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Look Book Exhibitor INDO- Brings Indian Roots to Contemporary Design

Look Book Exhibitor INDO- Brings Indian Roots to Contemporary Design

Launched in 2018, Look Book at WantedDesign Manhattan is a showcase for high-end North American designers and studios. It’s a jewel of WantedDesign’s programming, connecting interior designers and architects to studios like award-winning contemporary furniture and home accessories design studio INDO- based in Providence, Rhode Island and New Delhi, India.

INDO- founders Urvi Sharma and Manan Naran

Founded by Urvi Sharma and Manan Narang, INDO- prides itself on bringing Indian roots, craftsmanship and materials to their contemporary designs. They grew up in New Delhi and met in Providence while studying at the Rhode Island School of Design, and describe INDO- as “a product of living in and experiencing both places and cultures.”

INDO- made its WantedDesign debut as part of Launch Pad in 2019, winning the NYCxDESIGN Emerging Product Designer Award, before graduating to Look Book and being selected for the Dwell 24 list for Emerging Designers in 2020.

They exhibited as part of Look Book at the Javits Center at WantedDesign Manhattan in November 2021.

During the pandemic, the duo didn’t back away from trying new things, with Urvi appearing as one of seven contestants and Manan as her helper on Ellen’s Next Great Designer, a furniture design and build competition hosted by Ellen DeGeneres and streamed on HBO Max.

Mooda Sconce by INDO-

WantedDesign contributing editor Charlene Lam had a chat with them at WantedDesign Manhattan and again in early 2022 to see what they’re working on:

WantedDesign: You debuted at WantedDesign in 2019 as part of Launch Pad and returned in 2021 as part of Look Book. What happened in between?

Between Launch Pad and Look Book, we’ve grown significantly as a business and expanded our network. And that’s why we came back in the Look Book section to show off our brand and all the new products that we’ve come up with in the meantime. [We want to] connect with interior designers and architecture firms who are sourcing product and lighting for projects across the US.

WD: As part of Look Book, you showed your brand new Mooda lighting series including sconces, as well as your Pilar table collection with new finishes and tops. Looking back now, how would you describe your experience at WantedDesign Manhattan at the Javits Center?

INDO-: After two years of being in the studio because of COVID, WantedDesign was a breath of fresh air and a huge relief in terms of knowing that we still had a thriving creative community around us. Seeing exciting new work and talking to other designers is what we needed to know that the world is slowly but surely coming back to normal. Since the show, we’ve seen our products featured in multiple articles and noticed a significant rise in inquiries not only for residential, but hospitality projects as well.

Pilar Coffee Table by INDO-

WD: Can you tell us about the name INDO-?

INDO- is a prefix, which means of Indian origin. A lot of our work is based in traditional Indian techniques and crafts, but in a contemporary setting. So we have our roots, but we’re more globalized with our work.

WD: How do you address sustainability and environmental issues in your practice?

The way we address sustainability with our work is through looking back at the old ways of making. It’s all about slow processes, using natural materials and doing well-crafted pieces that people would want to buy and hold on to for a really long amount of time. We use a range of natural materials in our work including solid wood, stone, metal as well. We incorporate all of these different materials together to create a really finished and refined product.

Urvi Sharma of INDO- has her work evaluated by the judges of Ellen’s Next Great Designer. Photo credit: Jake Giles Netter.
Urvi Sharma of INDO- with the judges of Ellen’s Next Great Designer. Photo credit: Jake Giles Netter.

WD: What role do trade shows play in your business?

Trade shows for us actually serve as one of the major advertising and marketing opportunities, because you’re getting a really focused group of designers going through the show, looking at all the booths, and it’s just a good way to meet a very targeted audience in a small amount of time.

Seeing furniture in real life is very different to seeing it online. So it’s just much nicer to be able to show things physically, rather than just through renders or photography or just via online.

Nothing beats meeting with people in-person, developing relationships and networking. And the design community: You can call them competitors. You can call them fellow designers. You can call them friends. After the pandemic years, we’re seeing each other after such a long time, so it’s really good to be back.

INDO- at WantedDesign Manhattan. Photo credit: Jenna Bascom Photography
INDO- at WantedDesign Manhattan. Photo credit: Jenna Bascom Photography

WD: What are you working on currently?

We’re currently working on expanding our product line to cater to a broader market that includes commercial and hospitality projects. Getting our work into boutique resorts, restaurants, spas, etc is really exciting as it means that more people will be able to see our products and imagine using them in other projects.

Thank you, Urvi and Manan, for updating us on your work. People can find out more about INDO- at:

Instagram @indo.made

“INDO- has a nice history with WantedDesign, from Launch Pad to Look Book. It’s great to see the studio developing such an original and rich body of work. They have a unique design language, beautiful craft, and strong entrepreneurial skills: everything to predict they will continue to capture the interest of US-based interior designers.”

Odile Hainault and Claire Pijoulat, WANTEDDESIGN co-founders

By contributing editor Charlene Lam