A moving look at kinetic art via “Apical Reform” based in Ahmedabad


Explore the world of kinetic art – a rare combination of science and design that leaves you mesmerized by its trance movement. We chat with the founders of the Ahmedabad-based art studio, Apical reform, directed by Amrish Patel and Darshan Soni.

There is art that moves you and then there is art that will literally move when you see it. The latter for novices is kinetic art – an art form that depends on movement for its effect. A marriage of art and science, kinetic sculptures are typically made from motorized parts or changing electronic images and have a more dynamic relationship with the viewer than a simple painting on display. Delving deep into this space is Ahmedabad-based design studio, Apical Design started with Amrish Patel and Darshan Soni.

Ahmedabad, the home of extraordinary design spaces, designers and architects is also the basis of the apical reform. Apical Reform makes its mark in this diverse portfolio, which creates unconventional and innovative functional works of art, bespoke art, kinetic art and parametric designs. The main parameters being to create “unique and original concepts, breathtaking experiences, attention to detail and finishes, and ease of transport”.

Apical reform

The two founders met through a mutual friend and, after working together on a few pilot projects, identified their “congruent passion for a particular genre and the type of work they wanted to do”. Merging their vision and interests, they formed Apical Reform in 2011 to serve a niche of innovative design.

Darshan Soni and Amrish Patel

Kinetic art forms may still be in their infancy in India. However, internationally, the style is making great strides and attracting the attention of millions of people in both public and private spaces. For designers, kinetic works of art “are the synergy between art, mathematics, mechanics, computer coding and electronics. The work of art comes to life through precise design and engineering. The works of art embody the aesthetic by using mechanical movement and movement accentuating every gesture and movement, the viewer is mesmerized by the hypnotic and trance movement of the kinetic works of art. It is art in motion.

Passionate about art from a young age, Darshan Soni converted his passion for design into a career in architecture with a degree from the Center for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT). Meanwhile, Amrish Patel turned away from his second-generation business to devote himself to a more creative passion: “I am very inspired by complex works of art, mechanical or kinetic. My journey started about 12 years ago when I was in Dubai and a piece of Maximilian Büsser and his friends. One of their watches was so intricate and inspiring at the time, it made me want to create works of art that stand out in the same way, ”shares Amrish Patel. Years later, pieces from Apical Reform are now on display in their MAD gallery. A goal the designer initially set was achieved in 2018 with their Stingray and Tornado pieces. In addition, others are in preparation.

the Ray, which was on display at the MB&F gallery, was one of the brand’s most inspiring yet rewarding pieces. An abstract work of art based on the way stingrays swim consists of 1335 moving parts. After creating more than 50 study models and 2 prototypes, they created a sculpture of cartilaginous ribs in metal. “The challenge was to get the 144 wings beautifully synchronized to perform the smooth, silent movement of the ray. Additionally, a tremendous amount of work went into achieving top quality finishes as well as silent mechanical movement. which enhances the fascinating experience of the viewer ”, share the designers.

The line

The effect of a kinetic work of art can be cyclical, but the technical innovation behind it is enormous. For designers, the first phase of this process is inspiration. “Inspiration arouses the energy necessary to create a work of art that engages people, evokes emotions and creates a unique experience. We create several static and functional models, virtual 3D models. visualizations, animations and research to clarify the concept, proportions and aesthetics. The next phase is to work on the details, working models, prototypes and rigorous testing. After successful tests and a working prototype, we create the final kinetic art. This whole process would take anywhere from 3 months to a year depending on the complexity and scale of the artwork, ”the designers share.

Apical Reform also offers functional works of art, that is, projects that easily fit into your home or workspaces like stairs and stairs. The Betula chairs, the fluid shape of which is visible with each layer precisely designed and assembled by hand, are popular among these project-based pieces. Whether it’s a camel or a city, Apical Reform’s bespoke services can turn anything into a work of art. Exploring spatial dynamics, hyper-personalized expression, recursive geometry, and objective lightness, these works utilize the studio’s vast design vocabulary, in-depth material research, and innovative engineering solutions to create unique collaborative pieces.

Apical reform 1

From wall series of their iconic Stingray and Serpentine styles to large public art installations, this innovative design house has an exciting and moving journey ahead.

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