Collecting is a curious process: you search for beloved and appealing objects, you find them, you acquire them, and then eventually, you find a space to store and display them. Slowly, you start a collection made of enchanting memorabilia and stimulating conversations. In his book, Ways of Curating, Hans Ulrich Obrist says that to create a collection ‘is also, inevitably, a way of thinking about the world – the connections and principles that produce a collection contain assumptions, juxtapositions, findings, experimental possibilities and associations. Collection-making, you could say, is a method of producing knowledge.’
This is the spirit guiding Vaspaar, an online destination founded by two designers and passionate collectors, India-born Kaisha Davierwalla and Italian Andrea Grecucci. Together in life and in business for several years, the couple surf the world of design with lightness and precise professionalism, and a new approach to the world of collecting. ‘We actually met more than 12 years ago during university, in Milan,’ says Davierwalla. ‘I was in a bar close by and remember not feeling too well. Like a real gentleman, Andrea came to my rescue; we had never been formally introduced before. We got talking and we haven’t stopped since.’
For the duo, collecting is an art that requires great care and rigorous research. ‘Vaspaar’ translates from ancient Persian into ‘the provider of all things’, and the platform takes a nurturing approach to encouraging a new way of collecting, inspired by the past and with an eye to the future. ‘We found a way to merge the variety of expertise we had accumulated and decided to put our assets together and embark on this Vaspaar journey; it has always been a joint effort,’ says Davierwalla.
While its founders are deeply appreciative of midcentury and contemporary
Vaspaar intends to educate and lead new generations of collectors in purchasing valuable and thought-provoking pieces. ‘As a child, I was always enamoured by the antiques my father would bring home and show us, and then we had wonderful discussions,’ says Davierwalla. ‘Also, we Parsi Zoroastrians in India have always had this reputation of being very careful and respectful with our belongings and we are also quite the antique collectors. I think I had secretly wished to take after my ancestors,’ she adds.
United by the passion for historic design and collectibles, Davierwalla and Grecucci wanted, through Vaspaar, to offer all kinds of services, from tailored curatorial advice to research and authentication. They also recently decided to create a collection of limited-edition contemporary objects.
Designed by Grecucci, the pieces focus on increasingly forgotten artisanal skills. Joining forces with the Italian group Materie Prime, he conceived a foamy and porous aluminium coffee table, three carved alabaster vases from Tuscany, and three cold-to-the-touch stainless steel vases. The use of different materials is important: ‘What I love most is to delve and question processes and approaches. Alabaster, for instance, which is strong and frail at the same time, has been used in the past by maestros such as Angelo Mangiarotti and Ugo La Pietra,’ comments Grecucci.
Accessible and informal, Vaspaar’s design collections open possibilities and conversations, letting the platform’s visitors discover the duo’s world. They have just one suggestion to young wanna-be collectors: ‘Do research!’ §