The project “Modular, modern & more- the works of Rolf Misol and Max Janisch at NID” is an archival project completed with the support of the NID Archives. It reflects upon the design pedagogies and transcultural dialogue between different schools of design which happened in the formative years of the institute. Rolf Misol and Max Janisch arrived at NID on the recommendation of renowned furniture designer Arno Votteler and helped in establishing the furniture design course at NID. Their work showcases the blend of German design sensibilities mixed with traditional Indian design giving birth to modular and modern designs that could be mass-produced.
The furniture archival collection at the NID archives holds a lot of such inspiring works that may aid researchers and scholars alike. Bringing the works of Rolf Misol and Max Janisch into light via this project would be beneficial in understanding the history of the course, delving into their design process, observing the ethos ‘form follows function’ and eventually mapping the history of furniture design education in India. The outcome of the project is a furniture catalogue that houses both these designers’ furniture collections, dives into the history of the institute, talks about furniture design and design pedagogies across disciplines and endorses the conservation of important information. The project also ensures that the furniture archival collection at the NID Archives is accessible to whoever seeks to know about the rich history of the institute and the many forgotten names that were associated with it. The project encompasses the relationship between designers and the documentation process via reforming lost imagery to further cement their connection with photography practises.