Q&A: Indo-German Duo Nikita Bhate and Pascal Hien of Reclaimed Stories

3 months ago

Indian designer Nikita Bhate and German designer Pascal Hien teamed up to create a unique line of furniture called Reclaimed Stories. It marries Indian craft and German sensibilities, with behavioural insights driving the ultimate function of the products. “Each of our objects carries a unique story. They are based on observations we’ve made, for example, people often like to sit cross-legged. Our BARZA sofa is therefore made deeper and higher than usual to offer the perfect experience,” says Hien. Our focus on homegrown design labels continues as the minimal and modern collection enters Le Mill, we caught up with Hien about the collaboration:

How was the furniture line Reclaimed Stories born?
We have both been curious to see the world from different angles, me while living in USA, Berlin and Paris, Nikita while studding in Madrid and Portugal, eventually leading us to Italy. Nikita and I met at Fabrica, a renowned research centre for design, in Italy. After finishing the program we decided to collaborate out of our mutual interest in Indian culture, traditions and crafts.

What was it that drew you to each other’s work?
At Fabrica, our conversations often evolved around our origins, what we are about and what we want to become. We carried on with that after we left and it has led us on an exciting journey together.

What was the most challenging part of putting this together?
Our struggle was often around finding the right producer that could fulfil our demand of quality and refinement. We have improved on that tremendously along the way.

What piece are you most proud of, or happiest with?
I am extremely happy with the collection as a full set. I’m proud of some choices we made along the process, like having TANKAN hand beaten out of Iron instead of using a more modern bending technique. We also designed many more objects that didn’t make it through but these will be published in the next collection.

Barza/Balcony Lounge, reclaimed stories
Barza/Balcony Lounge uses teak as a base, and features a long and wide bolster headrest, an extended armrest and a cushion cover handmade out of upholstery using organic fabric from Ahmedabad. Photographs by Sameer Belvalkar.

What fabrics or materials are you drawn to?
We like natural materials that offer a great haptic experience, we like craft and the hard work it takes to bring shape to things.

Shop Reclaimed Stories at Le Mill. Note: Everything in this collection is made to order and customizable by material and colour.