Cross-linking disciplines from contemporary design practice and production to design anthropology and cultural trends, From the Frugal to the Ornate: Stories of the Seat investigates and spotlights the seat’s relationship with its sitter, and other people in its periphery. Sarita Sundar's book examines the power the seat wields, and the power it grants by sheer association. Bestowing life and spirit into objects, the book asks: what is the seat for, what are the worlds to which it belongs, and what worlds have been (and will be) opened by it?
By deconstructing the seat, From the Frugal to the Ornate: Stories of the Seat in India, reflects upon the marked shift in the way practitioners, users, and analysts conceptualize and engage with object culture and a subsequent ‘turn to the material’.
About Sarita Sundar
Sarita Sundar’s practice and research span heritage studies, popular and visual culture, and design theory. At Hanno, her heritage interpretation and design consultancy, she combines 30+ years of working with brand strategy and design solutions with her academic training in museum studies. Over the years, she has engaged in critical enquiries into how culture engages with the visual, ranging from research into Indian vernacular typography (Indians don’t like White Space, 2016-) to studies of intangible culture in performance practices(The Goddess and her Lieutenant: objects systems at a village festival, 2016). Her present research and writing focus on seating cultures in India, in collaboration with The Godrej Archives, Mumbai, and will culminate in a publication and an online exhibition in 2022. She has contributed an essay on recording crafts in India for an edited volume by Routledge.
Sarita has a Postgraduate degree (M.Des.) in Visual Communications from the National Institute of Design, NID, Ahmedabad (1990) and a Master of Arts in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester, UK (2016). She was a founding partner at an award-winning multi-disciplinary design company, Trapeze for a decade before moving her focus to her research interests at Hanno. She received The Professor Eilean Hooper-Greenhill Academic Prize for 2016 from the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, and an Arts Research Grant from the India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) to study Poothan Thira, a Ritual Performance from Kerala (2015-2017).
This book is published by Godrej & Boyce.