The Sanskrit word ‘vakr’ literally means curves, and Devyani Gupta, founder and Principal Designer at Delhi-based Vakr Studio, says, the curves in the furniture she designs signify transformation and reflects beauty in imperfection.
All the handcrafted furniture here has some element of bends and curves that are guided by the laws of physics. The nature of the materials and the design language of furniture has bold aesthetic elements. The studio, conceptualised in 2021, works consistently on evolving the design language to seamlessly fit into modern spaces, says Devyani. “The endeavour is to produce designs where technology is a significant part of the process,” she adds.
The design studio-cum-research lab is working on various art and craft forms of India. At the moment, there are at least six items or products in the prototyping phase, and this includes researching different art forms, says Gupta. “Some might yield a product; some may not. That said, we have a small workshop where three artisans work. We have master craftsmen skilled at traditional folk arts like Madhubani and Pichwai. We find our artisan collaborators from different artisan hubs like the local craft bazaars and take things forward from there,” says Gupta, who claims hers is a unique brand.
The brand also has a zero-waste policy and they achieve it by using traditional crafts and art forms that are already inherently a sustainable practice, says Gupta. “These art forms have evolved with the artisans’ immediate environment, which impacts their communities’ social and cultural aspects. For instance, we use reclaimed teak wood and the leftover material is used for packaging and shipping.”
Under the brand Vakr, artisans have created different editions with pieces meant for the discerning connoisseur of furniture design.
‘Dravam’ derived from the Sanskrit word for ‘fluidity’ is a limited edition series that embodies the fusion of molten sculptural forms and timeless Indian artistry. Here, molten geometrical shapes come to life on the furniture, adorned with intricate motifs from diverse art traditions such as Pichwai, Madhubani, and Warli.
Under the edition ‘Anvaya’, meaning ‘to combine’ in Sanskrit, a distinguished collection of furniture such as study tables, delves into the art of combining materials. This series is the synergy between brass and concrete, encompassing both modern geometrical patterns and the intricate Warli art form.
Derived from the Hindi word ‘lehar,’ meaning ‘wave’ or ‘undulation’, in this edition, each furniture piece captures the essence of undulating waves and the graceful transformation of shape under pressure. The result is a series of furniture and decor items that not only serve their functional purpose but also offer a visual and tactile experience like no other.
Talking about the material and motif details, Gupta says, “Every product at Vakr takes two to three years from concept to prototype. The art forms are not predetermined designs; instead, it’s an expression that develops intuitively.”
Designers and architects have been purchasing the unique pieces based on the requirement of respective spaces. “Consoles and statement pieces do particularly well especially in living rooms and wherever there needs to be a focus area. Most of our customers are architects. We see an infusion of Indian made locally available products in spaces where people have used products from Vakr as well,” says Gupta.
Currently Vakr Studio is online and the company is looking to expand within New Delhi. “We also want to expand in across metro cities through a retail store that will be an experience center that highlights unique art work and crafts.”
Vakr Studio furniture range starts from ₹20,000 and goes up to ₹3.5 lakh.