Doshi, Nipa & Levien, Jonathan


My Beautiful Back Side can be ordered by calling DesignReasons at 215 873 0400

Nipa Doshi & Jonathan Levien

These two innovative artists have teamed up to produce a cultural hybrid of designs, integrating various ethnicties and highlighting visual fun. By fusing different traditions they have created the ultimate in contemporary balance. Considering that Nipa Doshi’s (Nipa) designs are rooted in her homeland, India, and Jonathan Levien (Jonathan), born into an English family from Scotland, a creator immersed in industrial production, their innovations have merged in ultimate matrimony, both figuratively and literally.
Nipa was born in a Gujaranti family in Bombay and it may have been the influence of her grandfather, an impressive collector and commissioner of furniture, that geared her toward design. At the early age of 17, she was offered a place at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad. Specializing in furniture, she graduated in 1994. However, at the time, her focus in interior decorations was frowned upon in India. Thus, she began her exploration between the relationships involving craft, design and cultural identity. It so happened that Nipa was introduced to Jasper Morrison, who then influenced her to apply for her Masters at in Furniture Design at the Royal College of Art (RCA). Her talents were awarded with a scholarship at RCA and after her graduation she returned to India to work in crafts. However, her separation from London did not last long, for the following year she returned and worked for SCP and David Chipperfield.

Jonathan, on the other hand, always wanted to be an inventor. While growing up in his parents’ toy factory in Scotland, he was inundated with huge stamping machines and massive materials. He left school at the age of 16 to study cabinet making. However, he wanted to expand his horizons and decided to study design. Therefore, in 1990, he entered Bucks College in High Wycombe for a BA design course. Then, furthering his education at RCA in order to obtain his MA in furniture design, he entered a friendship with Nipa which flowered into the marriage we are highlighting as you read.

Having met as students of The Royal College of Art, they got married in 2000 and began production at their studio with a commission from Tom Dixon, creative director of ‘Habitat.’ Though developed an intrigue for their bright colors and exquisite craftsmanship, specifically, in their furniture design, their creations have streamed through various arenas, such as cookware, window installations, and office landscapes. Nipa, born in 1971, and Jonathan, born in 1972, has hinted at what expects to be a whirlwind of continual masterpieces. It is also interesting to note that Jonathan worked for Ross Lovegrove in 1997, originator of Mercury Lighting series.

2003- FX Design Award -Tefal Mosaic wins ‘best furnishing or accessory for residential interiors.”

2004 - Created a series of window installations for Welcome Trust creating the history and objectives the corporation wanted to convey to the general public.- Nipa gives a presentation on Cultural Capital as a resource for innovation in design.- Exhibition for British Council called ‘Global Local.’ This was a touring exhibition coupled with a seminar. Both Nipa and Jonathan spoke about cultural identity and its impact on industrial design. Encompassing an exclusive group of designers that focused on international sensibility which developed through research and world-wide journeys, they expressed the application of their experiences within the framework of local environments. After completing a tour in India, this exhibition was hosted by Victoria and Albert Museum.

2005– Pecha Kucha Nights. – Meaning ‘chit-chat,’ in Japanese, along with other participants, they presented a slide show.
- Participated in Materialise Forum at The Royal College of Art in London. The discussion was based on the perception of materials in industrial design.- In Biennale, Lisbon they were given a generous commission by the British Council for an installation called “My World: The new subjectivity in design,” touring at The Contemporary Art Center in Vilnius, the Norsk Form in Oslo and the Design Museum in London. - B&B Italia Award – to produce work for the British Council exhibition ‘My World.’- Voted Blueprint Sessions product designer of the year by Blueprint Magazine.

2006 – Herman Miller, well known for not only his furniture corporation, but his collaboration with many famous designers, such as Charles and Ray Eames, creator of DesignReasons Elephant Chair, to collaborate on a ‘design exploration, approached Nipa and Jonathan to concepts for new office landscaping. -They spoke of design and identity in emerging economies in a seminar at The Franz Meyer Museum located in Mexico City.- They also participated in another seminar for ArtQuest Intersection about approaching collaborative practice. - Their verbal finesse continued at Doga Norsk Form located in Norway when the discussed “The New Subjectivity in Design.”

2007 – Morosa commissioned Nipa and Jonathan to develop a collection of daybeds for Salone del Mobile, combining the spirit of India and Italy. Marking their motto of opposites that attract, this couple marked their presence. -They were given the Wallpaper award for Best Breakthrough Design. - The Arts Council of England awarded these innovators substantial grants in order to develop four pairs of shoes with her majesty’s boot-maker located on St. James Street in London, Joe Lobb called Apprentice. - Winning The Movado Future Legend Award ( The Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in New York) that honors “exceptional talent in the creative arts,” they teamed up with the Moroso ‘Charpoy’ range in order to display their “Quick Takes” exhibition series. - In The Best of European Design a conversation was displayed between Jaime Hayon, Louise Campbell, Jonathan Levien and Nipa Doshi. This was chaired by Caroline Roux, who was the writer, curator and journalist.

2008 – Doshi Levien was asked to speak at the Design Indaba Conference, attended by approximately 2,000 people and was joined with praised professionals from all over the world.

DesignReasons sells all Moroso Sofas and Moroso Chairs. Call for information at 215 873 0400. My Beautiful Back Side is one of the most creative sofas designed today. My Beautiful Back Side is colorful, contemporary and modern at the same time.