India’s material richness immediately electrified Florence Louisy when she arrived in the country. The diversity and the distinct beauty of local mediums coexist with the sensibility that Indian makers develop towards these RAW materials.
The first exhibition at aequō owes its title to a term rooted in the Latin crudus, which translates loosely to “uncooked”. In the design field however, RAWnods toward how the materials in question remain unprocessed, untouched or left in their roughest form.
Eight unique collections by the French designer are unveiled with the first opening of our gallery’s doors. In these creations Florence explores how the objects that permeate our homes may preserve the beauty and depth of materials closest to their natural state. This exploration happened as the designer traveled through India, meeting aequō’s network of artisans and workshops. From casting and bending metal in Maharashtra to embroidering and weaving textiles in Pradesh, Florence immersed herself in local heritage and techniques. And, most importantly, she amplified her sensibility towards materiality itself.
Indian hands and minds carry profound knowledge toward how to shape, mend, build, extend, cut, join, form, elevate, cast or process, in any other way, a material into something else. The designer behind RAW decided to challenge these makers by concealing these techniques as much as possible within the objects produced.
The resulting collections indeed seem as if they were made with “uncooked” materials. Wood, stone, textiles and metals have been carefully and extensively worked to create the items, but the expertise behind these processes make them seem completely natural. It’s as if these collections had been picked from trees like mature fruits. This is one of the virtues of RAW.
Nevertheless, it isn’t just materials and makers that are challenged in this exhibition. This incredible outcome comes from giving equal weight to makers, materials and design. Florence’s style and contemporary formal language allows the collections to pay tribute to the purity that remains after Indian materials are shaped to become a part of our everyday spaces.
RAW allows for a new insight into Indian materiality through Florence’s eye.