Q&A: Jasleen Kaur

Q&A: Jasleen Kaur

Jasleen Kaur is a Scottish Indian designer based in London. Jasleen's projects look at the ways people interact with the objects around them - fixing and adapting different devices and tools to their needs. Jasleen's focus on these everyday design solutions reveals the malleability of our material culture and shows how designers can participate in these evolutions.

We spoke to Jasleen ahead of her two events with us at the London Design Festival 2014: a drop-in Poetry Bodging session, where participants will work with both fine and found materials to construct devices "built for how we do things, not for how we should be doing them"; and a Balti supper accompanied by the screening of a film documenting the daily process of cooking Langar in Glasgow.

How would you describe what you do?
I design and refashion objects based on instinct and resourcefulness, reflecting a hybridity of national custom and reconsidering the realities of materiality, usage and everyday routine.

What tools and materials do you use in your work? Do you have favorite material and is there a tool you couldn't do without?
I use a lot of found materials - recently I've been sourcing coloured plastic buckets from local hardware shops. Other favourites include marbled plastic and Axminster carpet.

My projects have various outcomes that rarely use the same tools and processes, so a tool I couldn't do without would have to be my hands.

Can you remember the first thing you made?
Probably not the first thing, but I do remember being very excited to cut my first key when I was 8 or 9 at my dad's Hardware Shop, 'Hardy's Hardware' - an anglicisation of my father's name 'Hardeep'.

What do you feel the role of makers and designers is today?
To help people see things in different ways.

Can you tell us what you're presenting with SMP at LDF?
I will be running a 'Bodging' workshop, screening a short film called Balti and cooking some curry for supper. Balti is a film documenting the daily process of cooking Indian food, Langar, in the kitchen of Polloksheilds Sikh Temple in Glasgow. The cooks' intuitive methods of preparing food in mass quantities is an unwritten skill known only by a handful of people in the community. Cooking alongside them, I recorded their recipes by marking buckets with the volumes of each ingredient in order to create a series of measuring tools for cooking en masse.

Join Jasleen on Saturday 20 September at our LDF space for her Balti Supper and Drop-in Poetry Bodging. Both events are free and all are welcome, but please RSVP for the supper here so Jasleen knows how many people to cook for.

Photos courtesy of Jasleen Kaur

Leave A Comment