Here's how two Chennai architects are bringing back retro with their curated furniture pop-up
SOUP CANS, hamburgers, comic strips, Coca Cola and even Madonna couldn’t escape from being American pop-artist Andy Warhol’s muses. Joining him on the pop-art brigade was another artist named Roy Lichtenstein whose inspiration was solely derived from a blonde crying girl. Taking inspiration from this art movement is city-based architecture firm Neon Attic whose first retro-themed curated furniture pop-up is all geared up to set shop. Principal architects Sripriya Ganesan, 32 and Rambha Seth, 31 will be showcasing an eclectic collection of not just furniture, but art too.
“Rambha and I studied together for our under graduation in Chennai at MEASI Academy of Architecture,” says Sripriya, one of the principal architects at Neon Attic. “She moved to the US post that and I moved to Hong Kong. After a gap of eight years we reconnected and realised that design is perceived very differently in India. And there’s a lot of room for disruption.”After some homework, the two realised that Chennai doesn’t have much to offer in terms of original home decor, other than run-of-the-mill brands or retail brands.
Sripriya and Rambha started travelling across the country, conversing with vendors and labels across Jaipur, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Mumbai and watched how each piece was made at their respective factories and studios. These pieces were then curated by the two and short listed for the pop-up. “We created LOFT — Living on Finer things, inspired by the 1970s and ’80s which was an interesting time for design, with its bright colours, dramatic geometry,” says Sripriya. She highlights the usage of metal, brass and sleek lines which was synonymous with that era. The two are also curating art, by speaking to galleries that deal with interesting postcards, posters, stationery and even pop-art notebooks! For stationery junkies, that’s a paradise waiting to be explored.
If you’ve been to Ikea you’ll know that most of their interiors are mock-up spaces of living rooms, kitchens and dining areas. While they operate on an industrial level, Neon Attic’s mock-up spaces will be on a more human scale. “It would be like taking a walk through someone’s living room,” says Sripriya. Unique finds include a three-seater chesterfield (an art-deco Victorian button-backed sofa) which is made out of Italian leather and wicker cupboards, and wicker cupboards. Some of the labels you might want to watch out for are Mumbai-based Baro, known for their sharpened aesthetics and creative designs, The Retyrement Plan which focuses on handcrafted furniture, Bengaluru-based Magari which brings together local artisans and modern technology, Artisera from Bengaluru that offers vintage chairs and Hyderabad-based Studio Chisel’s bespoke designs. In total, the pop-up will have about 14 brands with over 60 pieces on display. The pop-up will also include an in-house line from Neon Attic.
Furniture starting from `20,000. Art starting from `15,000.
Today and Tomorrow.
At Amethyst, Whites Road.
From 10 am to 8 pm.