challenges that presented themselves were due to the lack of skilled, sensitive craftspersons. He elaborates, “Even everyday processes like powder-coating/electroplating and other simple finishing techniques are not done to a good quality. Sometimes, materials are not available. For instance, in-line switches for our table lamps are just not available in this city (we had to request a friend whose parents were travelling from Amsterdam to get a few).” Kachwalla studied Civil Engineering from IIT, Mumbai and Industrial (Product) Design at NID, Ahmedabad. He has been working for the past two decades in areas like art direction, set design, developing products and systems for retail, specialised furniture, museum design and