Arjun Rathi is an architect and lighting designer with the self-proclaimed multidisciplinary studio Arjun Rathi Design, which was founded in Mumbai, India in 2012. Since then, his studio’s work has garnered much recognition for their exploratory, imaginative approach to materials and design processes in lighting design and in luxurious interiors. Arjun works to create one-off pieces made together with artisans, as well as mass-produced items developed with manufacturers – the full spectrum. However, the studio does not have a specific style, but follows their instincts and ethos of “light, form (s), emotion”. Believing that lighting can have a powerful emotional and transformative impact on spaces, Arjun’s studio has carried out complex and extensive lighting installations in 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 system for a commercial banquet room in Kolkatta, as well as other projects for various luxury residences. Arjun Rathi Design will open a retail store in London in 2021, with retail links already in place in all major Indian cities.
Today Arjun is joining us with some of his favorite things and some of his own work for Friday Five!
1. Mountains in Nepal and Northeast India
Traveling to the mountains and spending time alone or with a few close friends in the mountains has always been my escape. Solo treks and foraging in nature for relaxation and inspiration are something I plan every year. Meditating on the food, culture and landscape of the Himalayas while staring at the ice-capped peaks in northeast India and Nepal is one of the most relaxing experiences for me.
2. Graphic novels
Visual novels are one of my greatest sources of inspiration. Graphic artists imagine spaces and cities in an imaginary way, which formally trained designers can seldom do. Mister X, written by Dean Motter and illustrated by Paul Rivoche, is one of my greatest influences. The graphic novel takes place in Radiant City, an imaginary dystopian city that is influenced by the Bauhaus and the metropolis of Fritz Lang. His radical theories of “psyche-tecture” drive citizens crazy 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 I was closely related to.
3. Cycling and boot camps
My general love of food is always at odds with my fitness goals. I try to set goals for myself through my long cycling sessions and local bootcamp courses. An old professor of mine in Switzerland once said to me: “If you don’t take care of your health and fitness, you won’t have the strength to become famous.”
4. Film photography
Shooting with films and developing oneself has always been a passion. Using the camera as a storytelling tool was something I used extensively in my early work. I always feel that blurry images tell a lot more about the situation and energy you are documenting. Also developing black and white buns using non-standard processes like black coffee, orange juice, etc. results in an entirely different output which is exciting.
5. Vipassana meditation
The ten day meditation course after graduating from college was one of the most impressive experiences of my life. The Buddhist term for meditation literally means “insight” and has been taught in the original way since the times of the Buddha. Meditation teaches controlled breathing work, which is ideal for relaxing from the everyday stress of work and life.
Work by Arjun Rathi: