AKFD, is the brainchild of Ayush Kasliwal, a furniture design graduate from the National Institute Of Design, Ahmedabad, a premier design institute in India. Working together since 2001, the architect and designer duo Geetanjali and Ayush, have launched their flagship store by the name of ‘Anantaya, in Jaipur. It is a design studio committed to development of ideas, using local crafts which have evolved over the centuries. The shop is about being Indian, about making a cultural statement as to who we are-looking about and having fun with resources, craftspeople, ideas in the process, coming up with clever design. Anantaya showcases the edgy in house brand AKFD besides curating an interesting mix of luxury objects rooted in tradition.
At AKFD , it is just as important to innovate as it is to preserve a skill, their products offer a fresh twist to traditional crafts making cutting edge artifacts, accessories, textiles and furniture. Made with unusual yet traditional materials and processes, their work appeals to discerning, quality concious, contemporary sensibilities. They have been working with crafts people and artisans from Rajasthan and have developed objects, which while being of utility, are also beautiful and are fun to use.
They have been doing interior design, architectural projects earlier, and because of the paucity of simple, well made things, they had to develop them on their own. This has mushroomed into the shop.
`A simple idea, presented cleverly, and put to use, that is the kick. ‘
The thing that separates the duo from a lot of other people is that the products they make are simple, clever and useful. The idea, they say, is not about making pretty things; it is about making things that are intelligent, things that have a reason to be, things that solve common day to day problems that few had ever thought about.
The biggest advantage they have is being based in Jaipur, they have a large variety of crafts to play with, be it beaten brass, or stone carving, or even mirror work. The products they make reflect a really good understanding of the process and the material, and are simultaneously respectful of the tradition of the craft.
AKFD has also been doing projects the world over and has been supplying to prominent international design people, giving them access to the rich world of Indian crafts. Although they have limited the interior design projects, they have been developing items, which help a lot of interior designers, architects. His furniture, which is solid and very well made, is customized to the client’s requirements. His state of the art production facility is located at a short drive from Jaipur and is geared to high quality manufacturing of furniture and objects.
In a relatively short span of time, Anantaya has built up a very good reputation, and has received attention from the worldwide media, as well as by connoisseurs of art and design, again, globally, giving them the confidence that the time is right for this. Shops like The Conran Shop have presented their works in London, Paris, Tokyo and New York. Their products have consistently won awards like the UNESCO seal of excellence for 2007, 2008. Ayush has been showcased as one of the emerging talents at the prestigious ‘Talents a la Carte’ show of the Maison Et Object- Sep 2008, Paris, and represented India at the ‘Salone De Mobile ‘Milan show 2010. More recently he has
The store has also achieved wide recognition as an institution of innovation and creativity, with their products being part of many private collections and being carried by some of the best design stores in the world, like Tom Dixon; UK,Ashley Hicks ; UK, Oka Direct ; UK, CB2; USA, Cost Plus; USA, Gumps; UK, The Conran Shop, Terrain; USA, Besides the flagship store in Jaipur, AKFD products are available in India at : Ahmedabad- NIDUS Bangalore- Cinnamon, Mulberry, NIDUS . Chennai- Amethyst , Melanje Coimbatore- Offerings .Delhi- Ishatvam, Kamala Shop, The Neemrana Shop.Goa- Casa Goa Hyderabad-Cinnamon, Kamala Shop, Mulberry. Kolkatta- A Square Designs Mumbai- Bungalow 8, Bombay Electric.
Recently, Anantaya Retail has partnered with the Jaipur Virasat Foundation to launch an interdisciplinary retail space, called MELA. Mela is an effort to present the material culture of Rajasthan showcasing design and craft based practitioners. Mela, is a gallery, shop where in a collaborative environment, creative people hold exhibitions, performances and workshops while showcasing and selling an interesting mix of curated textiles, paintings, books, objects.