How can an object of common utility also be symbolic of creative and artistic expression? This talk explores the fine line between design as function and design as aesthetic. Celebrated Indian designer and founder of Atelier Ashiesh Shah, Ashiesh Shah, Co-Founder of Carpenters Workshop Gallery, Loïc Le Gaillard and Artistic Director of Jaipur Rugs, Greg Foster come together to discuss the relationship between art and design in a conversation moderated by Mrudul Pathak Kundu, Editor of Elle Decor, India.
Generously supported by JSW and curated by researcher and arts manager, Priya Chauhan, ART ACROSS —— celebrates the power of critical dialogue and the critical need for celebrating the arts. Spanning key issues in art, design and architecture from a variety of perspectives including from institutions, market experts, philanthropists and creatives, the series aims to foster an inclusive platform to explore contemporary culture, with South Asia at its centre. All talks will also be conducted in Indian Sign Language.
Ashiesh Shah: Ashiesh Shah, a leading architect and trendsetter, blends Indian culture with contemporary aesthetics rooted in the Wabi-Sabi philosophy. Founder of Atelier Ashiesh Shah, he champions experimentation, craftsmanship, and technique, bridging art and design boundaries. Shah’s commitment to the revival of Indian crafts reflects in projects like ‘Sustain: The Craft Idiom’ for G20- 2nd culture working group, showcasing his dedication to living heritage for a sustainable future. Noteworthy is his contribution to the industry through the India Design Fund (TIDF), initiated during the pandemic, fostering transformation and collaboration within the design community.
Loïc Le Gaillard: Loïc Le Gaillard, a Paris native, began his career in marketing before embarking on a new venture and opening a gallery in an old carpenter’s workshop in Chelsea, London, alongside his longtime friend Julien Lombrail in 2006. Since then, the duo has paved the way for the reexamination of the role of functional art in the contemporary art landscape. Le Gaillard, a driving force behind the gallery’s global success, which has since grown to have spaces in Paris, New York, London and Los Angeles, strives to challenge conventional norms, propelling Carpenters Workshop Gallery to international renown. Le Gaillard’s commitment to artisanal creation is evident in numerous milestones, including the launch of the Mitry-Mory workshop – an 8,000 square-meter space located outside of Paris dedicated to artistic research and development. Beyond the gallery, Le Gaillard’s vision has shaped spaces like Ladbroke Hall, London’s latest arts and social club and home for Carpenters Workshop Gallery London, which champions an inclusive, community-centric approach to creative expression.
Greg Foster: Greg Foster is the Artistic Director of Jaipur Rugs, a social enterprise in handmade carpets that has grown to become the largest network of artisans in India. A well known editor and creative director, he was previously the editor of AD India, where he gained a global reputation for invigorating the interiors magazine with world class photography and special projects in craftsmanship and contemporary art. Based in Mumbai since 2015, he joined Conde Nast India after seven years in Paris where he was deputy editor to the creative director Yaffa Assouline. British-born, he is a graduate of Oxford University, where he read PPE at Christ Church.
Mrudul Pathak Kundu: Mrudul Pathak Kundu is the editor of ELLE DECOR India. A Fine Arts graduate from MS University, Vadodara, she has been an integral part of shaping the magazine for the last 23 years. Her Major in Applied Arts has given her a lifelong love for graphic compositions and solid colours. She heads Print, Digital and Brand Solutions at ELLE DECOR. Interacting with the design community and producing house shoots is what she considers the best part of her job while her long-term goal is to bring Indian design fore to global as well as Indian audiences. While her love for art and design are a given — she is also an ardent world cinema watcher and enjoys cooking nostalgia-inducing food with recipes that have been passed down through generations. When not busy with all things design, you’ll find her watching old art-house movies with a glass of single malt.