This summer, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum will present Quicktake: Doshi Levien for Moroso, a special installation in the museum's Great Hall showcasing the designers' new "Charpoy" collection of daybeds and pillows for Moroso.
Doshi Levien's new project for Moroso combines Italian industrial production with the intricate, highly skilled handwork of Indian artisans. "Charpoy," which means four legs, is a reworking of an eponymous Indian daybed and comprises a cotton and silk mattress embroidered with the traditional chess-like game called "Chaupar." The artisans involved in the meticulous creation of each textile mattress stitch their names in Hindi on the final piece, thus helping to tell its story and origin. Doshi Levien has also designed a range of cushions entitled "Tools for Inspiration," in collaboration with a workshop of master textile craftswomen from Ahmedabad, India. The women specialize in patchwork, appliqué, mirror work, and traditional embroidery, using beautiful tools such as hand-forged scissors, thimbles, and marking chalk. The celebration of these tools was extended to include all of the simple objects Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien use and admire in their studio and home. Some of these objects are anonymous design classics from around the world; others relate the story of sensual activities like making chai tea, cooking, or sewing. The workshop was set up by Doshi's aunt in 1986 to responsibly train, encourage, and provide employment to highly skilled craftswomen.
This is the first in a series of Quicktake installations that will represent distinctive and inventive design from recent trade fairs and shows. Doshi Levien for Moroso debuted at the April 2007 Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the annual furniture fair in Milan, Italy.