interview with doshi levien about their kettal cala chair, style + vision

interview with doshi levien about their kettal cala chair, style + vision


doshi levien is an internationally acclaimed design studio founded by nipa doshi and jonathan levian. their works combine an incredibly rich hybrid approach — ranging between industrial design, fine craftmanship, technnology and cultures. for this interview, the duo discusses the ‘cala’ club chair designed for furniture design company kettal, their working processes and visions ever since doshi levien was founded.

doshi levien interview kettal cala chair designboom
jonathan levien sitting on one of his prototyped designs
all images courtesy of kettal



the kettal ‘cala’ club chair by doshi levien is a high backed armchair influenced by the iconic emanuelle which is woven into wooden and bamboo patterns. the piece of furniture has a majestic spatial presence with transparent surfaces, while an open weave of the rope provides a latticed window for visual privacy that still maintains a connection to the natural elements. ‘cala’ may be used for outdoor dining as well as a chair to lounge in. the wide selection of metal coatings, rope colours and cushion fabrics offer many possibilities to tailor the identity of the chair to suit different projects.

doshi levien interview kettal cala chair designboom
the kettal ‘cala’ club chair draws influence from the iconic emmanuelle chair

when asked what their process of work was like, nipa doshi explains that when they first met, there were two different projects involved: one was concerned with creating an icon — a large presence of a chair —while the other involved textile and color. in some way, this combination worked perfectly for both designers because doshi tends to be more graphical and draws frequently whereas jonathan likes to experiment with materials.

doshi levien interview kettal cala chair designboom
the cala has a high backrest and its open weave provides a balanced sense of privacy

on the other hand, concerning their sources of influence, doshi’s upbringing in india has had a strong impact on how she views the world. indeed, in her country, modernity and tradition co-exist strongly. as a result, she tries to highlight that plurality in her work. for levien, after leaving school at sixteen, he went on to study fine cabinet making and from a very early stage he was certain that he wanted to be a ‘maker’ — hence taking on the path of design. since then, he integrates the technique of ‘making’ in all of his creative processes.

more information about their innovative range of work can be viewed in the video above!

doshi levien interview kettal cala chair designboom
outdoor furniture collection

doshi levien interview kettal cala chair designboom
geometric fabrics make up an important style of the design duo

doshi levien interview kettal cala chair designboom
designers nipa doshi and jonathan levien

doshi levien interview kettal cala chair designboom
work process: the making



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom

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