Intersecting Tech & Craft: How House Of Gigai Is Reshaping Indian Accessory Design

Intersecting Tech & Craft: How House Of Gigai Is Reshaping Indian Accessory Design

A designed symphony of indigenous crafts, innovative technology, geometric expression and nature's organic form, House of Gigai is a homegrown brand rooted in the intersection of the part and the present. Borrowing from the cultural expressions of India, they craft visually striking collections of accessories ranging from wearable jewellery to utilitarian bags. 

Fabricating an interplay between ancient crafts and contemporary techniques, the brand is introducing a new design language to the Indian audience; one that values the fluidity of styles across genders, making them versatile, diverse and unconventional. The co-founders, Mathang Thyagaraj and Devika Rao spoke to Homegrown about the origins of Gigai and the many motifs that continue to inspire their design language. 

What was the inspiration behind starting the House of Gigai?

Our love for concept art, fantasy, and mythology played a central role in the creation of the brand Gigai. With backgrounds in animation and product design respectively, we wanted to express our ideas and explore what concept art would look like in a functional world. This passion led us to start Gigai, a brand that blends these interests and brings our vision to life through our products and experiences.

The brand was found at the intersection of ancient crafts & contemporary tech, could you elaborate on this multi-disciplinary approach?

Having grown up in the south, our understanding of crafts has always been through the lens of Dravidian forms. The architecture, brass sculptures and stone craving of gods, temples and objects that are seen in places like Hampi and Janapada Loka or through the narration of stories and folklore through performances have played a key part while shaping our approach. The other key inspiration was the love for concept arts, anime and technology. It was an amalgamation of both worlds that came together for us.

We used this approach for the launch of the capsule bag, we took an ancient concept of a colosseum and placed our bag in it while experiencing it through rendered campaign film and an augmented reality filter. We believe that using technology to enhance the expression of our ideas allows us to create immersive experiences for our customers.


How are you reinventing the landscape of Indian accessories that is largely overlooked by brands?

Our essence is to capture the dialogues around various sub-cultures. We see Gigai as a cult more than just trend-based products. Our products are made from the lens of being gender fluid and contemporary, making them wearable every day. We also focus on creating fiction through our products, as we believe it allows people to escape the daily grind and be whoever they want to be. Our ultimatum evolves around the accessories to work as a functional extension of the body itself. 

Q.4) What is the story behind the unique name and how would you define the brand's identity?

The name 'Gigai' comes from Japanese fiction, specifically the anime Bleach, where Shinigami (gods or supernatural spirits) take on a vessel or body called a Gigai to interact with humans on earth. Our accessories are designed to be an encasement for the soul, helping it express itself through visual and tactile forms. The brand's identity is centred around the idea of the soul having the power to choose its own body and translate its characteristics through its chosen vessel.

Could you please provide some insight into the creative process behind the collections?

Our creative process is constantly evolving and draws inspiration from a variety of sources. We focus on converting concepts into functional objects of art, with a strong emphasis on innovation. We pay close attention to the details of our products, including the mechanisms and hardware of our bags and jewellery, in order to define the characteristics of each product. We also strive to create technology-based experiences that support the storytelling behind each product.


The collections also experiment with opposing characteristics of the old and new world while also considering the unique shapes found in nature. What is the process behind such creations?

Our inspirations are drawn from a wide range of sources, including nature and the unique shapes it produces. We also experiment with combining opposing characteristics of the old and new world in order to create a sense of contrast and interest. Our process revolves around constantly experimenting and seeking new sources of inspiration to inform our creations. For example, our Yusei pendant was inspired by a tooth, and we have experimented with techniques like vapour curing gold on glass and combining gold with rubber and stainless steel to keep our focus on design and innovation.

How do you envision the future of Gigai? Will you be expanding beyond accessories or is there something new in store?

We take a flexible approach towards our product categories and plan to further add to them over time. Currently, we have been focusing on accessories, but we also have experience with store takeovers, pop-ups, and collaborations, such as our ongoing partnership with Capsul and our creation of a bag for H&M Innovation. In the coming months, we have more experiential showcases planned as we strive to bring our product and technology experiences from the screen to the physical world. Overall, we envision a bright future for Gigai as we continue to grow and evolve as a brand.

Find them here.

Related Stories

No stories found.