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Old makes way for the new



Stylish and compact furniture is in.

FURNITURE PLAYS an important role in defining the ambience of a place, be it home or office. These days interiors are a medium to make style statements. Gone are the days when one looked for ornate carved wooden furniture to deck up one's home or work place. Modular furniture in contemporary colours and patterns dominate the market scene today. Pan Asia Furniture, an important player in the market, makes furniture to fit today's compact spaces.

The company, which concentrates on corporate furniture, manufactures workstations, storage systems, and office furniture, partitions, kitchen, and interior design samples. Headed by Niranjan N., an architect, the company combines "technology with style and comfort to design furniture". But what triggered his interest in furniture making? "I belong to a family of carpenters. My father, the late Nagappa, was into designing wooden furniture. He was also involved in designing the exquisite wooden creations for Vidhana Soudha," says the man who says he is a carpenter first and then architect. Though he worked only as a "helper" with his father, he soon observed that people preferred something different from wood and that is how he got involved with designing modular furniture.

Mr. Niranjan studied architecture in UVCE (University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering) and began comparing the methods used by his father to current trends in furniture making, and finally decided to opt for the latter "as it was a matter of survival. These days nobody wants wooden furniture. It is all modular pieces — a combination of artificial wood and metal. Even wood has become scarce these days," explains the designer, who started the Pan Asia Systems Furniture in 2000.

He feels his insight into architecture has given him "an added advantage", as he wanted to use "nature as a theme", incorporating the idea of the five elements.

Mr. Niranjan uses more of metal and wrought iron in his designs. One finds several geometrical angles and designs, or furniture with simple straight metal lines. "This is contemporary furniture," says the man who also specialises in designing modular furniture that can be assembled and dismantled within "10 to 15 minutes".

He and his team have been involved in "intense research and development and have finally invented their own method of modular furniture". Multinational companies are among its clients. "They prefer to use modular furniture and most of my creations are designed to suit their corporate needs," explains Mr. Niranjan. Some of his products are exported to Dubai and Finland.

Modular furniture gets stereotyped after some time, says Mr. Niranjan who feels it is more challenging to make furniture the "old way, as there is more carpenter's touch in them. Yet with the material available today, we ensure that the product is cost effective, ergonomically sound, and aesthetically appealing".

Corporate furniture, says Mr. Niranjan, can be challenging too, as each customer has different needs and his ideas and demands are different.

Mr. Niranjan can be contacted on 98450-46908/98440-60663.

SHILPA SEBASTIAN R.

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