Inviting designers from across the world, a design festival in the city wants to promote a global art conversation.
A design festival was always on the roster for Sanket Avlani. And so, following the success of his previous art and design initiatives, he curated the Design Fabric Festival (DFF) 2018.
Making its debut today as an art and design festival, it features more than 30 international and Indian artists from across the design community. The three-day festival aims at bringing design and art enthusiasts under one roof by also including in its itinerary artist-led workshops, exhibitions, panel discussions, networking events and parties held across the city.
“DFF aims to raise the standards of the fast growing Indian design industry to the global standard whilst developing a diverse but close-knit community of students, professionals and enthusiasts from across different disciplines of art and design,” explains Sanket.
This isn’t the first time that Sanket, who has curated the festival, is involved in helming the conversation surrounding design forward. In the past, the 29-year-old initiated TaxiFabric, which connects budding designers with taxi drivers to beautify the ubiquitous kaali-peeli of Bombay. Alongside this, Sanket’s Design Fabric routinely organises meet-ups and public lectures in innovative spaces for design enthusiasts. Called WIP (Work In Progress) Sessions, these lectures invite accomplished homegrown designers, who are changing the conversation around design, to discuss their work, inspirations, ideas and pipeline projects with design enthusiasts. “We also want to be a platform for Indian designers with potential to alter the design discussion for tomorrow,” Sanket tells us.
The transition from curating hour-long sessions to a dedicated design festival has been smooth, he says. “It was always a part of the plan —we had this vision right from the beginning. With our previous projects, we were taking small steps building something that is accessible to more people. We want to start getting Indian designers to share their work. And this culture that we built for our audience only gets more enriched,” he says.
“With initiatives like the Kochi Biennale, India Art Fair and St+art Project scaling year on year, there has been a growing interest for art and design events. We feel the time is right to build the momentum for bringing design into a more mainstream conversation. To build a platform that enables Indian designers and design-enthusiasts with access to some of the biggest names in design and visual art globally and putting our own prodigies from the sub-continent on the same stage,” says Sanket.
For it’s debut edition, the festival brings together a diverse range of speakers including design thinker V. Sunil of Make in India, Mitch Paone of NYC-based DIA Studios, photographer and founder of The Sartorialist, Scott Schuman and cartoonist and designer Orijit Sen, textile artist Sarah Naqvi, illustrator Christoph Niemann, Ruchika Sachdeva of Bodice, author and artist Adam J. Kurtz, graphic designer Anthony Burrill and fashion illustrator of @paperfashion Katie Rodgers among others.
Not letting the excitement get to him, Sanket says they are going to patiently wait for this edition to roll out before promising pipeline projects. “It’s going to be one big celebration of our exploding design scene in India,” he smiles.
Ongoing till March 31, At Famous Studios, Mahalaxmi