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Renuka Ramanujam

Portfolio of the day

August 05, 2016


Who are you?

I'm Renuka Ramanujam, and I'm a material and printed textile designer, but I'm interested in so much more! I love anthropology, dance, chemistry, surf and the culinary arts!  

I think my work comes from my own experiences, and I'm fascinated by origins and culture, perhaps because I'm confused about how I would classify mine, funnily enough. I'm originally from India, though Dutch by nationality, and have lived in Singapore and London as well, where I'm currently based. It's awesome, because you can feel like you belong everywhere, but also a downer because you're never quite a right fit anywhere. I guess my work tries to celebrate the parts in culture I find most beautiful or intriguing.


What are you inspired by?

I'm inspired by cultures and social practices, but also the great outdoors.  I know I'm not the first one to talk about our disconnect to the natural world or how dystopian our world is with the rise of social media etc. but rather than focus on the negatives, I'm trying to rediscover what we all seemed to have passed over because we're beyond that with technology - I mean, going back to practices with raw materials and finding out how things were done in their unaltered, pure form. It can be so exhilarating to create something that has come straight from the earth, and the funny thing is, it's not as difficult as you might think because there are so many amazing things to discover in nature.  


What was the last movie you watched?

The Jungle Book! (the new live-action version) Nothing tops the original cartoon, but it was stunning. The fur on Bagheera was unreal. 


What was the last book you read?

Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami. I thought it was fantastically weird, but I totally recommend it. It's a richly woven tale, and makes the most humdrum of its moments interesting and/or beautiful.


Do you have any role model?

I don't know about role models, but I have people that inspire me to be better. It's also hard to pick one, or even a few, because I've had so many! At this moment in time I can think of these: 

I worked at an NGO in Ahmedabad, India and the volunteers and staff there were testament to endless compassion, even in the hardest of situations. I met some truly beautiful souls there. My current flatmates (who are childhood friends) are also givers of unconditional love and support, and since we grew up together to an extent, it's incredible to see this flow of love that is so rooted even when things are difficult. It gives me so much confidence in the strength of love and trust and encourages me to spread it.

I also really admire elite gymnast Aly Raisman and dancer Diana Matos - both have an incredible passion for what they do; it's so electric that they make me want to do gymnastics and dance! They work unbelievably hard constantly to achieve their goals, yet remain humble and grounded in the process. They also find time to enjoy life!  


What is your next creative project?

I'm not entirely sure, but I'd love to develop the bioplastics I've been working on even further - perhaps the next step would be to get into a lab and collaborate with material specialists to create something that could be commercially viable! I'd also love to work with artisans and perhaps live with some for a while to get an insight into a new culture.  


What do you like about Portfoliobox?

I like how easy it is to make something beautiful on Portfoliobox. For someone like me who is clueless about coding, html and that world, it allowed me to express a vision that I wanted; It was clear and easy to understand from the get-go. The options for customisation are great, your website has the potential to look uniquely, well, yours! 

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