Gaurav Nanda’s playful designs are why Bend Seating first caught our attention, and actually sitting down in one of his remarkably comfortable chairs is what made us realize that we needed to work together. And we did! Our exclusive collaboration collection of outdoor furniture was just released, and we love the way that it turned out. We chatted with the Los Angeles-based Gaurav about his personal style, studio process, and about designing a line with west elm.
What inspires you?
Music! Inspiration comes from everywhere but music plays a crucial role in my process. New songs and artists are constantly playing in the workshop, which makes for a lively and happier work environment too.
I also take cues from the work of Buckminster Fuller, who created the geodesic dome, moviemaker Wes Anderson, and my mother’s handmade macramé plant-holders. In a way, the patterns used in my work can be traced to my Indian heritage.
Tell us a little bit about your studio process. How do you come up with designs for your furniture?
The design process starts with something I see, like maybe a cup I am inspired by or a certain type of bird. From there, I sketch out some rough concept drawings of what the furniture might look like. I play around with scale and shape, and once I have some solid ideas I build paper models with vellum paper and clear tape. Previously I built products in a 3D software program, but I am finding it more and more useful and tangible to see a physical form.
What’s your approach to decorating?
I like to uncluttered spaces and prefer to mix old with the new. Family photographs are displayed in mix-match frames, and handmade antiques from India are a part of my decor. Re-purposed industrial-style furnishings with their wear and imperfection appeal to me. Raw, rougher-textured materials such as aged wood and steel are used throughout my space as well
What’s the story behind some of the pieces in your collection for west elm?
My collection for west elm focuses on the minimalist, utilitarian concepts I explore in my main line of furniture. I’ve been seeing yellow as a key trend color for the next year, and I plan to add some to my space.
In all my work, my focus is to reinvent simplicity, execute impeccable craftsmanship with modern concepts, and to inject the environments around me with wit and functionality.
Images: west elm