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By Kanika Anand
Minimalism has been the centre of design conversation for almost a decade now. The Japanese philosophies of Zen and wabi-sabi are life-lessons on “less is more”. It’s influences are far reaching and beyond. What started as a movement in America after the second world war - undeniably influenced by the Japanese and their obsession with symmetry and cleanliness - was picked by the world very quickly. Don’t get me wrong - I’m all about keeping it down to the bare minimum. But when I’m out on the streets of Bangalore admiring the houses in pink, blue and orange, I get swept up by the madness that is colour. Minimalist though I may be, once in a rebellious while a devil urges - why not break the rules? 
So here I am at Lab Nilaya, playing with patterns, colours, materials and so much more. Making a conscious effort to mix this, that and everything, I start with overkill. Maximalism is in our roots, it’s the Indian way and I love it. We’re a diverse bunch speaking a million languages, dressing in different ways, with our own artistic traditions, food habits, ways in which we meet and greet. In a nutshell, we’re a lot. And it didn’t have to take Chris Martin and Beyonce to do a music video in India for me to realise that. 
“More is more” and even the modern Indian self is incomplete without the abundance of maximalism. The signs are everywhere, literally - on the display of hand-painted art that trucks in India present, on the back of a kaali peeli in Bombay, in the way the letterforms curl in Devanagari or the drop shadow that your local printer intentionally adds to your logo, it’s how the barbers’ tree canopied set-up has a bright blue chair in front of a mirror that gapes at its own reflection, it’s in the nine yards of fine fabric draped around the lady on the street, or the kolam she draws outside her house. It’s in the gulaal you throw on your loved ones on Holi and the henna on the bride’s hands, in the flaming red of the Gulmohar or the mauve of the Jacaranda, in the bright yellow of Marigolds offered to the gods. This isn’t overkill.
This is us.
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