Valériane Lazard

A graduate of the Design Academy of Eindhoven, Valériane Lazard had a rigorous training in product and interior design. Her research for her collaboration with æquō began in a rare, highly regarded book, The Cave Temples of India, which was first published in 1880 and authored by Scottish-born indigo planter James Fergusson. It is here she discovered section drawings of Bedsa, the Buddhist rock- cut monuments near Pune, and of Ajanta, the well known caves near Aurangabad dating from the 2nd century that have inspired many contemporary architects. The monumental formations she discovered informed the hollowed proportions of this chair and daybed - they are both massive structures of teak wood, hand carved with great voids by craftsmen in Bangalore. With a lightness that is in contrast to the monolithic form, a cushion and mattress was given equal thought in its development.

Using the book Crafts of India: Handmade in India, edited by Aditi Ranjan and MP Ranjan, as her reference, Lazard happened upon the technique of mooda rice packaging. The roped straw pillow was created in the rural village of Gadag in Karnataka. Originally, mooda was made for transportation within paddy fields. Selected for its primitive aesthetics that complement the carved chair and daybed, the cushions give the illusion of being a haphazard bed of straw but are in fact meticulously crafted to perfectly fill the voids.