A TALK WITH INTERIOR DESIGNER SANIYA KANTAWALA

Updated: Aug 1, 2019


INTERIOR DESIGNER SANIYA KANTAWALA

  • WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE ARCHITECTURE ?

Even while I was pursuing a degree in commerce for my graduation, I was pretty intrigued by the world of design. I reached out to Ashish Shah, a renowned architect and was able to grab a work opportunity where I learnt a lot about the field. From the do’s and don’ts, to an abundance of practical knowledge and exposure which helped me find my true passion and create my own path. I also studied about Lighting Design and Visual Merchandising in Barcelona that helped me further.

  • WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY?

Initially I had no philosophy, however over the years as my work portfolio expanded, I understood that each project had its own identity. Now, I strongly believe that a designer’s mind is a tool that is gifted with multiple layers of ideas and styles, so why should we stick to one? This has fundamentally been my design philosophy over the past few years and has constantly pushed me to explore unconventional designs and push myself beyond the lines. As a design studio we believe in exploring limitless design possibilities, and break away from conventional notions and philosophies. We seek to innovate, and create unique designs.

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

In my opinion, functionality and aesthetics go hand in hand. The first step is to understand the client brief, clearly. This helps understand what the they want and the specific functionality. Once that is done, we can blend it with aesthetics. Most people believe in form over function; however, function arises from the core belief of what the client wants and only then can we fulfill the client needs.

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

Learning from my design school and my mentors have really helped enhance my skillset. Design school taught me the importance of technical knowledge as essential as design and visual implementation. While studying Lighting Design and Visual Merchandising in Barcelona, I learnt how to reverse the process of design and visualise after the art is selected. Under the tutelage of Ashish Shah, I learnt the importance of effective communication with the client. All my mentors and teachers have taught me something that is unique and that has shaped up my work today.

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

Firstly, a designer should understand when to say no to a project. One should not be in a hurry to take every project. Know when your hands are full, as this will disrupt your creativity and effectiveness in delivering a project. Secondly, keep exploring and not let yourself get limited by conventional notions of designs. Travel, as it is an excellent source of inspiration—art and culture, people of different ethnicity, are great exposure and allow us to think out of the box.

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

Every project is unique and has its own identity. All projects are close to me, but more than the project itself, the client matters to me. A good project cannot be built without a good client i.e. if a client respects and appreciates your vision, they will understand and support your work process.



  • WHO HAS BEEN YOUR INSPIRATION IN DESIGN?

Certainly, Ashish Shah. He is my mentor and I have learnt a great deal from him. Much of my early learning about the field of interior design come from him. Apart from that, Kelly Hoppen’s knowledge about colours and how she plays with a neutral colour scheme is very inspiring. Also, Kelly Wearstler, another interior designer who greatly inspires me for her eccentric pattern play. I am constantly learning from everyone and these are just a few names from whom I draw inspiration.



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

I am completely mesmerised by the Sagrada Família in Barcelona. Designed by the famous architect Antoni Gaudí, I am in awe of the marvellous structure and the complexity with which it has been made. It may not be one of the most beautiful structures, but it is physically impossible to make and in fact is still being made. The work process – he made moulds of clay organically which would then become a part of the structure. This is both complex and intricate.



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

Mostly travelling, as it is a great source of inspiration. Meeting new people and learning about different cultures really helps me explore and expand my creativity. Apart from that, reading and spending time with family are just some indulgences I enjoy, when not working.

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

An important thing that I have learnt and implemented is that travelling is extremely valuable. Every city and country has much to offer, and by not travelling we are limiting our mind and our creativity. Our world is so diverse in terms of culture—meeting different people and understanding their culture and art can really show us a part of the world we didn’t even know existed.

67 views

mumbai, india | contact@arch-q.com+91 900 214 7624