Arjun Rathi is an architect and lighting designer with a self-named multi-disciplinary studio, Arjun Rathi Design, that was established in 2012 in Mumbai, India. Since then, his studio’s work has gained a lot of recognition for their exploratory, imaginative approach towards materials and design processes in lighting design and luxury interiors. Arjun works to create single pieces made together with craftsmen as well as mass produced objects developed with manufacturers – the full spectrum. That said, the studio has no particular style but follows their instincts and their ethos of “light, form(s), emotion”. With a belief that lighting can have a strong emotional and transformational impact on spaces, Arjun’s studio has executed intricate and extensive lighting installations at The Lodha World Towers, India’s tallest residential building, and The Lodhi Hotel in Delhi. The studio is currently working on India’s largest lighting installation for a commercial banquet space in Kolkatta, as well as other projects for various luxury residences. Arjun Rathi Design is due to open a retail setup in London in 2021 with retail tie-ups already all across major Indian cities.
Today Arjun joins us with some of his favorite things and a few pieces of his own work for Friday Five!
1. Nepal and North East India Mountains
Travel to hills and spending time alone or with few close friends in the mountains has always been my escape. Solo treks and foraging in nature for relaxation and inspiration is something that I plan every year. The food, culture and scenery of the Himalayas, meditating while staring at the ice-capped peaks in North East India and Nepal is one of the most relaxing experiences for me.
2. Graphic Novels
Graphic novels are one of my biggest sources of inspiration. Graphic novelists imagine spaces and cities in imaginary ways which formally trained designers can seldom do. Mister X, written by Dean Motter and illustrated Paul Rivoche, is one of my biggest influences. The graphic novel is set in Radiant City, an imagined dystopian city influenced by Bauhaus and Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. His radical theories of “psyche-tecture” cause the citizenry to go mad, and he takes on the mission to repair his creation. Asterios Polyp, by architect David Mazzucchelli, is a great take on life, design and work ethic. Something that I strongly related to.
3. Cycling and Bootcamps
My general love for food is always at loggerheads with my fitness goals. I try to set goals through my long cycling sessions and local Bootcamp classes. An old professor of mine in Switzerland once told me, “If you don’t take care of your health and fitness, you will not have the strength to become famous.”
4. Film Photography
Shooting with film and self-developing has always been a passion. Using the camera as a tool to tell stories was something I used extensively in my early work. I always feel blurry pictures tell a lot more about the situation you are documenting and the energy. Also, developing black and white rolls using non-standard processes like black coffee, orange juice, etc., result in a very different output which is exciting.
5. Vipassana Meditation
The ten day meditation course after my college graduation was one of the most impactful experiences of my life. The Buddhist term for meditation literally translates to “insight” and is taught in the original way since the times of Buddha. The meditation teaches controlled breathwork, which is great to relax from the daily stresses of work and life.
Work by Arjun Rathi: