From the old is born the new. `E’thaan’ is a Lotha Naga Indian word for something`new’. E’thaan stands for creative contemporary Indian design rooted in traditional skills but infused with a new spirit. Indian design like the word ‘Indian’ stands for many things. It is not typical or singular but diverse in style and content as the many peoples and cultures it represents. We work with the many exciting and varied Indian craft traditions from Nagaland to Kashmir and seek to create an Indian design identity that we can call our own. A path that leads away from the typical abstract style of the steel and glass western contemporary. A path that belongs to today but still retains the quality of warmth that comes from the embers of an old fire.
Our work based solely on fair trade principles and natural materials, hopes to be a small attempt to preserve Indian craft skills and invigorate them through creative design. Here the artisan's skill and the designer's creativity come together in original design . E’thaan now specialises in wood and bamboo based craft design and skill instruction.
E’thaan designs bamboo, wood and stone based architecture and furniture, lights, table ware and interiors with craft inputs. The master artisans who work and partner with us are paid according to a certain standard, in recognition of their hand skills. Their skills can only be preserved if they get the respect that is their due.
The potters wheel may be mechanized but the pot can only be shaped by the hands.
E’thaan showcases the work of architect and craft designer Ritu Varuni, based on the exploration and development of different Indian craft techniques. Her late co- founder partner, Bharati Chadha who passed away on 26th December 2011 used to head the marketing and sales team for E’thaan. E’thaan was started in April 2002 by Ritu Varuni and the late Bharati Chadha.
E’thaan has design associates and master craft instructors who collaborate with us on projects and exhibitions. We do a theme exhibition in Delhi every year at the India Habitat Centre. As part of our new craft initiative, we offer and conduct craft skill and design courses and workshops for institutions and schools, which we hope to develop into a regular and full time programme. This initiative looks to preserve craft skills and create an understanding of the importance of handskills in our lives.
Owner and Principal Designer
Ritu trained as an architect at the Institute of Environmental Design, D.C Patel School of Architecture, Vallabh Vidyanagar, Gujarat(1986-1991), India and has also been associated with craft design for the last 18 years. Her architectural work in residential and resort design, has been mostly in Delhi and Himachal Pradesh. The designs bear a distinct craft input and detailing with a speciality in wood and bamboo material.
The use, research and development of bamboo as a material for craft and architecture has been the focus of her work in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Nagaland since 1991. Representing India, she presented a paper titled `Bamboo craft development : A tool for the development and self sufficiency of the tribal rural communities of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland, India', at the Vth International Bamboo Congress, held in San Jose', Costa Rica,(1998,sponsored by INBAR). She also participated in the VIth International Technical Exchange Workshop on Bamboo Housing held in Costa Rica (November, 1998). She lived and worked in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam for 6 years(1994-1999). In Assam she worked in Majuli and Jorhat as a development associate with an NGO, AVARD-NE from 1997 to1998. She is an empanelled designer with the D.C Handicrafts, Ministry of Textiles. She has done various design development projects in Nagaland, Assam, Rajasthan, Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh for D.C Handicrafts, Sanskriti Foundation, Delhi, Rajasthali Emporium, Jaipur and the Craft Development Institute, Srinagar. The DASTKAR main office building was designed and executed by her in 2013 -14 and is an entirely handmade building with a bamboo wall and roof structure and many interior craft elements.
Our design associates
Chitrangi Verma, Craft designer, New Delhi ( full time assistant designer).
Prue Brown, Teacher and Sculptor , Australia
Our associate master craft instructors
Mohammad Kamil, Amroha (U.P),
Nungshi Renba, Dimapur, Nagaland
Khrolo , Dimapur, Nagaland
Mohan Kumar, Mathura, U.P
Beer Singh, New Delhi
SERVICES AND CRAFTS