The grace of the Tango. Orbiting planets suspended in space. Garments that crumple and fold in fluid ways. These are a few of the things designer Nikhil Paul referenced while thinking up prototypes for Paul Matter, his lighting brand and studio. “I like to live with my prototypes for a while, breathe some life into them, and see how they work in different spaces”, explains Paul. Step into Paul’s cool chiaroscuro studio in Shahpur Jat, dappled with light and shade, and you’ll find yourself in what feels like a parallel universe, with glossy patinas, dancing silhouettes, and little clusters of burnished brass.
Paul’s journey towards launching his own brand began at a course in business design in Milan, which led to him working in the south of the country for six years after. “There’s definitely a ‘Made in Italy’ sort of ethic that I follow religiously”, a statement with which he references the Italian handmade tradition in designing a product, with attention to detail in every screw, nut, and bolt. Working with lights, however, was total happenstance, the outcome of a side-project that sat within a lake-facing space with large picture windows (and a view) fit for a countryside cottage. “It was a lovely studio space, and I wanted to play with lighting indoors. The lack of lighting options in the market led to me designing my own, and that was the first of Paul Matter (and Tango, my first collection).”