The Maker #3 | Anikesh Ramani (MØDERNIST & WASTELAND)

After establishing a solid career in film production, Mr Anikesh Ramani used his love for good design as a segue into the next chapter in his life, as a purveyor of Danish and local mid-century furniture and collectibles. Soon, his two creations – MØDERNIST and WASTELAND – will come together under one roof. In his own words…

In my time in the film industry, I was lucky enough to work with great illustrators, designers and motion graphic artists, so I had always been exposed to good, clean design. Since we started MØDERNIST, my aesthetic preference has become even more minimal and purist. I love the space in which form follows function and where being understated, while hiding subtle details, perhaps requiring a closer look to discover, holds it’s highest value for me.

In this era of mass production, craft and craftmanship are supremely important and appreciated by more and more people. That said, I don’t feel that the terms should necessarily be associated with only things made from scratch. For a fair amount of time, before we started manufacturing our own couches, we “merely” sourced / curated and restored the pieces we sold, however, we paid an enormous amount of attention to detail and to doing things the right way. We try and carry the same ethos and principles through to every aspect of our business today and this too is a craft.

Some favourite pieces from MØDERNIST.

When I think of well-made things, I not only think of things that are physically made well with great build quality and materials, but if they are designed well too, they will last a long time aesthetically. They take longer to date and if they do, they do it well. And it goes without saying that they need to function well too. There’s nothing that annoys me more that say, a kettle that can’t pour water out without spilling.

Good, clean functional design is timeless. It can be just as relevant today, 60 years later, as it was when it was made. So we sometimes get people in the shop that say things like “so is this stuff popular again?” or “ this look is back now huh?” and my response is usually along the lines of; in some ways it never really left.

There are many that have known, loved and appreciated mid-century for what it is, it’s just that more and more people are catching on. I also feel that, in the case of mid-century furniture, it’s even more appreciated now than it was in the 60’s. Purely because you can’t just go and buy it new and finding good pieces in good condition can be a challenge. It’s similar in a lot of ways to the classic car market, the more rare something is, the more valuable it is.

“When I think of well-made things, I not only think of things that are physically made well with great build quality and materials, but if they are designed well too they will last a long time aesthetically.”

At MØDERNIST, we’ve always been very true to the brand. We focus almost exclusively on mid-century pieces without deviating much. But in our sourcing missions, we started coming across other pieces we really liked but didn’t quite fit into this look / period. Like pieces from the Industrial, Art Deco, Bauhaus movements etc. That said, just because it from one of these periods, it doesn’t automatically mean we’d stock it, we need to personally like and / or appreciate them as well. Our tagline for WASTELAND is “Extracting the quality from everyday design of the past.”

I have always loved Finn Juhl’s chairs, George Carwardine’s Angle Poise lamps, Hugh Byrne’s art, Paul Braq’s cars and anything designed by Arne Jacobsen, but his cutlery for the SAS Hotel is my favourite. All of  these have one common aspect, it feels like there’s nothing left to add or remove.


MØDERNIST and WASTELAND are moving into new super premises at 8A 4th Avenue, Parkhurst. Anikesh will be speaking at a panel on ‘The meaning of making’ this Thursday 11 October, in the Maison Bisquit cocktail bar, at Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair. Tickets at Webtickets.


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