A TALK WITH INTERIOR DESIGNER RITU GOREGAOKER



  • WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE INTERIOR DESIGN?

My father who is now retired was an Art Director in Indian motion cinema and an artist. From a very young age, I have been doing the rounds of the sets with him. Spending time on the sets, watching magic happening (because for me it was nothing less than magic to see the designs which my father drew on paper come alive on the sets), the sense and feel of wood, glue and paint stuck in my head for a long time. The books on interior design that my father brought home for his references would keep me occupied for hours, staring at pages after pages of beautiful bedrooms and living rooms and offices. That is when I decided that design is what makes me happy and fulfills me and that is what I want to do for the rest of my life – make beautiful spaces for people to live in.

  • WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY?

My design philosophy is pretty simple. I only want to make dreams come true. Clients come to me wanting to design their dream home. They come with their set of aspirations and desires, wanting to build a beautiful home for their family. To be entrusted with the job to make it not only beautiful but functional and practical is humbling. My philosophy for design comes from the thought of wanting to give my clients a home or office which makes them and their families happy and contented. So, from the planning to the designing to the detailing, everything stems from functionality and practical needs of day to day life.


  • WHAT IS THE MANTRA THAT YOU'VE RELIED ON IN BALANCING FUNCTION WITH AESTHETICS?

Aesthetics is one of the most important points in design. Our job is to create beautiful spaces. But beautiful spaces don’t work in isolation. You cannot live in a museum of beautiful art pieces and fancy furniture alone. You need the space to be practical and functional as well. Realizing this was one of my earliest lessons that I learnt in this field. In order to make beautiful spaces functional; I think the key is to select the right material and the detailing. I strongly believe that what is not seen with your eyes is more important that what you can see. A fancy sofa which looks beautiful from outside but has a weak framework will not last long. An intricately detailed door will not stay strong enough if the holdfast used in the frame or the fixing isn’t done properly. So, the selection of the right material which can be molded to suit my design aesthetics would be my mantra to balance function and aesthetics.


  • TALK ABOUT THE SKILLS THAT HAVE SERVED YOU BEST IN YOUR CAREER.

In the middle of the second year of my design college, I realized that detailing is king. I wasn’t particularly interested in detailing and construction drawings till then. But then slowly when the professors would make us draft construction sheets, I realized how interesting it is to figure out details which make the interiors that we design durable. After that I spent a considerable amount of time studying detailing and making sure what I make only looks good but also stands the test of time. Designing a strong detailing base is a skill I have acquired and has served me very well in my career. Second would be material selection. I am very careful about the colors and material I select; be it marble or veneer or even the colors and materials of the soft furnishings. This is mostly based on instinct, anything that is different from the usual and not been done before needs some reliance on your instinct about what will look good or bad. Therefore, strong detailing, the correct selection of material and instinct would be the three key skills I have acquired which have served me well in my career.


  • WHAT ARE THE THINGS A BUDDING DESIGNER SHOULD PAY ATTENTION TO WHILE HANDLING PROJECTS? WHAT ACCORDING TO YOU ARE THE DO'S AND THE DONT'S IN THIS FIELD?

Designers who have just entered the field need time to understand the intricacies of handling a project and seeing it to fruition. From handling contractors to clients, meeting their needs and fluctuating decisions - there is a lot that happens when you are designing a project apart from just designing. It’s very easy to lose track of all that. My advice would be to keep it simple, don’t mix too many materials until you know you can handle it. Focus on details. Start small but dream big!


  • MENTION FEW OF YOUR NOTABLE PROJECTS AND WHY THEY ARE CLOSE TO YOU.

Over the past so many years I have done quite a few challenging projects ranging from offices to high end luxury interiors. From a 10000 sq.ft custom designed office at BKC to a 600 sq.ft small personal office designed for a former client, to a small one bedroom to a sprawling bungalow of 12000 sq.ft in Khandala. All of these projects are close to my heart and it is difficult to choose which ones of these I would term as notable. I could mention an apartment recently completed in Matunga about 3500 sq.ft. notable because of the material palate which is different from what I have been using in the past. The use of the color blue on all the walls of the living room - an instinct based decision, the dark grey marble flooring – this project is probably closest to my heart.



  • WHO HAS BEEN YOUR INSPIRATION IN DESIGN?

My first inspiration to enter this field would be my father – Mr. Yatindralal Bagchi. I may not have been in this field if it were not for him. The way he used to work and the magic he would weave from nothing still inspires me to be better than I am. In the current stage - I think I get inspired by fluidity and energy everywhere. Any particular designer doesn’t come to mind. But my inspiration in design sometimes comes from the most unexpected quarters, such as an interesting wall treatment somewhere, or a piece of unusual furniture. From an interesting window treatment, I happen to notice while driving or an amazing bathroom in a restaurant I happen to visit - inspiration for me lies everywhere I go. If I had to take a name, my inspiration would be Daniel Libeskind. I love his architecture. And not only buildings, there are some pieces of furniture he has designed which have left me awestruck, the latest being a table he designed for the furniture brand Turri, which was recently unveiled at the Milan design week - salon 2019.



  • WHAT ARE A FEW OF YOUR FAVOURITE ARCHITECTURAL/DESIGN PIECES AROUND THE GLOBE?

My favorite piece of architecture would also belong to Daniel Libeskind.


The Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Canada

The extension to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). Its new name is derived from the building’s five intersecting metal-clad volumes, which are reminiscent of crystals—inspired by the crystalline forms in the ROM’s mineralogy galleries. Libeskind created a structure of organically interlocking prismatic forms turning this important corner of Toronto, and the entire museum complex, into a luminous beacon.



The Gemma collection

Intended for both commercial and residential use, the Gemma collection—first launched in Spring, 2015, in Milan—has been expanded to include a chair, sofa and sofa system for public spaces such as airports and lobbies. “Gemma is an exercise in architecture on a small scale,” says Daniel Libeskind.



Tea Set for Sawaya and Moroni

Premiering during the 2009 Milan Design Week in the showroom of the famous Via Manzoni, Daniel Libeskind’s tea set designed for Sawaya & Moroni is his first home accessory. Libeskind’s tea set reflects his unique architectural style that has resulted in iconic buildings all over the world.



Swarovski Star and Kiosk in New York

The Libeskind-designed retail pop-up on Rockefeller Plaza is both crystalline and star-like in form, celebrating the beauty, energy and light of New York City.



  • WHAT DO YOU LOVE DOING WHEN YOU'RE NOT DESIGNING?

When I am not designing, I watch movies - I am a movie buff and love watching movies. Reading is also a passion of mine. I have a small library at home of about 2000 books. Additionally, I love to travel - which currently is a little difficult with work and a 5-year-old to look after. But yes, to travel the world is on my bucket – esp. all the historical places since both me and my husband are avid fans of history.

  • SHARE SOME OF YOUR VALUABLE ADVICE FOR OUR READERS TO GET INSPIRED OF.

My love affair with designing started when I went to my father’s film set one day. For all of us who didn’t really know what they wanted to do with their lives or those who haven’t yet found their passion, I am sure you’ll find it one day. It’s about that one instant when it suddenly strikes you that this is it for you - a little bit like love at first sight!

When you find that passion, pursue it, don’t hold back, work towards it, work as hard as needed to. But don’t let go. Design is an idea, an idea which needs to be nurtured and explored and experimented with. So, my advice would be to let go of all inhibitions and strive towards making the magic- turning designs drawn on paper into reality.


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