My FUNiture story opened its doors in December 2015 with 3 distinct collections. Each of these collections stem from roots of distinct skill sets, traditions and each has something special to offer.
We started with The ARTISAN Collection- accumulating from the sea of talent that Bengal has.
Artists, master carpenters, craftsmen joined hands to render our collection with motifs, colours, strength and character. Little chairs and tables for our toddlers were born in the “Little collection”.
The design grew with the needs of growing children and our animal collection adapted for the little adults who needed padded seats and armrests to supplement their longer attention spans.
Beds with FUN elements got us excited as we imagined the little red riding hoods opening doors to climb onto our “Enchanted Garden” bed! This collection allowed us to stretch our imagination into the minds of little learners who we imagined would enjoy the company of the elements of nature woven into their spaces.
Love for travel and passion for the crafts of India led me to Channapatna- the little village on the highway from Bangalore to Mysore studded with colourful wooden toys that were attractive to a layman but on close inspection reeked of chemical copies made in China. Channapatna is known for the tradition of wooden toy making. This craft was brought into India from Persia 200 years ago by Tipu Sultan. The beautiful handcrafted wooden toys are now seeing new avatars in the global market.
The drive to use this ‘special children’s craft’ to create usable furniture led me to design the “Channaptana Collection” around the strengths and constraints of this art form.
These wooden elements are all made of non-toxic natural materials perfect for our vulnerable children. Locally sourced sustainable wood creates the base of these elements. Natural pigments made from turmeric, indigo, pomegranate peel added to natural shellac create the finishing colours. Naturally available palm leaves are used to create the sheen on the surface of each element. The invigorating colours and smooth textures created completely of natural materials are both exciting and safe for our little ones.
The Channapatna line is our humble attempt to bring forward their beautiful story through the scintillating hand crafted wooden beads which come together with non toxic stainless steel, tensile membranes and other modern day materials to create enchanting pieces of furniture. Each uniquely crafted piece brings forward the story of the craft and the craftsmen, carrying on the old traditions with the designs of tomorrow.
My stint at the Florence Institute of Design and Interiors opened up my world to Italian design from very close quarters. Personal interaction with the experts in the field and visits to the pioneer furniture brands like Cassina reinforced my respect and love for Italian design. After meetings with various brand operators, we hooked our heart upon ME TOO, an offspring of the established brand MAGIS which created furniture specially designed for children. METOO joined our MFS family as we were commissioned sole distributorship of the brand pan India. Me Too: a collection of furniture and accessories created in 2004 to enable children to experience the creativity, sensations and solutions dreamt up by the big names in contemporary design.
The idea of Me Too originally came from Eugenio Perazza, the creator of Magis, a leading firm in the Italian-made market, who wanted to give his granddaughter a table to draw on. Leafing through various catalogues, he realized there was no furniture for children of her age, or even a little older, that offered advanced design characteristics, like grown-up furniture, but also a simplicity of use suitable for little ones.
The Me Too collection is more than simply scaled-down designer furniture; it is an operation that stimulates the designers and the firm to view the world and the objects in it through the eyes of a child. Javier Mariscal, Eero Aarnio, Philippe Starck, Enzo Mari, the rebellious master of Italian and international design; and many more designers from across the globe, who continue their work with Magis, or join the firm for the first time, sharing in the excitement of the highly original Me Too project.