Design Wallah

Southbank Centre are celebrating the 5th year of Alchemy, the annual festival showcasing the best of music, dance, literature, comedy, fashion, art and design from the UK and South Asia.

‘Design Wallah’ is Alchemy’s new showcase of South Asian contemporary design, curated by Shake the Dust for Southbank Centre. Celebrating newly emerging and established designers, the curated space in Festival Village- under Queen Elizabeth Hall- includes a pop-up shop featuring a wide selection of jewellery, interiors, artwork, stationery and gifts for sale.

In addition to this there will also be a chance at weekends to exercise your own creativity with a series of kite & printmaking workshops. Full details and booking information visit

Design Wallah takes places in Southbank Centre’s Festival Village- under Queen Elizabeth Hall- alongside the return of Roti Chai’s Chaat Shack and Bar.

Thursday 15 – Monday 26 May
Open everyday 12 noon – 10.30pm


Coca-doodle-doo screenprint by Natasha Kumar ©
Natasha Kumar showcases her bold prints including the popular Holy Cow series and the new work Great India. Kumar is an accomplished printmaker with a dedicated and growing following, her work is represented in private and national collections worldwide and the juxtaposition of contemporary and traditional India meeting pop-art sensibilities is a striking one.
Image: Coca-doodle-doo screenprint by Natasha Kumar ©

Kangan Arora
Kangan Arora is a contemporary textile designer originally from North India but now living in the UK. She creates beautiful Indian street culture-inspired products for the home. Kangan will be exhibiting her photographic print collection ‘Truckworks’ for Design Wallah; a vibrant display of images paying homage to the psychedelic painted trucks of India.In addition, Kangan will also be running kite-making and screen-printing workshops with Shake the Dust throughout Alchemy. Please visit the Southbank Centre website for full details and booking information.
Image: ‘Truckwork’ photographic series by Kangan Arora ©

Kangan Arora has created three striking rugs in a collaboration with East London-based company FLOOR_STORY, inspired by a kaleidoscopic array of circus tents and the excitement of an Indian kite-flying festival. Each rug is hand knotted using a traditional Tibetan Weave in 100% wool. Taking 3 months to produce, each piece is made to order, comes with a certificate of provenance and is supplied with a digital history, concept drawings, CADS and photos of its production story.
Image: ‘Kites’ Rug designed by Kangan Arora for FLOOR_STORY ©

Safomasi are award winning home decor designers Sarah Fotheringham and Maninder Singh. A reflection of Sarah’s background as an artist and illustrator and Maninder’s experience in fashion and production, they are inspired by both the everyday and the exotic. Their contemporary prints are the result of a mix of cultures and influences, observed and absorbed from their travels all over the world. Every single product is handmade and totally unique, and tells the story of a journey, through colour combinations and a distinct illustrative style.
Image: ‘Different Different’ Cushion by Safomasi ©

Lokesh Karekar is founder of Mumbai-based LOCOPOPO design Studio. Lokesh’s brand of contemporary graphics is inspired by traditional, modern India and has attracted commissions from national and international clients. His line of self-styled illustrative products including prints of Mumbai, Gandhi Topi hats and badges is fuelled by his unique aesthetic sense and combination of local culture and wit.
Image: From ‘Mumbai Prints’ Collection by Locopopo ©

Tanvi Kant
Tanvi Kant’s jewellery is designed and made through an exploration of the inherent qualities of an extensive range of reclaimed fabrics. The resulting forms of each fabric combination reflects the distinctive colour, weave, fibre and weight of the originating fabric. For Design Wallah, Tanvi will be showcasing a bright selection of one-off pieces.
Image: Copper Orange Looped necklace by Tanvi Kant ©

Josie Shenoy
Josie Shenoy’s intricate illustrations showcase her love of pattern, decoration and drawing. Alongside taking on commissions and freelance illustration work, Josie designs collections for print and textiles. She indulges her passion for vintage colour-ways through intricate pencil drawing, collage and traditional print methods fused with digital processes. Josie will debut a new collection at Design Wallah which draws on her Anglo-Indian heritage and love for decorative repeat inspired by her great-grandmother who worked for William Morris.
Image: ‘Peacock’ print by Josie Shenoy ©

Ekta Kaul
Ekta Kaul creates sumptuous silks, fine wools & the softest cashmere are embroidered, hand-dyed and printed using time-honoured methods. Each piece tells the story of the many hands that come together in its making. These hands belong to Ekta and a select group of skilled artisans she collaborates with in India & in Britain.
Image: Poem Scarf by Ekta Kaul ©

Sroop Sunar
Originating from the UK and currently based in London, Sroop moved to New Delhi in her teens where her love for Indian street culture and printed ephemera all started. From textile to matchbox labels, fireworks to medicine packaging, it was the haphazard printing quality, striking colour palettes, quirky use of typography and visual wit found on every day consumer goods that now heavily influences her work.
Image: Three Mangoes (unframed print) by Sroop Sunar ©

Tamara Gomez
Tamara Gomez designs and hand crafts fine and fashion jewellery using fine and sterling silver, various carats of gold, rough diamonds and gem stones. Born in Sri-Lanka, Tamara trained at Loughborough College of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art graduating in 1997. All of Tamara’s work is designed and handcrafted in her studio at Cockpit Arts in central London.
Image: Talisman Amulet by Tamara Gomez ©

