W Power 2024

Netra Ajjampur and Abhishek Durani: Shaping fun spaces with Studio Sorted

Ajjampur's execution prowess complements Durani ideation. That's how these collaborators and the co-founders of Studio Sorted are injecting youthful cheer into India's design and architecture space

Published: Feb 21, 2024 01:11:12 PM IST
Updated: Feb 21, 2024 01:12:48 PM IST

Netra Ajjampur and Abhishek Durani: Shaping fun spaces with Studio Sorted Netra Ajjampur (right) and Abhishek Durani, co-founders of Studio Sorted Image: Mexy Xavier; Directed By: Kapil Kashyap Netra - Dress: Forever New; Jewellery: Misho Design, Bling Thing; Shoes: Regal. Abhishek - Outfit: Zara; Jewellery: Inox, Ishhaara; Shoes: Comet Universe Styled By: Zainab Shakir, Assistant Stylists: Mannat Bhalla, Samridh Gupta

Netra Ajjampur and Abhishek Durani, co-founders of Studio Sorted, bring a unique blend of skills to the table—Ajjampur’s execution prowess complements Durani’s ideation strength. “While collaborating on projects as students at CEPT University in Ahmedabad, I realised that what she has is exactly what I don’t have the patience for,” says Durani.

With a passion for dynamic design, the architect duo founded Studio Sorted to fill a gap in India’s architecture sector, which often lacked a youthful, creative spirit. “Our musical background initially led us to self-learn design, embarking on diverse projects and shaping our approach,” says Ajjampur.

Studio Sorted’s portfolio includes branding, curations and workshops, residential architecture and interiors, and online design competitions, boasting a clientele including Toni & Guy, MG, Sony Music, Vahdam, JBL, and Theka Coffee.

“At Sorted, we’re pioneering a design movement that’s all about sparking joy and reshaping the branding landscape,” says Durani.

Their playful approach is evident in projects like the rebranding of Float Brewery with a newspaper-themed drinks menu emphasising engagement through comics, crosswords, and trivia, and the funky and fresh graphics for Theka coffee using an animated bottle as a mascot.

Noteworthy accolades for the Studio include their win in the ‘Commercial projects and futuristic designs’ category of the National Architecture & Interior Design excellence awards in 2023 for their design intervention at Toni & Guy’s franchise salon in Varthur, Bengaluru. They also won a special category award for the most innovative entrepreneurs and designers of the year 2023, for their multidisciplinary design interventions at LiteStore’s flexi-retail stores in Bengaluru.

In 2023, Ajjampur was selected to participate in Goldman Sachs 10k Women programme at IIM-Bangalore. “For us this course paved the way for a structured, fresh perspective to things we were missing out on,” says Ajjampur.

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 The Alli Serona Bus Stop project that the Studio undertook exemplifies their community engagement. They co-created an interactive mobile bus stop installation, working with women who live in less accessible areas and who want to be connected to the city for their livelihoods.

Durani says, “Unlike traditional agencies, we offer a blend of generalist leadership and specialist collaboration, ensuring comprehensive, expert-driven solutions for our clients.”

Netra Ajjampur and Abhishek Durani: Shaping fun spaces with Studio Sorted

Mexican architect Gustavo Carmona, whom Durani interned with, says, “In a design world dominated by superficial work and distracted minds, the work by Studio Sorted presents an optimistic and joyful approach with unusual depth and sensibility.”

Shiva Viswanathan, director DesignUp and founder, Catenate.io. adds, “Studio Sorted’s perspective infuses totality and authenticity in every project they work on. Netra and Abhishek’s focus on systems approach to design and future-proofing brands without compromising on the context is the true winner.”

(This story appears in the 23 February, 2024 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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