Get Your Hands Dirty

Get Your Hands Dirty

August 1, 2011 Off By Pramathesh Borkotoky

While we were kids, mothers were seen on one of their most fearful modes when we got our hands dirty. As time passed, and we grew up Surf Excel came with line “Daag acche hai” meaning that getting dirty is fun. If that was not enough, we are presenting you with something after which you would be bound to say “Dirty Hands is awesome.” A few days back we came into contact with a company called Dirty Hands,  a design company and we liked their work so much that we decided to feature them in our most prestigious section, the Chef’s Pick. We got in touch with Zuby Johal, the Managing Director of Dirty Hands and had an interview with her.

1.       Tell us about the people involved in Dirty Hands and how they came together

The company was founded three years ago by Rajiv Subba and Mamta Gautam, both students of National Institute of Design (NID) specialists in Ceramic and Glass design. Rajiv Subba graduated from Chandigarh Art College where he perused sculpture and Mamta graduated from School of planning and architecture from Delhi where she graduated as an architect. During their academic course of two years at NID, they realized they had complementary skills and collaborated to help each other in their assignments. It was in 2008 they further collaborated to form ”DIRTY HANDS” at National design business incubation (NDBI). The team comprises of friends from there college days. The design house is a culmination of skilled and specialized architects, designers and artists under the same roof;). Our team comprises of fifteen talented and skillful individuals.

2.       Where are you based on and do you have any branches?

We have our office in Ahmedabad and we operate from here itself. According to the area of work visits are made to the destination. Both the clients and we finalize the number of visitations.

Hyper realistic model with live model Dhuri

3.       We saw images of your hyper realistic mannequins, and at the first look we thought them to be real people… and after knowing that they were mannequins we were completely speechless in awe. We understand that the perfection came after lots of hard work. What was the journey like till this point?

As I mentioned previously we believe in exploring various materials, which go beyond their conventional definitions. Hence when we were approached to work for Sadhu Vaswani museum in Pune about two years ago, we began to research and develop upon mannequins made in silicon.

The material was new to us and there was no organization in India where we could go and take

Prop for a movie

training or workshops to gain information on the material. It was each individual’s effort put in together that resulted in the product that you see today. The process is time consuming and we gathered all the information we could from the Internet and brain stormed to find solutions to bring out the best. The entire journey was magical there were days and nights when we did not sleep and just studied the material but as the saying goes no effort is ever wasted. In short the journey has been very fruitful. The credit goes to each and every individual working in the company we couldn’t have reached where we are without their hard work and support.

 4. Looking at your interesting work, we guess that your client base must be equally interesting. Tell us something about them.

We have worked for Sadhu Vaswani museum in pune that is a museum based on incidents based on his life It is a thrilling story based museum brought to life by use of art and modern technology. We have few museum works in our pipeline. We are also into prosthetics for bollywood movies and have completed a movie for Anurag Kashyup productions that will be released some time next year. We are also looking at medical prosthetics in the near future.  We believe that the material can be used for diverse purpose and has a good scope.

5. What are the greatest challenges in your business?

Props for a movie

The work is one of its kind and we are the pioneers in India. The market takes time in accepting new materials specially when the cost is high. This isone of the greatest challenges. We believe in challenging ourselves to reach to another level of perfection that at times becomes an immense challenge in itself.

6. Tell us about your most satisfying project.

Its difficult to pin point on any one project and say it was the most satisfying. Each project provides some form of satisfaction. But if I need to pick one up I would credit the Sadhu Vaswani museum because we have put in two years of hard work and the outcome has opened new arenas for us

7. Apart from making hyper realistic models, what else do you do? 

Each project that we undertake diversified ventures to come up with new piece of work. We have branched out in various fields which demand design intervention whether it is working on climate responsive architecture, interiors, lifestyle products, sculptures, tableware, installations, products for special concerns, prosthetics, hyper realistic props to even conducting workshops. We at ‘Dirty hands’, a design led initiative, believe in exploring various materials beyond their conventional definitions to realize new products, forms, function and experience.

We derive inspiration from anything and everything around us architecture, everyday items etc. Nature is probably one of the greatest influences of design inspiration for us – it’s simply everywhere.

We have worked for various clients but to name a few the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS) Goa, Starz club and Jyot exhibit Ahmedabad , Anurag kashyup productions, Sadhu Vaswani mission, Adani group etc.






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