Bharat Floorings and Tiles (BFT), a homegrown brand known for its iconic Art Deco floors, marked its 100th year in 2022. To commemorate this milestone, the brand is hosting a series of exhibitions and events across six major cities of India, where they have contributed to restoring heritage structures and created innovative flooring. The aim is to celebrate their legacy and inspire conversations about artistic floors that are still shining at iconic buildings in these cities.
The Mumbai chapter, titled 'Mumbai, Our Common Ground', kickstarted on January 5, 2023, and is on until January 15, 2023, at the Kathiwada City House, Mumbai.
What immediately draws your attention at this exhibition is the ‘Cabinet of Stories’, a beautifully designed wooden cabinet that traces the design journey of BFT through curios and archival objects. This piece of art will be travelling to different cities as part of the exhibition. Also on display are Kokeshi candelabras, Terrapop mirrors and lamps, and Taru rugs.
Centenary celebration events
As part of the Mumbai chapter, BFT has also been hosting an interesting array of events. This includes programs that draw attention to the past, present, and future of the brand through archival finds, unique products, avant-garde experiments, and the brand's connection to a host of Mumbai's heritage structures.
Over the last weekend, the brand hosted a panel discussion 'New Design Frontiers', where Sarah Sham of Essajees Atelier, Rajiv Parekh of Red Architects, and Pavitra Rajaram of Pavitra Rajaram Design, spoke about the role of design to create authentic and immersive experiences for society. This was followed by a heritage walk around town on Sunday morning.
On January 10, 2023, the brand hosted a soiree at the exhibition venue, Kathiwada House, to launch their ‘Centenary Range’. This collection of tiles was unveiled to honour those who have been key to BFT’s survival and growth over the past ten decades.
BFT will conclude this week-long extravaganza with a cement art workshop. Here, participants can try their hands at making tiles.
Previously, to commemorate the brand's centenary year, they also launched a digital campaign titled '100 Years 100 Stories'. It put the spotlight on a century's worth of engaging stories from the brand’s past and present.
BFT – a legacy
Launched in 1922 in Mumbai, BFT was founded by Pherozeshah Sidhwa and Rustom Sidhwa. It is currently spearheaded by Firdaus, Pherozeshah's grandson. They focused on 'Make in India' decades before the movement became a part of popular culture.
The brand’s USP has been patterned and terrazzo tiles. In Mumbai, one can witness their work at several old and new structures including Readymoney Mansion, Brady Flats (Colaba), Darbhanga Mansion, Carmichael Road, HSBC headquarters, The Bombay Canteen, and Colaba Social.