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AD MAG's Tower of Light💙

Designer Harshita Jhamtani’s lamps make a case for minimalism and its timelessness.

She is gradually building her practice, playing with timeless materials and experimental shape.

By Avantika Shankar | NOV 14, 2021 | 09:30:01 IST

Harshita Jhamtani is fired up about clay. With the launch of her new Asteroid floor lamp (pictured), the designer has made her mark as an innovator, pushing the boundaries of traditional techniques through contemporary design. "I am still discovering my practice as a designer," she explains, "but the gist of our design philosophy is that we blend sustainable materials with minimal designs, and we try to create objects that are timeless." Stoneware naturally lends itself to this intention; it is a material that can be traced back to the prehistoric age, with terracotta arte-facts from ancient civilizations surviving across centuries. "If you don't break it, it can actually become a family heirloom that can be passed down through generations," she says. Still, Jhamtani's products are deceptively simple: an arrangement of clean, geometric shapes that are soothingly familiar. Her Wilo series of terrazzo lights are basic circles; her Rio stoneware lampshades take on a traditional si houette despite the unusual material choice.

The Asteroid lamp is an evolution of these forms, in a sense, brought together in a single sculptural objet d'art.Modular in its essence, the lamp has 17 individual segments that can be stacked in any order along a central pole. "The customer decides the arrangement," says Jhamtani, "Putting it together is like a little game". Her eponymous design studio is now working on a series of commissions inspired by the lamp: one is a lamp with sea creature-shaped totems, and will be immersed in a water body; another is a 14-foot-tall, floor-to-ceiling totem pole. While she's known for her work with clay, hamtani is simultaneously breaking new ground with upcycled marble and recycled plastic.

"Being material-specific is not our identity," she insists, "Our design philosophy is to work with long-lasting materials, and simple design."

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