KOSH is a Sanskrit word meaning compilation of knowledge. Parag, Ashwin & Ishan came together to start Kosh Designs, a Pune based studio with a team of 7 people, out of a common interest and passion about India, its rich visual culture and stories in a concise yet complete way. Get to know the ethos behind Kosh Designs in their Kulture Shop Studio Interview.
KS: What kind of work does your practice specialize in?
Kosh Designs: Kosh is all about content driven design that is informed by Indian aesthetics. Our work follows a self defined goal of 4 C’s – COHESIVE , CURATED, CONDENSED CONTENT. Also, highly inspired by Indian culture, their vision & mission are based on Mantra & Tantra. Mantra – Kosh’s vision as a system aims to fulfill an intangible need to percolate, demystify & relive the stories, the festivals, the music, the rituals, and all that form the astounding fabric that is India! Tantra – Kosh’s mission is to design products that have a cohesive visual language, evolved from Indian forms, and have edifying information. To have an un-biased portrayal and invoke a cultural pride and identity.
KS: What are some of the challenges you have found being an Independent studio in India?
Kosh Designs: As in all things Indian, abstract thought and ideas are abundant but physical manifestation remains a little elusive. It is not a surprise that we have a few thousand philosophers for ever skyscraper. Jokes apart, our biggest challenge is finding quality vendors who offer consistent results and are willing to explore & try out ideas other than standard things.
KS: Which is your favorite project in the last year and why?
Kosh Designs: We have to say the Festival flash cards and in its uniqueness lies its greatest challenge. We had decided that it would be multilayered & would reflect the ethos of India along with our philosophy. Since we were obsessively inclusive in our research and image development, we had to sift through countless stories, examine different traditional art-forms and explore rituals and customs of different religions and regions. However we are extremely happy with the final product which we feel is an inspiring offering.
KS: Tell us more about one of the products you are retailing with us.
Festival Flash Cards – The product symbolises our belief of providing condensed curated cohesive content. The product tries to assimilate a lot of information systems in a palm sized card in terms of culture, geography, astronomy and mythology. So one glance at the card both informs and invites the user to experience the festival by giving him/her a taste of the celebration.
Challenge – There was no existing product in the retail sphere which acted as an impetus to develop the product. Since there were no parallels, we had to make our own path, collecting and filtering information for the content and reinterpreting visual styles for the artwork. The idea was to incorporate typical regional elements for each festival, this demanded special attention and time. The biggest challenge was to come up with a flexible and versatile visual style that unified all the illustrations without making them tediously uniform.
You can read more about Kulture Shop’s post on the story behind this project here: Festivals Of India by Kosh
KS: Any future products we can look forward to get out?
Kosh Designs: We are quite excited about the collections in the pipeline. There is one right on the horizon where we explore seasons of India, following which we plan to get into Flora of India. But the collection that is really giving us sleepless nights (in the best way possible) is the Rivers of India. So yes we look forward to create products which aim to reach great depths instead of the usual heights. P.S – The secret plan is to come up with an exhibit which would talk about our body of work.
A song that represents Kosh Designs’s vibe: Swades
This soundtrack is a perfect blend, that invokes pride, nostalgia and fresh hope. It is global yet quintessentially Indian, contemporary but traditional. The juxtaposition of instruments and the arrangement creates an aura that makes one introspect and appreciate traditional music entwined with modern sounds. A truly inspiring soundtrack that is haunting, sublime and gives us goosebumps every time.
Quirky items Kosh Designs collect for inspiration:
Aluminum Team kettle that we use daily – a weathered friend who never fails to fill empty glasses with hot optimism.
Lots of incense sticks / dhoop – we are obsessive incense lighters.
Find Kosh Designs on Kulture Shop