Indian craft: a Frankfurt exhibition explores the work of Studio Mumbai

Between the sun and the moon with The rediscovery
’Between the sun and the moon - Studio Mumbai - The rediscovery of Indian handcraft’ is now open at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum in Frankfurt. Pictured here, the House with nine sections in Kankeshwar, India, by Studio Mumbai.
(Image credit: Mitul Desai)

A new exhibition at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum in Frankfurt explores the extraordinary, handcrafted work of architecture and design practice Studio Mumbai. The India-based firm was set up in 2005 by Bijoy Jain and has since captured the hearts and minds of many with their tactile, immaculately executed works. 

Beginning life as a cooperative Studio Mumbai is no ordinary architecture practice. It is not set in a shiny modern building and is not staffed by just architects, designers or engineers. Made up by a mix of architects, artisans and craftspeople, the office is situated in the still-partly-rural area of Alibag, south west of the Indian metropolis, instead of, perhaps more conventionally, setting up shop in the mega-city's heart.

Mumbai-born Jain went to study in the United States at the Washington University in St Louis. He consequently went on to work for Richard Meier in Los Angeles and London, before returning to his native India in 1995 to set up his own office. 

His vision involved architects and craftspeople, working together in a shared space – and that is exactly what he achieved. The Studio Mumbai complex focuses around a large shaded courtyard, where design and craft come together from the very conception of each project, to its execution and the finest detail. 

With Jain at the helm of the practice, the concept development team consists of American architect Samuel Barclay, carpenter Jivaram Sutar, stonemason Pandurang Malekar and stonemason and carpenter Bhaskar Raut. Together, they create unique, one-off pieces of architecture that combine modern design, with natural, quality materials and India's traditional artisanship, feeling at one with their surroundings.

Studio Mumbai’s with Cooper House II

Studio Mumbai’s Cooper House II in Chondi, Maharashtra, built in 2011.

(Image credit: Mitul Desai)

The firm’s new Studio Saath Rasta in Mumbai

The firm’s new Studio Saath Rasta in Mumbai, India.

(Image credit: Srijaya Anumolu)


’Between the sun and the moon - Studio Mumbai - The rediscovery of Indian handcraft’ will be on show at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum until 21 August . For more information visit the Studio Mumbai website


Deutsches Architekturmuseum 
Schaumainkai 43
60596 Frankfurt am Main


Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).