January 20, 2015

Objects full of life by Rayden Design

by Anusha Narayanan

Rayden Design is an art and design practice based in Pune founded by Parul and Mooshir Vahanvati. Their work has an industrial, experimental quality, and is multidisciplinary, ranging from robotics to lifestyle furniture.

Parul has a Bachelor’s in Architecture and a Masters in Industrial Design, following which she practised for several years in small design firms in Mumbai and New York. She always has had an affinity towards working in smaller setups as bigger, corporate environments gave her the “yikes”, as she says. She has a keen interest in observing people and she is certain that behavioral patterns are key in solving most problems around us. Mooshir on the other hand, says that he ended up becoming an artist, “Despite cosmic efforts to push me towards the medical profession”. He pursued a Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering and followed it with a Masters in Visual Communication at NYU.

In order to understand this partnership, we took a look at two very diverse projects from their portfolio: Maximus, which is a robotic table-lamp and the Play Series, which is their latest exploration in brass.



Maximus has been designed to explore how humans are emotionally tied to the objects around them. It attempts to make our environment feel “less mechanical”. Maximus is a pet robotic table-lamp with a personality. His body is the same as a standard table-lamp made in aluminum, nylon and acrylic, but his peculiarity is that he is touch-sensitive and reacts to his surroundings. The mechanism is such that “it is powered by several actuators, which allows him to be responsive. The behavior and movement is controlled through an arduino-based micro-controller.”

Maximus – A light full of life from Rayden Design Studio on Vimeo.

Since their work shows an attempt to explore different concepts and finishes, we asked Parul and Mooshir about how they approach each new project. “Our inspiration stems from different places at different times. We find ourselves inspired by experiences, materials and curiosity. Sometimes it is about fulfilling a particular function. For the most part, I would say, the people around us, and the environment we live in, are our inspiration. For us, to achieve good design it has to be a concoction of a lot of thoughts – be it provocative, witty, explorative, humorous or experiential. We are particular about materials and precise manufacturings.”

Currently, the pair are focused on establishing their brand of everyday products. They do try to work on experimental projects such as Maximus when they can, but these are indulgences that require considerable time and money.

Play series:

Inspired by cherished memories from childhood and a salute to the small joys of life, ‘play is a series of table-top accessories for home and office. Play came about as an exploration in creating simple, happy objects using metal processes.

1playBOAT is a tiny, brass, boat-shaped container, filled with black ‘fish’ paper-clips.

6playPLANE is used to hold a photo, a memo, a card or a menu. Whatever the use, it innocently sits propped on the table, waiting for the reader.

3playHOUSE is functionally a paper weight in the shape of a typical cottage we see in a child’s first sketches.

To browse through Rayden’s experiments and latest musings, visit their Facebook page and Vimeo Profile.

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