The Designer

Manjeet Bullar was born in an army officer’s family in Bombay(Now Mumbai) in the year 1958. His early childhood was spent in various army cantonment areas in the country which influenced his sensibilities and helped develop an aesthetic which was rich in Indian symbolism and culture. History has played a significant role in developing the ultimate design vocabulary of Manjeet Bullar. A professional degree in Anthropology with specialization in Architecture and Anthropometry i.e. the proportions of the human body through the ages and species helped hone in the concept of ‘Form and Function’. Alongside the arts was being developed and he held numerous shows specializing in cutting edge sculptural renderings in welded steel where his sculpture titled ‘Static Time’ was awarded the Lalit Kala Academy award by the Punjab Lalit Kala Academy by Mr. M.S Randhawa. His works are part of the permanent collection of Dr. B.N Goswami of the Punjab University Chandigarh, Victoria and Albert Museum London and other important galleries in India and abroad.

As a cadet in the Indian Military Academy Dehradun, he designed and built a monumental sculpture titled ‘Shakti’ which has become an integral part of the academy ever-since its inception in the year 1980.

The years in the Army regiment as a commissioned gunner officer provided him the opportunity to experience the frontiers of Punjab where the colors, textures and forms more so in the embroidery traditions of Punjab made significant impression to create an ‘art form’ which had immense potential.The other great exposure to the arts and folk culture came about with the opportunity to serve in the north east of India and more so in Assam and the upper reaches of Arunachal Pradesh. The Buddhist monasteries, gomphus and dwellings of the hill folk caused a significant advancement in the understanding of the built form and the refinement of the aesthetics and specially the use of surface ornamentation and the use of bold pigments created an indelible mark on the thought process of Manjeet Bullar. After having settled in Chandigarh, his small initiative with forged iron commenced with the investigations of the techniques and traditions of the Sikhlikar and the Gadia lohars, who have been since time immemorial working with forged iron fashioning tools and weapons for the population. Hot forged iron as a technique was modified and adapted for contemporary usage by Manjeet Bullar which culminated in an exhibition of forged and welded metal furniture which was greatly appreciated by Mr. Momin Latif, an eminent art historian & an individual with refined taste. His patronage helped create a taste for a contemporary aesthetic with the essential flavors of historical context with an Indian point of view. This was the year1987. This association led to the development of hot forged iron products which were collected by high end stores from London and European outlets.

This breakthrough in the medium of forged iron and steel brought him close to the famous English designer Tom Dixon whose famous ‘S’ chair was redesigned and developed in the studio of Manjeet Bullar. Manjeet Bullar went on to develop the concept of Destination Retail with the establishment of the first Lifestyle stand alone store by the name of ‘Life’ in Chattarpur New Delhi. Manjeet Bullar single handedly developed the concept of designer weddings and theme parties including the reintroduction of long lost ceremonies during the process of such weddings. The institution of marriage in the Indian context was researched by him in conjunction with Prof. Puspesh Pant and Mr. Jiggs Kalra for the introduction of the royal ceremonies and cuisine which has been long lost forgotten. Manjeet Bullar then developed the concept of lifestyle fashion by introducing to the stage, theatre, dance and music as a format display and fashion clothing as a composite expression of a lifestyle statement.

Manjeet Bullar is probably the only Indian brand which creates its own l ibrary of design and conceptualizes its methodologies to produce furniture, interior accessories, textiles and embroidered leather, lighting and in nut shell the entire aspect of the interiors. He has been actively engaged in the identification and revival of the crafts skills mainly in the field of metal- smithy, embroidery, stone carving, pietra-dura(stone inlay), wood working and developing a concept of wall finishing using the age old technique of aarash using lime & stone pigments to create bountiful bouquet of Indian colors & sensibilities.