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9 Qs with Kangan Arora

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  • Introduce us to your beautiful work

    I am a London-based designer primarily working with colour and print – often, but not exclusively, in textiles. My work centres around geometry, abstraction, pattern application and exploring the Indian visual vernacular. With a strong focus on the language of colour and print processes, this manifests itself across a range of products including soft furnishings, rugs, tapestries, stationery and more. 
  • Where do you find inspiration?

    Honestly, everywhere. I’m surrounded by things I’ve collected – photographs I’ve taken, objects I’ve found or scavenged, colour samples and swatches that contribute to my ever growing colour library. Trips home to India, visits to exhibitions or sometimes just a mundane walk to the corner shop are all inspiring – as a designer, you have to always keep your eyes open and your phone on hand to snap it – 19,690 photos and counting…
  • What motivates you?

    Coming to my studio. I look around me and think – I actually get to do what I do and call it work. It’s not always easy, but it is where I’m happiest. You can’t ask for more than that.
  • Describe yourself in 3 words?

    Colour-obsessed, Curious & Happy
  • How’s your journey been?

    It’s been a joyful and educational ride. I got started by designing and producing my own products, then finding suitable stockists via trade shows or selling directly on my online shop. But over the past 6 years I’ve transitioned into more of a design studio; collaborating with brands and focusing on the creative process – generally leaving the production to the experts! I’ve been lucky to have worked on some really diverse and exciting projects – print design for IKEA and the Tate, packaging design for REN Skincare, large scale site-specific tapestries for Piercy & Co. As well as an ongoing rug partnership with Floor Story. Every project is different and keeps me on my toes. I also lecture at Central Saint Martins, which was my own alma mater several years back.
  • What’s your biggest achievement?

    Seeing my work appear in IKEA stores worldwide was pretty special. I’m a big believer of design being accessible to all and IKEA manages that better than almost anyone else. I’ve lived in London for 17 years and visited the Tate more times than I can remember, so working with them was also a bit of a dream.
  • What is it about Anglepoise?

    I love that it’s a family owned business. Products are about the people behind them, and I know that Anglepoise is as much about community as it is about the product. I also love how timeless it is – the same form approached through different eyes, whether it’s Paul Smith or the National Trust – something for everyone… the democracy of design coming into play again, as I mentioned earlier.
  • What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

    Be the last man standing, keep showing up to work everyday!
  • What’s next?

    The next few years will be spent juggling studio time, teaching and having a young child. It’s challenging but really forces a work life balance that I’m enjoying. There are some exciting projects in the pipeline involving stationery and traditional block print – I can’t reveal too much but watch this space. Visit Kangan’s website