Unearthing hidden stories of craftspeople with Curio

By Sujata Burman

Curio Space at London Design Festival

There’s a new digital platform on the block, and it launched at LDF22. “The Festival is a window into what is new, next and exciting in design – not just for London, but for the world. It is a hub of curiosity and we share those intentions, so it felt like the right launchpad,” says Shalini Misra, founder and creative director of Curio.

Curio showcases a collection of lighting, accessories, furniture and art by emerging and established talent. “Some were easily found, but others had to be unearthed and we have spent a long time doing that,” says Misra. “We’re searching for those who have a rare combination of creativity and skill and whose work would enrich the life of anyone who lived with it.”

Misra has spent years honing her eye. An architecturally trained interior designer, she founded Shalini Misra Limited in 1996, working on high-end projects, sourcing pieces worldwide. Curio’s inaugural exhibition featured inclusions from Vikram Goyal, Jan Waterston, Tamsin van Essen, Klove Studio, Ane Christensen, Ashiesh Atelier, Marta Sala Éditions, Novocastrian, on.entropy, Tarun Tahiliani, Vanderhurd and Zoë Wilson.

Here, she shares her vision for Curio.

What inspired Curio?

I have been fortunate to work with some of the world’s most gifted designers, makers, artists and craftspeople – some very well known, some less recognised, but all immensely talented. I have found so many interesting stories that have often felt hidden; the richness of the work untold.

Curio is launching to address that, to champion human creativity and celebrate global craft and design. We are purposely not bound by an aesthetic, country or region. We will enable access to the world’s best makers, and offer those makers a platform from which their voices can be heard.

Curio Space designs 2
Curio Space designs
How do you think e-commerce fits within the design industry?

E-commerce offers such an incredible opportunity for design, and for designers, to reach a global audience, from wherever they are in the world. But, it is transactional by nature. I would like to see the technology and innovation that e-commerce brings, combined with a greater sense of individual expression that amplifies craftsmanship and champions what is human about design.

What do you hope to achieve with Curio?

I want Curio to be a place of discovery, where people find original, beautiful and imaginative designs. My intention is to spotlight unseen makers and tell the stories that deserve to be told.