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Godrej Archives launches “From the Frugal to the Ornate”

~The book takes its readers through the evolution of seats and chairs in India over the years

Godrej Archives

Mumbai, 22nd July 2022- Godrej Archives, today launched a book titled, “From the Frugal to the Ornate- Stories of the Seat in India” at Kala Ghoda in the presence of Dr. Pheroza J. Godrej, Chairperson, Godrej Archives Council and Mr. Swapneel Nagarkar, Senior Vice President and Business Head, Godrej Interio.

Launched in the 125th year of Godrej, From the Frugal to the Ornate: Stories of the Seat in India is a compilation of several thoughtful essays by Sarita Sundar —researcher, writer, designer, and the curator of this most unusual book as well as a few essays from other experts and researchers of the subject. The book traces the evolution of the Seat over centuries from a simple ‘Baithak’ to the advanced ergonomically designed modern chair, while meandering through the social, political, cultural, and historical landscape of the Indian subcontinent. The book reflects upon the marked shift in the way practitioners, users, and analysts conceptualise and engage with object culture, and a subsequent ‘turn to the material’. It attempts to bring together ideas emerging from different time periods and geographies under the same theme in order to unravel the historical significance of narratives in the context of seating. Striking images sourced from museums, private collections, design studios, artisans and other individuals for the book, showcase myriad forms of seating from antique to modern, from frugal to the ornate.

Dr. Pheroza J. Godrej and Mr. Swapneel Nagarkar welcomed the attendees to the book launch and gave a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has contributed to making this book successful. Vrunda Pathare, Head, Godrej Archives who played an integral role in putting this book together joined Sarita Sundar, Author & Founder, Hanno to unveil the book. The unveiling was followed by a discussion featuring Sarita Sundar, the author of the book and Kaiwan Mehta, theorist and critic in the fields of visual culture, architecture, city studies and Dean, Balwant Sheth School of Architecture. Their conversation dwelled on the inspiration behind writing this book, the deeper meaning of the title and what it signifies, the research undertaken to explore and establish the various narratives around seating in the book.

"Godrej Archives’ collaboration with Sarita Sundar and Hanno on this project is a way to consummate our shared preoccupation with objects, their ‘thingness’, and their histories. Godrej & Boyce has a legacy of its own and has played a lead role in furniture design and has taken significant steps towards socially responsive research and innovation over the years. This book was an opportunity to contextualise Godrej's role in designing furniture in the larger Indian narrative shedding light on how the concept of seating has evolved in India.”, says Vrunda Pathare, Head, Godrej Archives.

About Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd.

Godrej & Boyce (‘G&B’), a Godrej Group company, was founded in 1897, and has contributed to India’s journey of self-reliance through manufacturing. G&B patented the world’s first springless lock and since then, has diversified into 14 businesses across various sectors from Security, Furniture, Aerospace to Infrastructure and Defence. Godrej is one of India’s most trusted brands serving over 1.1bn customers worldwide daily. For more information, visit