After studying interior and furniture design at the Florence Design Academy in Italy, Tushant Bansal worked for a time in London before founding Tuba Design Studio in his native New Delhi in 2015. He now works on a variety of design projects in India and the UK and recently launched an intriguing furniture collection called ‘Kotega’.
Bansal (and his team of skilled Indian artisans) have been quietly designing and delivering bespoke home accessories to a handful of high-end design studios in London since 2017. He has put the insights gleaned about pairing practicality and quality with luxurious detailing to good use for his own designs. ‘Interiors need to have narrative – layers of meaning that work together to create not just a cohesive living environment, but also an experience that engages the senses,’ he says.
‘Kogeta’ means ‘burnt’ in Japanese and Bansal found inspiration in the Japanese ancient technique Shou Sugi Ban, which involves weatherproofing and preserving wood by burning it until it turns black. Shou Sugi Ban is also known as Yakisugi and traditionally was performed on Sugi wood, a type of Japanese cedar. The burning process creates a thin layer of carbon on the surface of the wood, which protects it in the same way that stains or sealants would.
The burnt, textural patterns became the key element of the ‘Kotega’ collection, with each handcrafted piece being charred then finished with wax. Bansal experimented with patinas on steel to complement the charred European ash wood frames and leather upholstery on seating pieces such as the handsome, Brutalism-inspired Kogeta Lounge Chair. Burnt wooden strips have been joined together to form a curtain-like pattern on the seat back, it’s solidity offset with slender metal legs.
The zig-zagging Kotega screen has an architectural form, with wooden planks of varying heights tipped with patinated steel. Each screen takes 35-40 working days to be produced by a Bansal’s team and it is limited to an edition of five pieces. There’s also an ash wood-and-steel bar cabinet (limited edition of 10), a slim console desk and a 19th-century inspired chair with piped leather detailing that offsets its utilitarian vibe. ‘Several of the pieces are made from waste wood or left over wooden pieces, keeping in mind the optimum use of natural resources,’ Bansal explains. ‘For example, the Kogeta Coffee Table is made from over 3000 pieces of waste wood, joined together and then burnt.’