How An Indian Design House Is Elevating Swings To Functional Pieces Of Living Space Art

L: Claire de Lune
R: Sea of Poppies
L: Claire de Lune R: Sea of PoppiesDesign Ni Dukaan

Quite recently, a friend with a penchant for upcycling boring old furniture into absolute pieces of art shared images of her living space with me. While there were a million details that stood out - the mini version of the traditional Kerala Swing bed or Attukattil is what instantly caught my eye. The idea of a swing bed is nothing new, but my friend’s traditional wooden swing bed with metal bracings added undeniable character to the space but with a suprising air of comfort. One could almost imagine lazing away on an afternoon, reading on the swing. From the hammock to the porch swing and from finely crafted designer swing sets to those made from ropes and a tyre, swings are fun, functional and if chosen well - a great piece of decor. 

Debunking the notion of what a swing is supposed to be traditionally, Design Ni Dukaan is elevating the regular swing beyond their functional purpose, and making them into statement pieces for your spaces through their latest ‘Debunk’ collection. Founded by architect Veeram Shah in 2013, Design Ni Dukaan is a multidisciplinary design studio from Ahmedabad and a staunch champion for collaborative innovation. From large architectural projects and interior design consults to detailed furniture design, the brand engages across the realms of the field for each project. 

Following their overarching philosophy that 'design is a collective experience', for the Debunk collection, the brand worked with artists from other disciplines as well as with talented craftsmen to create the swings. According to the brand, for each project, they “integrate inputs from all team members, including designers, carpenters, and artisans. This collaborative approach ensures that both intellectual and technical aspects are harmoniously balanced in their projects.”

Blending creativity with craftsmanship seamlessly, the Debunk collection is rethinking the traditional Indian swing as a sculptural piece of functional art - made from materials that range from hand-painted acrylic to pieces of fabric. While the collection features six design variants, two of them were created solely by the in-house team at Design Ni Dukaan - the Clair de Lune and the Fire Ball.

Claire de Lune is a beautiful birch ply and metal-crafted swing set that was inspired by the serenity of a moonlit night. Crafted to evoke peace, the dark hue and fluid arrangement of modules on the sophisticated swing make it a beautiful accent piece for any space. The Fire Ball on the other hand is crafted from micro-concrete and metal and is a single-seater, sleek and elegant swing for smaller spaces and much like the rope and tyre swings (but better) - designed for 360-degree rotation. The brand note on the collection mentioned how this particular piece was designed to evoke the hues of the changing sky from sunrise to sunset through its terracotta hues and minimal design. 

The Altered Reality from the collection was created in collaboration with artist Debangshu Moulik whose style is characterised by bold lines, vibrant colours, and influence from comic books and traditional Indian art. Featuring hand-painted acrylic over HDF shell and Mild Steel, the whimsical swing features playful, comical imagery that almost transports one to an alternate reality - dotted with the motifs that the artist personally holds close like cats, soaring kites and blooming Champa trees. The brand even offers one the option to customisable the swing to capture the owner’s personal journey and narrative through this bespoke piece.

The Kaleidochaos swing crafted in collaboration with artist Priyanka Thaker of House of Berserk bears marks of her distinct love for bold hues and exploration of identity and space through design. The Teakwood and Mild Steel crafted swing is modular and features snap-on armrests and backrests that can be calibrated to fit into the swing in varying ways for different seating configurations. With vibrant colours, bold patterns and a modular design, the Kaleidochaos has been crafted to be a conversation starter. 

A true blue innovator who found his own way of crafting attire without wastage, Anuj Sharma of Button Masala is another collaborator who brought his signature technique of crafting pieces using buttons and rubber bands with fabric to the Debunk collection. The ‘Sea of Poppies’ swing is crafted from cane, metal and textile and is a dynamic piece of furniture with 10,000 fabric buttons on a pixelated surface, according to the brand. As is signature to the artist, the swing is one that people can interact, reshape and engage with - allowing for endless customisation and creative exploration.

L: Claire de Lune
R: Sea of Poppies
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Last but not least, the Nebula is a swing set that was crafted in collaboration with architect Rohan Shroff who has a deep love for Terrazzo. Made from the architect’s favourite Terrazzo and Mild Steel, the Nebula swing is inspired by the celestial world with its details in vibrant hues of indigo and motifs of ellipsoid rings akin to distant galaxies. This Nebula swing set for Design Ni Dukaan is one among the many iterations of how Rohan Shroff has been pushing the boundaries when it comes to featuring Terrazzo for contemporary spaces and applications. 

From the interactive, textured Sea of Poppies to the striking Claire de Lune, the pieces from Design Ni Dukaan’s latest collection are a welcome break from the now prominent array of minimal, trendy, and/or often forgettable decor pieces. If you’re someone who is looking to add something to your space - living or commercial - that can be a conversation starter, the Debunk collection might be something to take a swing at. 

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