As we reminisced about our magazine’s glorious past, our thoughts meandered towards architecture as a profession and what it meant for design practices to stay relevant in today’s day and age. We asked prolific architects and designers to share a rule of design they swore by. Read on to find out how they honed their skills as they share valuable insights from their personal experiences and some really cool advice for young design firms:
Aparna Kaushik, Aparna Kaushik Design Group
Thumb rule of design: As a firm, we have always put our belief in designing spaces that converse harmony with functionality. The design should translate the individuality of each space regarding its proportions.
A piece of advice for budding architects: Understand the space and curate with an individualistic approach. Also, a strong sense of understanding the client’s requirements will always bring a unique approach that will constantly create variety in one’s own work.
Apoorva Shroff, lyth Design
Thumb rule of design: As curators of spaces, architects bear the responsibility of mindful design choices. In all my years of practice, I have consistently emphasised the art of storytelling in my work, seamlessly merging the client’s aspirations with my own design sensibilities.
A piece of advice for budding architects: As someone who has always taken calculated risks, I would advise them to embrace experimentation and push the boundaries of conventional design, explore new ideas, and challenge established norms to create unique design solutions. Additionally, I would advise them to develop a strong foundation in the fundamentals of architecture.
Veeram Shah, Design ni dukaan
Thumb rule of design: Realizing that there is much more to design than just design. Music, literature, cinema and other mediums of art serve as our muse and become a seamless part of my design practice and process. I believe design can never exist or be created in isolation. Rather, it is a collective expression of a person’s experiences, from the profound to the mundane. I find art in the most mundane things; I think we have forgotten to observe.
A piece of advice for budding architects: There is a richer way to live life for which it is essential to initiate “dialogues”. Design communities should collaborate, have closer circles and be symbiotic, to create stronger, ever-growing communities that thrive, support and love each other.
It is essential that the younger lot create stronger communities that become a full and complete circle of life. We need to create an ecosystem that redefines how people perceive design in India.
Vinu Daniel, Wallmakers
Meera Pyarelal, Temple Town
Thumb rule of design: Always create something timeless, that has a soul beyond fashionable seasons. To combine traditional crafts with the international through a uniquely Indian perspective.
A piece of advice for budding architects: Start small and work your way up, get yourself as much experience on the job and enjoy the journey. There is no substitute for hard work.
Sumit Dhawan, Cityspace’82 Architects
Thumb rule of design: Maintaining a harmonious equilibrium between functionality and form. Employing a dynamic methodology that involves a constant interplay between these two elements, I strive to ensure that every project’s aesthetics and functionality are thoughtfully rationalized and seamlessly integrated.
A piece of advice for budding architects: Prioritize a comprehensive understanding of the field and dedicate ample time and effort to deeply comprehend the client’s requirements and lifestyle. Also, embrace a mindset of continual exploration, innovation, and the delivery of impeccable work. By consistently pushing the boundaries, you can establish a reputation for exceptional quality within and beyond the design community.
Anil Badan, Studio B Architects
Thumb rule of design: Never overlook the client’s vision. I always work my designs around the initial brief we get from the clients without encroaching on the aesthetic and functional constitution of the structures. Additionally, always listen to the site, it gives you plenty of hints about the production process and the terrains, so never skip the site visits.
A piece of advice for budding architects: Sustainable designs do not necessarily mean buildings constructed with majorly eco-friendly materials, it also means a structure that doesn’t require reconstruction or demolition every few years. Make sure you design buildings that stand their ground in every sense of the word.
Ajay Arya, A Square Designs
Thumb rule of design: I have never followed trends blindly. At A Square Designs, we believe that interior design is about understanding people and how they live. The focus of an interior designer should be the client and the client’s lifestyle, not a design trend such as classic or contemporary.
A piece of advice for budding architects: Always continue to experiment throughout your career. In all our projects, we always experiment by curating furniture pieces and selecting art that would complement the spaces uniquely. Don’t be afraid of sharing your ideas with your prospective clients. They might just love what you propose!
Abhigyan Neogi, Chromed Design Studio
Thumb rule of design: It is my strong conviction that designing spaces that prioritize the needs of human beings while incorporating natural elements alongside non-organic materials is paramount. Our designs are characterized by a combination of various aspects of space creation that meld perfectly with the existing surrounding environment.
A piece of advice for budding architects: You’re about to embark on an exciting journey to discover your own personal Multiverse. Remember, the design realm is vast–it stretches as far as the eye can see and then even beyond. So if one approach doesn’t yield the results you’re after, don’t despair. Your mind is a boundless well of ideas; believe that there’s a chrysalis bursting with potential, waiting just on the horizon.
Thumb rule of design: Zaha Hadid, (in a documentary of MAXII museum, Rome) said “Experience is paramount.” Learning from her, I have realized—not necessarily with expensive marbles and fancy furniture’s etc…but if we have managed to take the user on a journey and bring in that experience, that feeling will be etched in their memory. This is what I believe in and follow, that design will always be remembered.
A piece of advice for budding architects: PASSION IS EVERYTHING. Life is a roller coaster, there will be ups and downs. But out of my personal experience, I am telling you, if you have the passion. nothing can bring you down or stop you from shining.
Gaurav Sanghavi, Pentaspace
Thumb rule of design: The client is always right. You can educate your clients and give them input as per your expertise but eventually, they are going to take that final call. We must take that with a pinch of salt and move ahead. While explaining it you push your concept and logic through, but it is imperative to respect the client’s decision.
A piece of advice for budding architects: Patience! Architecture generally requires a lot of patience because, unlike interior design, architecture projects can take years to complete so you need to believe in yourself. I think these two are your critical assets to be a good architect.
Rohini Bagla, Studio Rohini Bagla
Thumb rule of design: As I always say, design has to be practical and functional. Design that just looks appealing and is not practical or functional is not a good design. That is what I always swear by and follow in my work. It is not just aesthetically pleasing but it’s equally functional and practical.
A piece of advice for budding architects: What I tell my staff is that you must be very attentive to the details, to the smallest facts and bits of elements. You have to understand what your client wants. You cannot impose your designs; you must understand their requirements and then suggest a design that works for them that looks aesthetically pleasing as well. The design has to be in harmony. There is no shortcut here. You have to really work hard. And the more genuine and the more honest you are about your work, the more passionate you are about your work will directly reflect in your success. We have to be ready to work hard to stand, to physically experience everything on site