2014 Sparking Innovation

Sitting on top of the world

Ambika Subramaniam is a sculpture major in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts with a minor in film and media studies in Arts & Sciences.

Ambika Subramaniam in one of her "Framed Seats" series.

Ambika Subramaniam sits in a piece from her “Framed Seats” Series.

What drew you to furniture design?

My interest stemmed from my dance background. I’m intrigued by how everyday objects shape our everyday gestures. That’s where the chair came in. It’s the most common, and the most taken-for-granted, object we interact with.

Did you have any experience as a woodworker?

My grandfather, after he retired from medicine, was a carpenter. I’d sit in his woodshop and watch him make things — it was really amazing. In my family full of doctors, I attribute any artistic talent I have to him. Wood is an amazing material with its own significations. It’s associated with an archaic method of building and is essential to traditional forms of artisanship, but it’s still an extremely modern material.

This fall you’ll enter graduate school at Chelsea College of Art and Design in London. What do you plan to study?

My initial plans were to continue my career in production design for films — I’ve worked on 2 Guns with Denzel Washington and And So It Goes with Michael Douglas. But I’m starting to think I want to explore the path of furniture design as a career. Not necessarily for the commercial design world…

I’m excited to see what’s in store!

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