Stitch by Stitch
Graham and Karen met whilst studying for their textile design degrees at Winchester School of Art (now Southampton University) in the 1980s. Stitch by Stitch is committed to growing a textile brand with ethical production values at its heart. Working with non-for-profit artisan projects in India and Nepal, they create collections which embody discovery and respect for cultural traditions, and combines them with a modern aesthetic. discovery and respect for cultural traditions, and combining them with a modern aesthetic.
Image: Bhaktapur Cushion by Stitch by Stitch ©

Studio Kohl
Studio Kohl is the work of Mira Malhotra, an independent graphic designer and visual artist from Mumbai. Studio Kohl will launch ‘CUT O.K. Paste’, a set of four downloadable and printable paper toys.
Image: ‘Shiva’ Cut O.K. Paste kit by Studio Kohl ©

Waffle Design
Ciara McGarrity runs a bespoke soft furnishing company specialising in made to measure curtains and roman blinds. She launched the product range WAFFLE in 2013. WAFFLE’s organic cotton cushions and now throws are thoughtfully crafted in the UK using a textured fair trade base fabric. The fabric is first handwoven in small communities in Kerala, south west India before travelling by boat to the uk where its is cut into panels for each piece to be individually embellished by hand using contrasting wools and a single needle.
Image: ‘Mindful’ Cushion by Waffle Design ©

Meera Sethi
Meera Sethi is an Indian-born, Toronto-raised artist whose multi-disciplinary practice references Indian dress iconography, contemporary fashion and popular culture.
Image: ‘Lucky’ Limited Edition Print (unframed) by Meera Sethi ©

Piccadelhi is a British home-ware and stationery brand with an Indian flavour, like chips with curry sauce. Founded by London-based stylist and designer, Kerry Hussain, and launched in September 2013, it is a celebration of her British/Indian heritage and a contemporary expression of Indian style. Designs are inspired by all aspects of Indian culture and executed in a modern, vibrant colour palette.
Image: Notebooks by Piccadelhi ©

After more than five years of living and working in India in the textile and fashion industry, Jonas and Lili, two European designers well settled in Delhi and truly hooked by this amazing country, finally decided to start their own story in October 2010. JOLI’s signature lines of bags and other accessories have been inspired by the designers’ lives in the frenzied metropolis of Delhi.
Image: Black Market Shopper by Joli ©

Tripty Project
The Tripty Project focuses on combining traditional handicraft design with modern fashion trends, to create bold accessories that tell a story. Working with handicraft artisans in rural areas of Bangladesh, Tripty designers spend time learning the communities background and history and then create something that is relevant to current trends.
Image: ‘Little Squeeze’ purses by The Tripty Project ©

Just Trade
Working with artisan groups in South America and India, Trade Craft combine traditional craft skills and materials with expert knowledge of contemporary jewellery. The company was born out of first hand contact with real people in the developing world and the recognition that in order for such projects to be sustainable they need a long-term route to market for their goods.
Image: ‘Cloud’ necklace by Just Trade ©

Taanka Design
‘Taanka’ means ‘stitch’. Taanka Designs is a textile design studio based out of Ahmedabad and Mumbai. Founder Sonam Gupta is a textile graduate from The National Institute of Design and she designs scarves using traditional hand and machine techniques of Gujarat.
Image: ‘Kangri’ Scarf by Taanka Design ©

Sweet Lime
Following seven years of invaluable experience working with world-class designers, Elspeth J. Walker decided to move to London and start her own jewellery business, creating collections which draw inspiration from her extensive travels within Europe; India and South East Asia.
Image: ‘Money Bags’ Necklace by Sweet Lime ©

After years of research into Indian arts and crafts, Kairaasi began trading in November 2012, inspired by the endless creative possibilities, coupled with remarkable skill of Indian crafts people and artists.
Image: Miniature Shrines by Kairaasi ©

Plum Chutney
Plum Chutney interiors boutique is inspired by the vivid imagery and beautiful crafts of India. Design Wallah shop will be stocked with hand picked gifts and accessories for the home, each telling a uniquely colourful story.
Image: ‘Men in Turbans’ cushion by Plum Chutney ©

Wink Baby
WINKBABY is a new range of bold and colourful clothes and accessories for the under 1’s. Traditional ‘gamcha’ fabric is woven in a worker’s cooperative in Bangladesh on hand looms, then manufactured in a factory hand-picked by us for its ethical, fair-trade practices. A vibrant, playful and original mix of Bengali tradition and London fashion.
Image: Playsuit by Wink Baby ©

Taran Taaran
Bonita Ahuja set up taran taaran in November 2005, designing luxurious one-off textiles for both fashion and interiors. Bonita’s affinity for craft led design has brought in many interesting projects such as a design residency with the British Council in Thailand and researching traditional pashmina spinning and weaving in Kashmir.
Image: ‘Carousel Landscape’ Scarf by Taran Taaran ©

Kapdaa use offcut fabric pieces that remain after clothing shapes have been cut from rolled fabric, to create one-of-a-kind stationery, notebooks & I-pad sleeves. Kapdaa are now working with a number of fashion, furniture & graphic designers to create exclusive limited range stationery from their fabric offcuts.
Image: Notebooks by Kapdaa ©

Design Wallah is curated by Shake the Dust, a business set up to support emerging creative talent in the UK and ethical producers in developing countries by providing a platform to collaborate and opportunities to sell to a diverse market. Using design as a tool for empowerment, Shake the Dust showcases beautiful hand-crafted products with a unique story.

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