Vakr is an award-winning design studio based in Delhi that creates unique designs by combining technology and traditional craftsmanship, resulting in a range of custom-made luxury furniture. The studio was founded by Devyani Gupta, a multidisciplinary designer specialising in product design. Thanks to her approach Vakr has focused on producing design lines on the borderline between furniture, art and sculpture. (cover Namiti coffee tables)
Vakr and the value of Indian culture
The studio’s output is characterised by the exploration of sensual, organic and sophisticated forms fuelled by a commitment to integrate Indian craftsmanship as a global language. Through its designs, the studio supports local arts and crafts, incorporating traditional techniques to create unique and contemporary furniture. Seeking to stimulate conversation about craftsmanship, Indian culture and new technologies and materials, Vakr seeks to go beyond the typical furniture.
The studio is constantly working on the evolution of design language to adapt to contemporary aesthetics. Each piece is unique due to the natural texture of the materials and its handcrafted nature. Technology plays a significant role in Vakr’s collections, yet the final pieces are only realisable through precision craftsmanship and artistry.
The sustainability of the collections
Vakr is committed to minimal waste during production, with the intention of moving towards a zero-waste policy: materials used for prototypes and samples are biodegradable while any residual foam is reused for packaging purposes and shipping crates are made of reusable wooden elements, as opposed to traditional cardboard. These measures are in line with the values of the studio and respond to the growing concern for ecological responsibility.
Regarding production, Vakr tells us: “We believe in using only the necessary amount of resources for our process and avoid mass production. Instead, we opt for research and production methods with the right timing. We also recognise the importance of preserving India’s unique craft traditions, which are constantly at risk of disappearing. We at Vakr are committed to having a positive impact on the environment and cultural heritage by prioritising sustainability.”
As mentioned, all collections are designed in collaboration with local craftsmen and production is on demand. Going into detail we can find:
– Dravam, derived from the Sanskrit word for ‘fluidity’, perfectly encapsulates the essence of this collection. Geometric shapes seem to come to life as they melt, adorned with intricate patterns from different artistic traditions such as Pichwai, Madhubani and Warli. Through collaboration with engraving experts, wood craftsmen and specialist painters, a unique design vocabulary emerges in the form of lamps, coffee tables and consoles.
– The Lehar collection is an extraordinary fusion of form and function inspired by the fascinating dynamics of membranes and flexible structures under pressure. Derived from the Hindi word ‘Lehar’ meaning ‘wave’ or ‘undulation’, this collection of tables and shelves in micro-concrete and rattan is a reinterpretation of how form mutates to achieve a stable and attractive structure.
– In the Namiti collection, on the other hand, it is wood that meets rattan. The name is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘namiti’, meaning ‘to merge’ or ‘to unite’, and drawing on the same language as the Lehar series, this collection shows the appeal of reclaimed wood combined with rattan.
– Anvaya, meaning ‘to combine’ in Sanskrit, is a collection that experiments with the combination of brass and concrete. A series realised through complex techniques that embraces simplicity while displaying the intrinsic beauty of each material. A mix of modern geometry and Warli art, able to transform with time thanks to the natural ageing of materials.