March 7, 2011

December Design Studio

I am delighted to present to ya'll today, the duo of Abhilasha and Siddharth at the December Design Studio. They design products which are very vibrant and fresh; 100% India inspired! 
Let me begin from the start. What happened was, i came across their blog on which, a few days back the first and last post was dated back in July of 2010, almost eight months ago – now this instigated me to write to them right away. Their work is so darn good, i was hoping to be ensured that they are still around doing great work but just too busy to devote any time to blogging. This to my relief was actually it :)

Abhilasha and Siddharth are friends back from the same batch at NID who decided to work together merely out of their love for movies, says Abhilasha jokingly :) Their company is engaged in a wide variety of creative works, besides their beautiful paper products. Graphics, ambience design, brand development/identity, films, product design are just to name a few. It's hard to believe they don't run out of oxygen, especially when it’s just the two of them running the entire show. The truth - this very variety is what keeps them fully charged and in love with every project they undertake. The best part is, until now, they haven't made much efforts, rather, have never found the need to commercialize their products or company. Luckily the word of mouth they say has been quite sufficient to keep them busy and bring them the variety and kind of work they always want - which speaks bounds in itself.

They sound fun, arty, humble and very approachable. Here’s sharing with you some of their work and a casual rendezvous that was a result of my curiosity :)

a brief bio : Academics? Where are you based out of?  How all of it came about? 
Both Siddharth and I are NID post-graduates. I've done Textile Design and Siddharth's a Graphic Designer (with an architecture background). We are based out of Delhi.
Well, how it came to be... out of boredom I think essentially! :) We are both major movie buffs and decided that we weren't getting to watch as many as we would like so we had to do something! Seriously, we were both in jobs that were becoming more and more administrative so we decided that if we wanted to stay on the creative side of things, we needed to start something ourselves. The two of us enjoy playing with different materials and techniques so being in a 9 to 5 job just wasn't doing it for us. And of course being on our own gives the freedom to select what projects we want to do and explore new areas of interest. We love to mix media and work on projects that sometimes have nothing to do with our professional training like he would become involved in textile art or I would start working as a translator on a regional language documentary or the two of us making history exercise books for class 8th social studies!  

How big or small is your setup? Is there a team that works with you or you two run the entire show? 
As of now we are keeping our setup very small, a home-based business. It is more flexible and suits our purpose for now :) but there are plans to get more formal soon.
Although we do outsource a lot of actual production works to local artisans and vendors. We have a network of vendors that we have developed over the past couple of years and they understand the kind of work we do and are enthusiastic and willing to experiment. 

What kind of projects/work are you engaged in currently and overall?
We do all kinds of design projects: interiors, book design, illustrations for children's books, calendar design, corporate identities, websites, event identities, photo shoot styling and a lot of event decor. Apart from this of course we have our product line of stationery and home textiles. Right now? ... Working on a rural tourism website, decor for a few events, a comic-book/graphic story, and in the pipeline: production design for a short film, developing prints for a kid's wear line, working on some textile art and of course developing more products for our own product line. 
[Phew! See what I meant when i said can't imagine how they manage - just the two of em and all of this work? Aren't they super efficient?]

Could you share a little more about scenography and graphics that you mentioned in the email.
Since Siddharth is an architect and has a background in event decor, we do a lot of decor for events and also trade fairs. What we specialize in is ambience design. Siddharth and I are in a unique position to provide design solutions that are more wholistic, since he is an architect/graphic designer and I am a textile designer. Between us we can envision spaces that make the best use of structure, fabric, light and decor. We not only design the space but also develop tailor-made accessories for certain events especially with materials that local artisans don't normally use in events, like paper.
As far as graphics goes, we do corporate identities, websites and print media. We've also worked on wall murals and illustrations for books.

Where can your products be bought from?
We are currently not stocking anywhere, we attend exhibtions (like local christmas markets, diwali sales etc) and sell directly. But we are putting "meeting with local stores about stocking our products" on our to-do list soon. 

Have you integrated eco-friendliness in any way as yet? And maybe considered involving rural groups for production purposes to in turn help them grow financially?
While the two of us wanted to make our products completely eco-friendly it has been very difficult to integrate it into our products in the first round of production (mainly because of the cost of raw materials).
We did manage to use recycled paper in the notebooks. Similarly we tried to contact several local NGOs that work on paper products to become involved in the production but the sheer apathy and lack of energy makes it difficult to plan production with them especially if one has a lot on the plate already. But we are very hopeful that over the next few years we can go completely green. It just needs a lot more time, patience and a little more money! :)

And how is India ever complete without it's famous Rickshaws - ah! i so miss them! 
A chauffeur driven ride that's not expensive and available right outside your doorstep. 
I must say, US has quite not progressed when it comes to public transport since probably the 1800's :( 
It's sad!
Just like India's beautiful multicolored culture, we find their work vibrant, fun and wonderfully detailed. Don't ya'll agree?
We wish December Design Studio all the best for all future endeavors and hope to see much more in years to come!


Anonymous said...

Incredibly refreshing and vibrant designs. Thanks for finding this set of artists. SK Chicago, IL

Anchal said...

The most contemporary Indian I have seen so far....
Very fascinating!!!
Keep up to it guys...

Sound Horn Please said...

Love their work. Any idea how I can get hold of some of their stuff?

The Green Elephant said...

As far as i know, they don't have commercial outlets for their products as yet - the best way i think would be to get in touch with them and find out :)

Anonymous said...

How does one place an order with them? Their work is outstanding?

December Design Studio said...

Thank you all for that encouragement and a big thanks to The Green Elephant for featuring us. We have got some great response and are in the process of setting up channels for sales and also stocking possibilities outside India.
In the meantime please mail us your requirements and feedback. We will surely get back to you.
Thanks again :)

Anonymous said...

Is there an email ID we can contact you or a phone no.???

The Green Elephant said...

Sure. email:

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