Ranjan (Ronjon) Bordoloi, 27
Founder at Studio Bordoloi
Furniture and Interior Design, IIT Guwahati
Forbes 30 Under 30
Forbes 30 under 30 is a set of lists issued annually by Forbes Magazine and some of its regional editions. Asia and Europe have ten categories, for which 30 business and industry figures each are handpicked
Ranjan Bordoloi of Assam is the founder of Studio Bordoloi which he defines to be an Interdisciplinary Design, Art & Research Studio based in Guwahati, India. Ranjan has been chosen to feature in the coveted Forbes 30 Under 30 in Asia under the Design category.
Ranjan’s journey began while pursuing Furniture and Interior Design from IIT Guwahati. While researching on various materials and elements Bordoloi could use for his Final Year project he came across brass. The metal inspired Ranjan to create his first Pitoloi Chair.
He not only won the Park Elle Decor Student Award, 2015 (the best use of traditional material) for it; his work was chosen by Giulio Cappellini (Art Director, Milan-based Italian design firm Cappellini). He was picked to and showcase it at the Salone del Mobile in Milan in April 2015.
“What impressed me about Ranjan Bordoloi’s work is his sensitivity towards the materials. His projects are never obvious, but they are able to mix contemporary and innovative forms by using manufacturing techniques belonging to the artisan tradition of his country“ –Cappellini
For his collection ‘Pitoloi’, Ranjan was the only Indian to receive two awards at the last Red Dot Award, including the Best of the Best in the furniture category.
The collection ‘Pitoloi’ comprised small stools and a barstool. All made by cutting sheets of brass and given shape by wooden moulds, with the small pieces joined by an ancient floor-based coal welding technique.
The dying ancient craft of Assamese artisans of making utensils and artefacts by hammering brass is being revived by Bordoloi by using it. “Currently my work is very artisanal, but going forward, I would also like to get into industry, combine a high-tech production facility in the form of robots with artisans,” says Bordoloi.
Bordoloi also won the Godrej Design Labs competition in 2016 when he designed a Kaathfula Chair inspired by the shape of mushrooms.
“The North-Eastern part of India is very under-developed compared to other parts of India. There aren’t many industries with manufacturing facilities. But, hand-making techniques are still practised in small workshops and craft communities.
Their livelihood is fully dependent on it. Most of these crafts are dying out due to several issues. One of the primary issues is lack of innovation. They have been making traditional artefacts for local markets.
With my work with a brass utensil-making community, I have been trying to revive their craft through designing products for a wider audience and generate sustainable employment opportunities within the community”
-Ranjan Bordoloi, 27
Founder Studio Bordoloi
Forbes 30 Under 30, Design