We sample last year’s Indian winner of the internationally acclaimed Red Dot Awards, Nishi Chauhan and her winning product, Animal Farm | Dunk
Meet Dunk, a lovable fantasy animal that is also a lamp, and is the newest addition to Nishi Chauhan’s Animal Farm series.
Both the series and its latest addition were awarded the much coveted “Best of the Best” Red Dot Award in 2014. Fusion and the use of repurposed materials lie at the heart of this endearingly quirky creation; where wood and glass, craftsmanship and design combine to produce a blithe, quaint little functional product.
The Animal Farm series is centred on combining craft with the repurposing of used objects. The animals are a set of six upcylcled bottle lamps, fashioned out of wood and lac turnery craft of Channapatna, Karnataka. These animals, sundry glass bottles in a previous life – mason jars, wine bottles, pickles, sauce bottles and preserves – are rescued out of the recycling process and given a renewed purpose. Dunk is one such (albeit fantasy) animal. Dunk and the rest of the animals are not designed for stationery use. They can be used all around the house or in any other space, on the bed side or a desk.
In an interview by Red Dot following her win, Nishi Chauhan said, “The idea of finding beauty and joy in simple objects of daily use drives me. Beauty IS a function, and objects of bare utility have a beauty on their own.” Chauhan’s Animal Farm series are made entirely out of such mundane, simple objects as discarded bottles and jars, and transformed into things of beauty.
The warm, soft glow that emanates from the belly of the bottle-animal throws a restful ambience to the surroundings, providing joy and peace. The wooden attachments, created using traditional methods by craftsmen, add a touch of tradition to the product. The combination of wood and glass adds to the beauty of the very much usable product. The animal’s head, legs and base is made of wood, with glass making up its body.
The Animal Farm series and Dunk have not only given Nishi Chauhan recognition on a global platform, but they also serve to remind us that from trivial, simple things, beauty and joy can be found too.