Founded in 2011, Apical Reform is an India-based collaborative design studio with a showroom in d3 that specialises in designing items ranging from collectible furniture to bespoke design-art pieces. Patel discussed his philosophy and his future with id.
What is your design philosophy?
We strive to design moments – they can be a single coffee table or large-scale installations. We seek to create the extraordinary by elevating the user’s experience – both functionally and emotionally.
Why did you pursue sound and design?
It’s exciting to see something you have only heard, be it someone’s name being formed into a soundwave graphic, or the sound of the city – the onlooker instantly connects with the graphic representation of a sound.
Can you describe the process of designing your new d3 showroom?
We wanted to create a blank canvas really, [one] that was adaptive to each piece and collection. We like to stay minimal and sleek, and let the work do the talking. We wanted it to be a space that anyone could relate to and feel welcome [in].
What one item represents your collection?
Our chair, Betula. It’s a sinuous structure made entirely out of birch ply and it’s an example of fluid deconstructivism. Our next collection will be inspired by nature. Thanks to modern tech, we don’t need to limit ourselves to exploring Earth. We are looking at the topography of the wider galaxy!
Why is collaboration necessary for success?
We live in an ever-shrinking world. We all – as a race – need to collaborate. If we don’t, we will all stagnate. In the face of Brexit and Trump, we need to come together.
Who are your top three favourite architects?
Zaha Hadid, Santiago Calatrava and Tadao Ando.
What is your advice for design students?
Go slow and observe. See as much as you can, make as much as you can and make as many mistakes as you can afford to. And be open to seeking out like-minded individuals and mentors.
What was the best part about exhibiting at this year’s Design Days?
It really had a sense of community – everyone was rooting for the others. To have His Highness Sheikh Mohamed visit us was THE highlight. We didn’t even expect he would know about us and the installation but there he was, engrossed in the process behind it.
The response at Design Days Dubai has been phenomenal. I made really cool contacts and met inspiring people I can call friends. We look forward to collaborations and touring with ‘Sonuslexica’. Also on the cards are key collaborations with local designers.