WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE ARCHITECTURE ?
I grew up around floor plans as my father is an architect and I had the ability to give imaginary designs to those drawings. Also, our sunday outings included walks along marine drive and oval admiring the lovely art deco buildings with discussions continuing to dinner conversations. Colour and design has always attracted me in a big way and being an interior designer was a natural choice for me.
WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY?
Design is a continuous process which is closely associated with a person’s lifestyle. This holds true in any kind of design – architecture, product or interior design. I like to simplify my thought process with clean lines and an uncluttered approach. Nature with its myriad colours has been my greatest inspiration and I like to incorporate that organic simplicity in my designs.
WHAT IS THE MANTRA THAT YOU'VE RELIED ON IN BALANCING FUNCTION WITH AESTHETICS?
As an interior designer, especially as far as residential interiors are concerned, it is important to get acquainted with clients and their lifestyle. My designs reflect the user's personality, but at the same time are very sophisticated and niche. As a designer, I take responsibility not only for the optics I create in a room, but also for the details that go into the making of it. I would like to believe that I am actually creating a living experience for the user, rather than just a visual treat. Client satisfaction and innovative design are of significant importance.
TALK ABOUT THE SKILLS THAT HAVE SERVED YOU BEST IN YOUR CAREER.
The fondness for colour and its various applications has helped me to hone my skills and connect with some very creative minds in India and overseas. We find ourselves constantly sharing ideas and tips without the slightest sense of competition. A keen interest in new products and their functions has helped me keep up with latest trends which I incorporate in my designs.
Apart from this, interpersonal skills have played a very large role in my career. As mentioned earlier, in this profession there is a need to get closely acquainted with clients and their lifestyles and it is important that you are able to connect with them so as to understand their expectations. It is also essential to develop healthy relationships with all the people involved in the journey – the client, my in-house team, various consultants, workers on site, product vendors & suppliers and artists. Without all of these people, the journey would be undesirable.
Communication as a skill has also helped me to a large extent in my career. I have had several opportunities to successfully interpret my designs for various leading magazines and newspapers locally and internationally. My contribution to the field of design through print and digital media has been acknowledged by readers.
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?
It is very easy to sit back and advise the younger generation, but I would like to stress on one thing – work as a team. Working with various consultants provides a great learning experience and strengthens your foundation. Also, listen carefully to every detail during meetings and ask questions. Always keep an eye out for new products, sustainable materials and local crafts. As a part of the building community we have an opportunity to create beautiful synergies and provide elegant and healthy living spaces within our surroundings.
MENTION FEW OF YOUR NOTABLE PROJECTS AND WHY THEY ARE CLOSE TO YOU.
A smart minimalist design of a show flat at Raheja Sorento and a luxury apartment called Gold Dust are my favourite designs. They are both diametrically opposite to each other in terms of design and colour palette and are a constant reminder to me that creativity doesn’t need to be bound by a particular form or design.
Raheja Sorento apartment follows the minimalist look with clean lines and a bold white & black colour palette. It exudes a sophisticated charm with white marble flooring and contrasting black Carbolo veneer. Every room in the beautifully located apartment is reminiscent of uncluttered glamour with the use of rich materials and luxurious design elements.
Gold Dust on the other hand is a luxury apartment that has a unique style of its own. Bold turquoise suede sofas offset with red distressed leather armchairs – all set against a back drop of gold wallpaper and shimmery gold curtains beautifully complimented by matte gold furniture and artifacts is an absolute visual delight. Every space in the apartment is a reflection of the users’ personalities and innovative design.
WHO HAS BEEN YOUR INSPIRATION IN DESIGN?
Philippe Starck, a French designer hugely inspires me. Apart from designing buildings bars and clubs, Starck has curated some amazing products too. The versatility of these products range from exclusive design objects, vehicles and lights to items of daily use. His philosophy is equally motivating – “Philippe Starck has a mission, a vision: that creation, whatever form it takes, must improve the lives of as many people as possible”
WHAT ARE A FEW OF YOUR FAVOURITE ARCHITECTURAL/DESIGN PIECES AROUND THE GLOBE?
I have had the good fortune of visiting the University of Melbourne in Australia and absorbing its history in great detail. It is the oldest university in Victoria set in a huge campus with a delightful mix of period buildings and modern architecture. The Old Commerce Building has an interesting story which claims to combine the relocated façade of a bank with a 1930s building. The underground car park called the South Lawn car park is one of the university’s most distinguished features, as it was designed using the most innovative structural systems. The design comprises a series of reinforced concrete shells with parabolic profiles supported on short columns. The columns encase pipes to drain the soils above for the planting of lawn and trees of the South Lawn. The east entrance to the car park incorporates a door from a 1745 house in St Stephen's Green, Dublin, and the west entrance is constructed with the salvaged doorway and is framed by two Atlas figures from the demolished Colonial Bank, Elizabeth Street.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE DOING WHEN YOU'RE NOT DESIGNING?
I love looking up fashion magazines and fashion websites for an inspiration on the use of colour. The various combinations of colours and textures are big influencers in my personal life and go a long way in helping me in my daily life too.
Being a big fan of nature, I am also fascinated with jungle safaris. The raw jungles with wild animals in their natural habitat provide a surreal experience on every trip.
SHARE SOME OF YOUR VALUABLE ADVICE FOR OUR READERS TO GET INSPIRED OF.
I would like to say just one thing – never let a good opportunity pass. No matter how small a role you have to play in something big, no experience is a waste. As the famous cliché goes, it is not the destination but the journey that is most enriching and helps to shape our future.