Ones to Watch: Gaurav Nanda
Jennifer Krichels Gorsche -- Interior Design, 2/1/2013 2:00:00 PM
Gaurav Nanda got his start as a sculptor working for an automotive company. “I learned a lot about form and line quality, which set the stage for working with wire,” says the Detroit native, who graduated from Purdue University before moving to Vancouver to study animation for a short time. He eventually settled in Los Angeles, making frequent trips to the region’s beaches, mountains, and mid-century meccas like Palm Springs.
He spent two years developing a line of bent-wire chairs based on concepts first introduced by Harry Bertoia. “I set out to find a way to update the concept and offer something different and edgier and lot more intricate and comfortable,” says Nanda.
In 2011, he launched Bend and since then has continued to add to the line of handmade bent-wire furnishings. Made from recyclable iron, the furniture is pre-treated with anti-rust zinc primer that protects it from the elements. Powder coated in bright colors, Bend’s pieces are just as at home on a patio or back yard as they are in a living room.
“The weather in Los Angeles is so marvelous that I felt an urge to design furniture that was meant for both indoors and outdoors,” says Nanda. Chairs—in lounge, side, and counter-height options—and a table called Drum, are all hand-shaped and welded with up to 400 welds.
Working from concept drawings, Nanda builds paper models with vellum paper and clear tape before moving onto prototypes in wire. “Previously, I would build products in a 3-D software program, but I am finding it more and more useful and tangible to see a physical form.” The company’s collection has gained praise for its comfort, which Nanda owes to the careful arrangement of wires to ensure structural stability and ergonomic support.
Set to make new introductions at New York’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair in May, Nanda says he sees customers looking for more ways to blur indoor-outdoor boundaries. “I think more and more people are looking at outdoor furniture as an extension of their indoor living spaces,” he says. “Colors that you use inside your home or in your apparel are finding their way outside and patterns show a lot of excitement and variety, too.” And while the company has made its name by reinterpreting 1950s wire furniture, this year it plans to introduce new materials beyond what designers like Bertoia and Eames would have imagined.
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