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A human in everything

From scrap to hand crafted brass and designs with a human touch (literally), Mukul Goyal has redefined the Indian home decor. With human figures dominating his products, functional or non-functional, Goyal has found it easy to reach out to people not just in India but in a lot of other countries too.

Image of Mukul Goyal

Objects for tables, living area, office desktop, door knobs, curtain rods and even indoor lighting, there is no part of your everyday life that Mukul has left untouched. The men of steel in his designs either rest comfortably on a tape-cutter, or hold a mirror high for you to dress up, or even rest against a pen holder. His deigns fit the bill in your day-to-day operations, no matter what you are doing.

“Human figures have always inspired me. They connect with me intellectually. The designs are all so human that they connect instantly with everyone else too,” says the 47-year-old Principle Designer and Director, Designwise India Pvt. Ltd, a company which he started with a meagre INR 5,000 ($83) in hand. Such is his fixation with these human figures that every year he plans on quitting this range, but a new idea creeps in and gets him glued again.

The starting point

The lean men in his designs have gained so much popularity today, that people have forgotten about the times when he used to make ornaments. Not precious or semi-precious jewellery pieces, but the ones made out of scrap, such as old suitcases, unused fish-hooks, broken electrical appliances or a crushed watch. That was way back in 1993 when he decided that engineering (from IIT Kanpur) may give him a safe professional future, but can never bring him personal satisfaction that designing lent.

Trying to fulfil his Air Force Officer father’s dream of a flourishing career, Mukul did work for a year at a tractor plant in Faridabad, near Delhi, only to leave it and join the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad. To take his art a notch higher, Mukul went to Milan and studied product design at the famous Domus Academy. After finishing his course, Mukul went around looking for opportunities there, but realised Milan had more designers and artists than opportunities. He also realised how much India could offer him. Born in Mussourie and brought up in several cities across the nation, India continued to attract this passionate artist, who despite his father’s displeasure pursued his dream and excelled also.

Touchdown Delhi

In 1997, he landed straight in Delhi and started his first humble studio in the village area of Saidulajab, with merely 20 products. It wasn’t an easy journey though. While creating designs with each passing day, he was also struggling to market his products. “And it wasn’t so difficult either. While I knew people could spend even INR 5,000 ($83) per meter on curtain, it came as surprise they didn’t mind buying curtain rods for Rs. 2,500 ($41),” says Mukul, sitting in his plush Gurgaon studio. Mukul’s collection includes bottle openers, ice cream scoops, cheese knives, Ice buckets, stirrers, coasters and napkin rings, among many others. And in all these, one thing that stays common is the men in steel, doing either acrobatics, or weight lifting, just sitting and relaxing.

Well rooted

The brand name Mukul Goyal, along with Tattva Art Hardware, may have made a mark in high-living not just in Delhi or India, but 30 other countries, his reality continues to stick to him and his designs. Scrap still forms an important part of his products. Noticing the surprise on your face, Mukul starts explaining: “Scrap continues to inspire me. I have always wanted to enhance the value of scrap, exploit its utility. It also tells you how to make the best out of nothing.”

Love for Delhi

Delhi has given this maverick designer everything he could ever ask for. “It’s a haven of craftsmen from across the country. While the romance is in the city’s throbbing craft industry, it is also a good place to start something without much capital investment,” he says.

If not Delhi...

“I could be in Ahmedabad or Jaipur or any other city which is rich in craft and possibilities,” he says.

Delhiites must love Delhi

Goyal is proud of Delhi’s rich cultural heritage. “There is so much to explore and live with here. Delhiites should also smile more at each other. I hate the brazenness of people here – their ‘me first’ attitude,” he insists.

Foodies’ paradise

Mirchi pakoda at the Rajasthan food stall of Dilli Haat and the north Indian food at Pandara Road are Goyal’s favs.

Places of personal interest

Paranthewali Gali in Chandni Chowk.

Website: www.mukulgoyal.com





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