Jiten Thukral and Sumir Tagra’s work focuses on something that is intrinsic to humans but sometimes forgotten in modern societies: the relationship of us individuals to our communities. This is why their work is often described as social design. The duo always tries to understand their existence and questions the status quo, thus naming their work: Over the abyss. Rado just released the True Square x Thukral & Tagra collaboration and with this occasion, a series of questions arise.
What is your relation to time / watches?
Time is extremely powerful. There can be many ways to define time, with respect to how we operate as humans and what our belief system is.
For us it is a measure but also a teacher. It heals and it hurts at the same time. Whichever way one wants to see it, like a beating heartbeat, or melting ice, it stays as a marker of our lives.
Rado is known as a pioneer in material innovation – how important are materials in your work as a designer?
The design is incomplete, if it doesn’t resonate with the right material. Or shall we say the material and intervention cannot be separated. It’s fascinating to see fresh perspectives, when we use the old material to make a new narrative.
Let us know some of your favorite products you have designed before – key projects of your work:
We have been designing projects and making objects for over 18 years now, which intersect with art, design, lifestyle, and culture with a diverse range of associations with respect to branding, communications, products, immersive experiences, modules/workshops, and artists’ collaborations.
Did you have any personal connection to Rado before this project?
Well, as a consumer, we have been collecting and buying Rado watches for ourselves and our loved ones. Those timeless pieces are made in sapphire glass and they hold a memory for us. It’s a timepiece, which is made with utmost care and precision.
What was your inspiration / idea for the design of the True Square Over the Abyss
Over the abyss is a meditative proposal. The deep state of mind where thoughts float multiply in the deepest of the abyss. Stuck in a novel of science fiction, we deal with an isolated space and time. The only silver lining of living in a moment is a fragility to form into new.
A solitude state of mind. The image of the community at a time when we all are experiencing isolation, and a representation of the reunions with loved ones that we all fervently hope may soon be possible.
How long did it take to develop the design of the True Square Over the Abyss?
Over the years we had to work around the idea to its highest fidelity. The design is tricky as the final version meets all visual and technical aspects.
What were the challenges compared to other products you have designed before?
The work to be embedded into the process is always a challenge. To work with different materials and keeping the balance is key to the projects. It’s a huge learning experience to see the manufacture of our visit and learn how Rado works with a very disciplined and precise operation.
What is your design philosophy and how did you express it in the True Square?
“Being aware of what is around and finding ways to bring ideas to life”. We are interested in experiments, by allowing new materials to walk in. Looking into the speculative future with strings attached, we try to paint a vision, which is both compelling and comforting.
What do you expect from the design collaboration with Rado?
The True Square “Over the Abyss” is based on Rado’s original True Square watch, which is made out of Rado’s high tech ceramic material.
To be able to create our version of this watch is an opportunity to bring something unique to the experience of reading time. We decided to have a watch with a lot more arms in order to feel connected with a lot more time zones, and share the experience of viewing time.
What was it like working with Rado?
It’s one of its kind experiences to design the object, which defines that the time itself is an exciting project to lay hands on.