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As designers we constantly try to create many opporturnities for ourselves to explore our own realms and produce something which we feel is meaningful. As makers we are manifesting our ideas and allowing it tactile attributes which "realise" the conceptual and bring it to life, literally. Both designing and making are actions which are inspired by heavy amounts of passion. It takes a lot for a des-maker, including energy, labor, money and moral support (sometimes) to produce what they believe in. The belief which is lead by a thought, the belief which is led by a strong sense of poetry of flow, balance and proportion. This is who we are. We do it because we trust it. And some of us are able to take our ideas upto the level of monetary appreciations.
There have been times I have been fortunate enough to have that appreciation too, but the mind is never at rest. It is constantly wanting to iterate, reason out and most of all, mould expressions to design. It is a skill that some are gifted with and some struggle to acquire. Which brings me to the centre of the discussion, about those ideas which formulated in a virtual space but were not brought to life, due to whichever reasons.
"We all have our own stories, but we all are a part of the same story" These were words uttered by a fellow architect and a dear friend at a coffee table in the suburbs of Mumbai. It was that time when it struck me, how true it was. I believe "a table" is a space in itself holding so many memories, so many conversations, so many 'stories' which we all are a part of, unknowingly, subconsciously. Look inside yourself, search for memories, there will be many around a single horizontal surface where you were face to face with other people whom you share your moments with.
If we break down a table as a structure, we get two parts - simple - horizontal surface & legs. Both these elements in themselves are great opportunities to delve into when it comes to designing. If we speak of the top/ surface, possible questions we can ask would be what the surface will hold, what will the user feel, will the user keep his/her elbows on the table, are they going to be arguing, are they going to be holding hands on the surface,whether they will hit the table, will they use a coaster on a hot day with a cold drink :D single person, siblings, corporate rivals, colleagues, those who want 'cutting chai aur bun maska' or will they be ordering a patiala. All these questions lead to various choices. Choices of form, size, material and height.
The legs on the other hand are not visible when the table is actually in use, but the truth is that where in the surface we can have a play of materials and finish depending on the answers to the former questions, the legs I feel keep competing their own iterations in terms of stability, structure and form. Form becomes important when it comes to visually selling a product. Stability holds importance in its absolute basic utility. Structure is important for a designer as he can leap ahead of his own imaginations each time he/she pays attention to its sheer build.
The title is such because, the time that I had my workshop in Mumbai, I invested all my time, energy and definitely money too, in trying those things which I once believed I couldn't do. Tried to push myself, however slowly or shall I say steadily beyond my own preset boundaries. And all those who work single handedly can approve of this fact that, at some point we need an extra set of hands besides the clamps helping us out intermitently (we know that we can never have enough clamps). Some scales of projects demand a certain set up. And those who are fortunate enough to have that, I would say, make the most of what you have and know the value of it.
Lets get back to the words my friend said at the coffee table. It was evening. The task was quick sketching. I would say a word or a sentence, and we had to draw it. Just like old times Basic Design in first year architecture. I think the word was "stories" and that's when she ended up saying these words. I dont have a document that can say she drew this, but I definitely have the images of the tables I created around the same idea which, I promise, didn't look anything like what she had drawn. No plagerism involved here I swear.
In the last maybe three months of the time that I had at my workshop, I designed these and imagined that it would be concrete cast top on the legs (wood/plywood didn't matter then). For me now they exist as an image of what I created from "We all have our own stories, but we all are a part of the same story". The expression lies in the intersection of the legs. The work is meant to have a reason to exist. Yes it can be disproportionate, discomforting and maybe it is in this case hence the experiment, hence the investment of time, of energy and for God's sake money too . But somtimes you need to put your foot in the puddle to know how deep it is. Will leave you at that today. Here is to 'the ones that got away..' hoping that down the line some day somewhere they can breathe too.