Interview with Manish Maheshwari, Rachaita Creative Solutions, India

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Manish Maheshwari

Manish’s designs are presented with an eye for technicality, where it can stay relevant for decades to come.

Interview with the 2021 MUSE Design Awards Winner - Manish Maheshwari

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your design background.

After completing my Bachelors in Engineering, I developed a keen interest in design,so I did a brief design course to understand my curious interest in the field of design ,which helped me to choose designing as my career option and destiny is guiding me.

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a designer/artist?

It’s a destiny’s call, my growth is organic, I get all the answers from within whether it’s design related or technical.

3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.

In 1999 I established my company RACHAITA CREATIVE SOLUTIONS; in Hindu mythology ‘rachaita’ means the creator of the universe (Lord Brahma) Rachaita Creative Solutions which is fondly known as RCS, presently RCS is an umbrella company for SITE art space (an art gallery) MODULAR SWING (acknowledges the rich presence of the swing in the Indian culture and explores its evaluation through time). And the latest endeavor of RCS is 99Chronicles, which will celebrate the idea of collaboration with various designers.

4What does “design” mean to you?

For me, design is answers to one or several requirements / questions. A purposeful design with technical soundness is a good design.

5What’s your favorite kind of design and why?

Designs which could adapt to the needs of the user.

6To you, what makes a “good” design?

A good design will always be relevant in present and executed with full consciousness to not become a non-degradable debris in future.

7Describe your design style and its main characteristics.

The list of requirements normally helps me shape the product. Lots of whys and there relevant answers shape my design.

8Tell us about your design process.

It starts with sketching on paper, then technically resolving it. Choosing the right material comes next, then making a 1:1 sketch or draft on ply-board/ floor. Getting the framework i.e., skeleton/ armature of design prepared. Checking for improvisation and go ahead with prototyping.

9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your design process?

Yes, very much but not restricted to it.

10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2021 MUSE Design Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?

As a winner of 2021 MUSE Design Awards, my team and my company will be eager to come up with another winning entry for 2022.

11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2021 MUSE Design Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

The Ori Chair is no complicated piece of furniture. It uses a basic mountain and valley folds of origami to strengthen the form and no. of folds was derived to get the ergonomic of a chair. Probably revisiting the forms of past, the Japanese fan and re-imagining it as need of present furniture form by using the easily available technology of laser cutting.

12What was the biggest challenge with this project?

The Ori chair challenged our years of experience working with metal since combining metal with origami techniques in itself is a challenge. Working on relieving pressure at the ridges by bringing in the right slit dimension and connecting the bridge between two slits to avoid sheer in metal proved strenuous. Break-through was about getting it right for an individual to bend manually by hands. It became essential to hit the sweet spot for the number of folds to get perfect ergonomics which finally came through trials and errors.

13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?

Winning an award makes practice more responsible as a designer.

14What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?

1) Seeing a aesthetically good design is always refreshing.

2) Seeing a technically good design is always inspiring.

3) Seeing a sustainable design is always soul satisfying.

15What makes your country specifically, unique in the design industry?

India, by itself, is such a vibrant culture to draw inspiration from. Indian design, in particular, reflects culture and tradition in everything – architecture, jewellery, graphic design, product design, packaging, branding, fashion, textiles, etc. For many decades India has been industry leading craft and design supplier to many luxury and renowned brands worldwide.

16Where do you see the evolution of design industry going over the next 5-10 years?

There will be a huge impact due to pandemic on design and design industry. According to me, over the next 5-10 years design industry will see many interesting designs and also technological advancements which will lead this design industry to the whole new level.

17If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Design Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?

Be true to your design and pursue an ethical practice.

18What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the design industry?

Daily sketching practice, making sectional drawing can improve your skills in visualizing the products/ designs. Keep raising why's and keep finding answers to them.

19What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

Ethical practice with hard-work, best quality and good planning. As a designer believe in your own Original ideas rather than taking inspiration and making tweaked replicas of what is going on in the design industry.

Winning Entries

The Ori Chair | 2021

The Ori Chair | MUSE Design Awards

Origami, the Japanese art of paper folding is an ancient art form that fascinatingly converts planes i.e. paper into 3d objects. Based on...
(read more at MUSE Design Awards)

Rachaita Home Solutions

Rachaita Home Solutions is an award-winning product design studio based in India.