The Charpai

Special Project

If one were to imagine a single piece of furniture that is truly Indian, it would be the charpai. The charpai is a rectangular wooden frame having four legs (hence the word char pai), with a woven fiber/ fabric as the surface. It is used across the Indian subcontinent, particularly in the hot and relatively dry regions of Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Maharashtra. The variant in the wet climates have a solid wooden surface. The project aims to explore the charpai from a historic and cultural point of view, and simultaneously carry it into the future by inviting leading thinkers and designers to interpret the charpai, and present it at the festival. The thematic extension of the charpai is achieved by placing them in multiple locations, positioning it in creative ways, thereby encouraging use as well as recognition of the charpai as furniture that is relevant and unique to India.

Ayush Kasliwal: Curator

Ayush Kasliwal, the Creative Director of ANANTAYA and AKFD, graduated from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. The UNESCO Award of Excellence recognized his designs in the years 2007 and 2008. Showcased in the Talents à la Carte section of ‘Maison ét Object’ in Paris and a finalist of the British Council’s Young Creative Entrepreneur Awards 2011, Ayush has licensed products to MATER, a Danish ethical design house. He collaborated with Incubis’ sculptural installation at Delhi International Airport Terminal T3. Ayush’s work is informed by traditional crafts and artisans, and it reflects a deep understanding of mythology, architecture, and culture through a contemporary aesthetic. He believes that “objects are messages in physical form.’’

Photography Credit: Ramayudh Sahu