WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE ARCHITECTURE ?
This was one of the very few ‘passion-turned-profession’s, I had come across. When the time came, I didn’t wait. I dove right in. And till date, the adrenaline rush that every project gives me is a happy reminder of the decision I took, to take up architecture.
WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY?
The quality of design output generally speaks for itself. The clients/users of the space realise this over a period of living/usage. Now, in order to realise a design, it’s important to know that some requirements are more functional than aesthetic and vice-versa. For example, a commercial setup by a highway, will need a head turning façade to attract the cars moving past. A small office space, on the other hand, will require every inch of space to be functional. In spite of this, I have always tried to add a creative twist. To know how to balance these three aspects and where to draw the line is important.
WHAT IS THE MANTRA THAT YOU'VE RELIED ON IN BALANCING FUNCTION WITH AESTHETICS?
There is no mantra as such. It really comes down to addressing the clients' requirements. Sometimes, they know exactly what they want. Sometimes they don’t and it becomes our responsibility to figure out which design would suit the best. So, I imagine the process that follows after the project is complete. To imagine yourself in their shoes is the best way to figure out where functionality has a higher hand and where it doesn’t.
TALK ABOUT THE SKILLS THAT HAVE SERVED YOU BEST IN YOUR CAREER.
Communication. You need to know how to put through your design to the clients in a way that they understand. It’s important to know how to convince your client and tell them why your design is the best for the project. Willpower, isn’t exactly a skill but this quality has helped me complete some complicated projects without any compromise in design, till the end.
WHAT ARE THE THINGS A BUDDING ARCHITECT SHOULD PAY ATTENTION TO WHILE HANDLING PROJECTS? WHAT ACCORDING TO YOU ARE THE DO'S AND THE DONT'S IN THIS FIELD?
Be honest to yourself. Know where you stand. Be honest about the things you know and more about the things you don’t. Be disciplined in your approach to everything you do and see it reflect in your work as well. No client appreciates working with a disorganised designer. As important as it is to have design skills, it’s also important to start focusing on other soft skills that help you develop your business.
MENTION FEW OF YOUR NOTABLE PROJECTS AND WHY THEY ARE CLOSE TO YOU.
There was a residential project in Lohegaon that I did for a client who was a farmer. The client didn’t have specific requirements. So this project involved me analysing his lifestyle and really getting to know the client well to derive their requirements. I was so involved in this project that I had put all of my 18 years of my experience into this. I put myself in the spaces and slowly the design evolved. The other is my own studio, in Pune. I’ve put my soul into designing it. Every detail there is personalised and you’ll know it when you see it.
WHO HAS BEEN YOUR INSPIRATION IN DESIGN?
Frank Lloyd Wright. His designs seem as those they rose from the surroundings. The way the buildings respond to the site and its context is brilliant. Another is my good friend Uroz Razpet, principal architect of Plan B, Slovenia. I find his approach to design fresh and inspiring.
WHAT ARE A FEW OF YOUR FAVOURITE ARCHITECTURAL/DESIGN PIECES AROUND THE GLOBE?
The Marina Bay Sands. I have witnessed this structure in person and it’s structural design was so mesmerising. To bring a concept through so well, in such a huge scale project is brilliant.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE DOING WHEN YOU'RE NOT DESIGNING?
I enjoy sports, mostly golf and cricket. I’m also captaining a cricket team in Pune. Otherwise there’s nothing like catching up with friends!
SHARE SOME OF YOUR VALUABLE ADVICE FOR OUR READERS TO GET INSPIRED OF.
As designers, it’s in our nature, to observe things and so we are able to appreciate our surroundings. I would urge readers from non-architectural background as well, to observe more in their everyday lives. Inspiration can be found in the most unexpected things. And if you really observe, you might realise, it’s all around you!