By Pari Syal
Unveiling her new collection of contemporary furniture, Punam Kalra advocates making a style statement using fabric, colour and mood to perfectly harmonize the piece of furniture with one’s interior decor.
Engineer by qualification and designer by vocation, Punam Kalra specialises in furniture and accessories design and believes that any given space demands much more than what these ‘design pieces’ are able to communicate.
With diminishing geographic borders and a growing quest for the unusual and at times unconventional, an enhanced interaction within the fields of art, fashion, furniture, interiors and architecture is a global phenomenon. Punam is of the strong opinion that experimentation and an increased awareness have paved the way for interrelated disciplines and methodologies. Predictably, design is evolving with forms getting bolder and freer; material exploration rampant; and technology blurring the lines between art and design.
Added to such fervent views, Punam feels that although design is captured by its presence, function and form, in that order; and all these elements have to be accounted for while designing; good or bad design is purely a perception after one has reached a certain level. “When design takes precedence, every other aspect has to fit into the demand of design rather than the other way around,” she explains. “And this is where perceptions differ and subjectivity peaks. When I take on a project, my challenge is to create for the client and ultimately for myself - both should be ecstatic at the end of the day. My passion must translate into my client’s pleasure & pride.”
As passionate about the process as the finished product, Punam abides by some strident norms that mark the litmus test for every piece designed by her. A complete knowledge of materials, technical capabilities coupled with a zeal to continuously innovate and revolutionize design has fostered her growth for 17 years now, and has made her product design centre called “I’m” a fore runner of the ‘versatile design’ segment. “The emphasis.” she informs, “Has always been to create the right ambience with a combination of art and design.”
Her current series focuses on an assortment of furniture pieces: from a Day Bed in Wenge wood spiritedly showing off its natural texture; to a Smoked Console, where uncoloured and unpolished wood is combined with selectively smoked wood in a precision-modulated piece de resistance; to a choice of tables and smart, inviting contemporary sofas that are straight-lined detailed with pattern and antique mirror on the one hand, and very stylist with silver leather and steel on the other.
While ‘versatility in design’ is her strength, Punam tends to get emotionally attached to her designs as they take shape from an idea to a sketch to a three-dimensional object to the final realisation of the piece. The designer is always wont to part with her designs until the next inspiration captures her attention and resets her creative leanings. “Being spontaneous and knowing where to stop is my simple Design Mantra,” she concludes.