My World

Installation Lisbon Experimenta 2005

My World installation was commissioned by the British Council in 2005 and is partly inspired by the shops of ancient but still functioning markets in India. Customers remove their shoes, sit on a mattress and spend time talking to the maker about what they need. The objects resulting from this transaction are made with great care and are extremely personal both to the maker and the consumer. The atmosphere of the shops yields a strong impression of having entered a world; the craftsman’s world; infused with unique smell, touch and creative possibility. Doshi Levien created an installation that asks the viewer to consider — or buy, as it were — the values and aspirations they observed in these shops. They created a liminal space between two worlds, Indian and European, imaginary and real.

The Mattress created for the My World installation inspired the Charpoy collection of daybeds designed for Moroso, the first collaboration between Moroso and Doshi Levien, launched during Milan Design Week 2007.

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The objects allude to Indian archetypes and respond to social observations for example the importance of shops for social exchange, not only commercial transactions so the mattress is hand-embroidered with the board markings for Chaupar, an ancient Indian dice game. Most Indian households use a rounded terracotta drinking water vessel — a matlo — that cools water to 14° below ambient temperature without refrigeration. The dress is made using 6 metres of fine Mul Mul cotton, hand woven in West Bengal. It is Inspired by the Indian courtesan’s dress with asymmetrical neck line that is discreet yet revelatory. The mul mul cotton is vernacular to a hot climate and is used to ventilate the body naturally. The table combines archetypal forms of a work desk with sensual materials and proportions normally associated with pleasure, expressing the notion of work as a source of pleasure. The fan is mirrored taking on the identity of its environment.