From The Frugal To The Ornate: Stories Of The Seat In India – Sarita Sundar


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From the Frugal to the Ornate: Stories of the Seat in India, is a compilation of thoughtful essays by Sarita Sundar – researcher, writer, designer, and curator of this most unusual book. Published by Godrej Archives in the 125th year of the Godrej Group, the book revisits Godrej’s contribution to furniture design in the wider context of the evolution of seating in India.

The book traces the evolution of the seat over centuries from a simple ‘baithak’ to the ergonomically designed office chair, in the context of the social, political, cultural, and historical landscape of the Indian subcontinent. Cross-linking disciplines from contemporary design practice and production, to design anthropology and cultural trends, this book investigates and spotlights the seat’s relationship with its sitter, and others in its periphery. It examines the power the seat wields, and the power it grants. Bestowing life and spirit into objects, the book asks: what is the seat for, what are the worlds to which it belongs, what worlds have been (and will be) opened by it?

Sarita Sundar, an alumni of the National Institute of Design (NID), is a graphic artist, researcher, and writer. Her focus is on heritage, popular and visual culture, and design theory. She is founder of Hanno, a consultancy that visualizes and curates diverse narratives with a particular focus on museum, heritage and social communication.


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