Dr. Rebecca Reubens is an alumna of NIFT, Delhi and NID, Ahmedabad. While she was convinced she was not academically inclined, she surprised herself by thoroughly enjoying her PhD research at Delft University of Technology at the intersection of craft, design and sustainability. She continues her professional practice in this domain through her sustainability design studio called Rhizome.
She has worked with bamboo for two decades now, and it remains her expertise and material of choice. She is a World Bamboo Ambassador for the World Bamboo Organization.
Rebecca teaches because she believes that the surest way to a sustainable future is to implant the sustainability bug into the designers of the future. She is an adjunct Associate Professor at CEPT University, and visting faculty at several other design schools across India. Rebecca is the author of several publications including a book on bamboo for the Prins Claus Fonds, and one on mainstreaming sustainability in craft MSMEs through design for Routledge. She is currently working on an edited volume on craft in India.
Hemal Kamdar is the god of small things at Rhizome. Her mornings begin with a cup of coffee after which she juggles multiple things while making sure everyone is working. She learnt on the job, and exudes confidence in everything she does. None of us can do without her. She can sell snow to an Eskimo and make pigs fly. All the while smiling sweetly. But only for us. That’s why we love her.
RATAN CHANDRA PAL
Ratan Chandra Pal has been working with Rebecca Reubens for two decades now. He is her original partner in crime, and original collaborative design go-to person. He is Rhizome’s in-house bamboo expert, engineer, and our constant. We simply can’t imagine Rhizome without him.
Sajal joined our team five years ago for a short stint. We were not looking to hire at the time, but after we met him, we extended his ‘short stint’ indefinitely. We have seen him grow from strength to strength and he is now part of our core team. We now cannot imagine not having him onboard.
Prakashbhai has been with us ever since Rhizome began. He began as a peon and then joined our prototyping team. He still moonlights as a giver of tea because he does make the best chai in the world. He super reliable and we would trust him with our lives. Rhizome is home to him and he is family to us.
KARUNA CHANDRA PAL
Karuna began working with us when she married Ratan Chandra Pal. She only takes us as much work as she can do alongside being the bestest mom in the world and we are amazed by how focussedly she maintains her work-life balance. She still comes through for us whenever we need her so we do think might be a tad fond of us. We must mention that she is a force-feeder and Rebecca Reubens is one of her prime victims..
Ajij is a textile worker, who joined us recently when he was laid off. Again, we believed this would be a short stint, but he picked up bamboo work like it was second nature to him. Ajij doesn’t plan on leaving Rhizome or bamboo anytime soon. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Some people don’t need a last name. Sargam is one of them. He has a larger than life personality, but spends most of his time working quietly at his bench. He has taught us a thing or two about metal-working and costing. We constantly learn from him, and he loves being the professor.