Lekha Washington: EDIDA 2015 Young Talent winner

AUG 11, 2016 | By Tasneem Merchant
Kiku lamp, her EDIDA winning product is inspired by Medusa’s hair. The Pocket Square chair is a part of the products she developed from the core idea of the Pink Sink. Pink sink chair appears like a flat seater, but the moment you sit on it, the fabric stretches and you “sink” into it.
As far as inspirations go, Lekha’s has the most unique answer – insomnia. “I stay up till 3:00 am obsessing about an idea. Later, I execute it. I don’t know where an idea comes from, it shows up in my brain from something or somewhere and I try to look at it from different ways to figure out how it would work with various materials,” she reveals.
The Mumbai based designer takes about six months or more to complete her process, beginning from the core thought to the final product. “Most people in this space spend a month and half at the most. I don’t mind spending so much time because I make a basket of products with the idea. So I don’t mind spending a lot of time on it,” she adds.
A graduate from NID, she didn’t immediately pursue designing as a career and veered towards the world of acting. So winning an EDIDA for her creations marks an important milestone for her. “I had a lag of eight years as compared to my peers. I feel fairly sorted that I figured all of this a little while ago. It feels wonderful to win an EDIDA because it is an acknowledgment of the fact that what you’re doing makes sense.”
Taking the mantle for Young Talent also gave her the chance to exhibit at Ambiente, Frankfurt. The opportunity came at a time when Lekha was looking at taking her products to the International market, which is the direction she wants to take her company, Ajji, in. “I’m toying between the ideas of going a little more mass or going a little more international. I haven’t made my decision yet so who knows,” she adds.
Currently, she is exploring the tricky world of technology for her upcoming products and is also experimenting heavily in art and art based installations, one of which she tells us, would be at the Burning Man festival scheduled later in the year.
Website: www.ajji.in
Also read: The 15 Indian artists you must follow now!