About Ajay Shah:
Ajay Shah was born in 1964. After graduation from the National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, India in 1988, he founded his own studio Circus Design Company. Here, Ajay designed furniture, fashion retail shops and appliance products. During this period he also co-founded Exemplar Systems Private Limited, a product manufacturing company where he continues to be a director. In addition to projects for clients, he designed a collection of products under the brand Circus2Circus which he self produced and distributed. Circus Design Company set new references for retail and entertainment spaces extending beyond product and space design into environmental graphics and wayfinding signage design.
In 2002 Circus Design Company was renamed Ajay Shah Design Studio (ASDS), with the intention of providing a comprehensive design solution across product, space and graphic design to provide identity.
ASDS established brands by applying design to formats across retail, cinema, food court, mall design and corporate design.
In 2010, he launched a product brand, Rubberband which has grown into a platform for design and collaboration. Rubberband products are now available in design and museum shops across the world. In 2012 he founded Industrial Playground, where he designed a collection of furniture. Rather than seeking a novelty value, the designs attempted to seek a visual language that combined materials and processes to arrive at forms that support the idea of normal-ness.
The furniture found applications to projects across multiple formats, including office and commercial spaces. In 2014, he converted his unusual studio space that was placed under a commercial busy over bridge into a studio and shop, which he called Everyday Project. The shop became a showcase for all his brands as well as products curated from across the world.
Today, the studio resides in an Art Deco Cinema in South Bombay and continues to consult clients from different sectors on design and branding and has diverse projects, some examples include; rebranding a legacy real estate developer, branding a startup in the frozen pizza business, designing wayfinding signage systems for business parks, and designing an all aluminium chair. Rubberband continues to develop new products, with continued collaborations with international artists such as Nathalie Du Pasquier, Anthony Burrill as well as design studios such as Big Game, Experimental Jetset, Selek Design and Floris Hovers.
Ajay’s furniture and products have been featured in several design magazines in India as well as in Wallpaper Magazine UK. And has been invited to be a part of a global forum held at the 100% Design show in London on the subject of Design in India. His designs ‘the table that almost wasn’t’, ‘Toy Chair’, and ‘Grid Seat’ have found a place in the Manchester Museum of Art.
His work explores subjects of modularity and multiplicity across diverse projects ranging from proposals to serial productions, following an enthusiasm for simple, adaptable structures with an honest attitude towards material.
“I see all my works as pieces of one big story where the projects are often interconnected in terms of their idea, materials and aesthetics. I no longer see myself just as a product, space or a graphic designer but rather a supplier of ideas and impulses.” – Ajay Shah
ASDS is a multidisciplinary design studio that specialises in product, space and graphic design. Since our inception in 1990, we’ve used an end-to-end approach to design which ensures that a brand gets fully realised. This philosophy is expressed in our work that extends across designing identities, print and digital communication, packaging, interiors, furniture and wayfinding signage. With our ability to criss-cross design disciplines and express freely, we see ourselves as Suppliers of Ideas and Impulses.
What’s our approach?
We believe in keeping the text-book sciences to a minimum and apply blue-sky thinking to all our projects. If we’re challenged with a limitation, we simply switch lenses and offer a different perspective. While our work is diverse, a singular design philosophy is common across all our projects and we’re deeply rooted in our aesthetic beliefs. We engage with clients who share this belief and equally enjoy breaking the norms and creating a new design trajectory.
What do we work on?
Graphic and Identity Design
Product / Industrial Design
We have a roster of photographers, strategists, web developers and social media experts who we partner with frequently on specific projects.