Charu Gandhi trained as an architect at the Architectural Association and founded Elicyon in 2014, with a desire to combine the rigours of her architectural practice with her passion for interior design and craftsmanship.
If I were a FLOWER, I would be a lotus. It is a powerful symbol in Indian mythology, something that grows pure and beautiful even out of a swamp and which represents integrity.
If I were a PIECE OF MUSIC, I would be The Lark Ascending, composed by Vaughan Williams and inspired by the poem of the same name by George Meredith. I find its soaring melody and technical prowess completely wonderful.
If I were a BOOK, I would be Of The People, By The People by Roger Hahnel. I strongly believe in civil liberty and freedom of expression without fear of reprisal. With recent events around the world, the fundamental principles that a constitution sets out feel more pertinent and important than ever.
If I were a FILM, it would be In the Mood for Love by Wong-Kar Wai. It is a love story set in British Hong Kong of the 1960s and everything from the plot, cinematography and costumes to the soundtrack are captivating. I spent a lot of my childhood in the Far East and Hong Kong in particular, and it reminds me of the spirit of the city.
If I were a CITY, I would choose to be Rio de Janeiro, set between the mountains and the ocean. I love the modernist architecture of Oscar Niemeyer – his designs inspired me when I first visited Rio while studying architecture myself, and I now avidly follow contemporary Brazilian architects and furniture designers. The city is full of music and dance and has the best sushi!
If I were a SHOE, I would be a Furlane velvet slipper by Vibi Venezia. They celebrate the heart of Venice with unusual textile finishes and Italian craftsmanship – legend says that the gondolieri adopted these plush velvet slippers with their robust rubber soles (traditionally made from old bicycle tires) so as not to ruin the paint of their very pricey gondolas. They are perfect for a summer day or a cosy night in.
If I were an ISLAND, I would be Lipari, Stromboli and Panarea, part of the Aeolian islands off the coast of Sicily. Lipari’s lemon trees, Stromboli’s black sand volcanic beaches and Panarea’s beautiful coves all encapsulate La Dolce Vita for me – I have had some wonderful summer days there and I can smell the lemons when I close my eyes and think of them.
If I were a GAME, I would be a beautiful, hand- and laser-cut wooden jigsaw puzzle by Wentworth: challenging, fun and – even though you know the end result – full of surprises along the way.