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Holy Azulejos: Recreation Of Ashwin Mallya’s Goan Utopia

Ashwin Mallya is a trained industrial designer, visual communication designer and creative design consultant based in Mumbai. With a deep interest in understanding everyday materials and manufacturing processes, Ashwin spends most of his hours simply designing and developing objects. Having collaborated with a multitude of artists, on a variety of projects – from painting, sculpting, and live exhibitions, he also takes a keen interest in conducting workshops.


By Sakshi Karande

Growing up, Ashwin Mallya loved the process of making something with his hands. He loved the tactility of everyday objects. So, naturally, he gravitated towards becoming an industrial designer, and spent hours exploring materials.

Mallya was born and brought up in Goa. It’s the place where he grew up eating his favourite food, spent hours in the sun, and built memories of his childhood. Goa is at the cusp of many cultures, religions, and eras. The Portuguese in Goa determined the built architecture and town planning, which gave a sense of utopia to the people.

Goa is Mallya’s home, and his utopia, and the Holy Azulejos bed set he designed for Kyoona pays homage to his utopia. The Azulejos instantly appealed to him. They were an addition to Goa by the Portuguese. The Holy Cross was another reminder of Portuguese rule and the number of churches that were built during that time. By marrying the commonly found Azulejos tile pattern with the cross, another common sight around him, Mallya recreated his Goan utopia for the debut Kyoona collection.

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