EP 293 . 07 May 24

Pushing the boundaries of design

With Saif Faisal

In the episode

  1. You’ve done architecture, lifestyle products, furniture, jewelry, accessories, and more. How do you define your work? You also have diverse interests, from motorcycling to boxing and cooking. How do these pursuits influence your creative process?
  2. Who according to you is a designer? You talk about “Essentialism” – What is the essential quality to become a designer?
  3. What is the difference between Essentialism and Minimalism according to you? Is Essentialism more inclusive than minimalism? Let’s take Loup as an example.
  4. You draw inspiration from sociology, philosophy, and anthropology. How do these disciplines inform your understanding of the human experience, and how does that translate into products you create? Any example of a product you made?
  5. If I can take the liberty to say that art is expression while design is functional, responding to a problem. Where and how do you see art and design lines blurring, given your work deals with higher levels of aesthetics?
  6. Why do you call wood to be a humble material? What did you learn in woodwork? What made you consider learning that? How can it help any designer interested in making physical products?
  7. Do you see geometric forms as a universal language? Do you see that in Indian history or culture? How have you borrowed this universal language and contextualized it for India? Maybe you can explain with the lamps that you have made?
  8. Where are you on Massimo Vignelli’s quote, “If you can design one thing, you can design everything.” How comfortable the journey has been to switch domains? What advice would you give anybody who has such a wide range of interests? Or does one need to master something before traversing?
  9. You often talk about how Indian design education needs to level up. Our work needs to appeal to a global audience. What do you mean exactly? Where are the gaps? What can be done about it?
  10. We have often seen us using Jugaad as one of the primary methods of innovation. What is your take on that?
  11. What do you wish for the new “Make in India” generation? How can they push the boundaries of design?

About Saif Faisal

Massimo Vignelli’s once said, “If you can design one thing, you can design everything.” Even in our part of the world, somewhere in 15 hundred.. Mirza Khan Abdul Rahim once said, “Ek sadho, sab sadhe”..

Saif completed his training as an Architect from RV School of Architecture in 2010-11, alongside designing and participating in Formula SAE-Racing with the Mechanical engineering students at the college, where he acquired diverse experience in design, manufacturing, and technical know-how. After college, he went on to learn woodworking. These diverse formative explorations gave him a polymathic learning experience.

His work draws heavily from his understanding of Anthropology, Processes, and Technology, which is very integral to his creative explorations. The deep appreciation he cultivated of ‘Essentialism’ from racing is revisited in his Design and Architecture.

Saif is involved in guest lectures and talks at design and architecture schools. Apart from being an avid motorcyclist and a lover of cafe racers, he is into boxing and pursues his culinary interests rather seriously.