India Mahdavi (born 4 April 1962) is an Iranian-French architect and designer. Her work is characterized by minimalist colors. She is known for her designs of internal spaces and furniture design. Projects include the Hotel du Cloitre in Arles, Coburg Bar at London’s Connaught Hotel, Monte Carlo Beach in Monaco, Rivington Hotel in Manhattan and the Townhouse Hotel in Miami.
Mahdavi was born in 1962 in Tehran to a Persian father and an Egyptian-English mother. She grew up in Germany, France and the US and resides in Paris in 2018. She studied architecture at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris, France and earned her Architect Diploma DPLG in 1987. Following her degree award, she moved to New York City In 1989. There, she studied graphic, furniture and industrial design at the School of Visual Arts, Parsons and Cooper Union, respectively. In 1990, she returned to Paris, France where she has lived since. She began working for Christian Liaigre In 1999, Mahdavi founded her company, imh interiors and she opened a Paris showroom in 2003.
Mahdavi’s work is a mixture of elegance and cartoonish color. She credits her heritage, worldly upbringing and design study to her notable design style. “You can’t pin it down to a specific influence or reference,” said Yann Le Coadic, “…Every detail of a space India designs is thought out to the millimeter, and yet the overall impression is very uncontrived. India focuses on how a space will be lived and not what visual impression it will make.”
“I really think of myself like the French word metissage (meaning the cultural mix of society),” says India. “I am a pure product of the Middle East product –at least by blood – but I actually got to know my homeland much later.” To know where I belong very late in life made it more emotional for me. It was like ‘what did I miss out on’ and ‘how can I integrate these elements into my life today.’”