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This AIT-SAP alumnus is eyeing a place in the Guinness Book of World Records  

Madhur Sharma, the brain behind designing shape-shifting furniture, recently appeared in a programme on History TV18 channel

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Madhur Sharma, an alumnus of Apeejay Institute of Technology – School of Architecture & Planning (AITSAP) is creating ripples in the design industry. Inspired by his own struggles as a student living in a small hostel room, the innovative thinker created a piece that can be transformed into 14 different types of furniture. And for this unique creation, Madhu was recently featured in the History TV18 channel. In an interview, the budding designer talks about his aspiration to secure a place in the Guinness World Records and envisions exporting his furniture designs to European countries.

You have been recently featured in History TV 18. How does it feel?

It feels really great. The last three years of my life have been full of ups and downs. However, I would like to give the credit for this success to my family and faculty members who had that trust in me and my work. I also feel failures act as a driving force behind achieving certain goals. However, we sometimes fail to realise that. Another thing that I strongly believe is that to achieve your goal, it’s important to have a healthy or a positive mindset.   

What are you currently working on?

I have created a startup named ‘R Poid’ or responsive to anthropoid – responsive means something which responds and anthropoid is an acronym for humanoid. We believe that all the furniture that we have created are extremely user-friendly. Recently, I have designed 10 more furniture pieces – out of which seven are multifunctional. I have started taking orders and I received orders from Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. My next step is to go for mass production and hence, I am exploring export solutions. Besides this, I have also designed a piece which can transform into 16 different types of furniture. In fact, this is the world’s maximum shape transforming furniture. Plus, I am also looking at exporting my furniture to European countries soon after the mass production process begins.  

You designed your first piece while you were in your hostel. What made you decide to design such furniture?

My room in the hostel was small and so it was difficult to accommodate all the furniture I wanted. I had one chair that I used to sit on and sometimes used it as a table to keep my stuff.  I realised when I can use this chair for more than purpose why not design a unit that could be used for multiple things especially in a small space. When I started designing I had just thought of a single set including chair and table. I never anticipated that this single piece of furniture could be converted into 14 shapes. But then when I further worked on this model, I realised that various furniture can be added to this single design. I kept remodeling it, incorporating smaller changes and finally designed this piece that could transform into 14 shapes. 

What’s the USP of all your designs?

These days people are often in search of affordable products that are multifunctional as well as eco-friendly in nature. And these are determining factors of my furniture. 

Your idea has always been to design sustainable furniture. Please throw some light on the same?

I feel sustainability is no more a choice but it is the need of the hour. When I was designing this multifunctional furniture, I had kept all the three sustainability factors in my mind – social, environmental and economical. Talking about the social aspect, any product that you use, it’s important for users to strike a connection with the product on an emotional level. Say, for instance, bean bags which users usually find very comfortable for sitting.  So the idea behind designing this multipurpose piece of furniture was also inspired by the bond between a father and child. A father moulds himself in any character to play with the child.  When it comes to environmental factors, if 14 different types of furniture are to be designed, then 14-cubic feet wood will be used. The best part is this piece uses only one-cubic foot wood and 13-cubic feet wood is being saved from being cut.  And finally, when it comes to affordability – today a basic wooden chair in the market costs around 10 thousand rupees. This one piece is providing users with 14 different types of furniture.  This is very economical!   

So, what next?

The prototype of my new design that can take the shape of 16 different types of furniture has been sent for a Guinness World Record nomination. 

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay newsroom. With experience in both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world, she has worked with Careers360, India Today and Value360 Communications. A learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveller and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.

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