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Designers, Architects, expertise, inspiration.

A New Set Of Design Explorations

We talk to an emerging set of designers who are exploring new paradigms of approach, style and inspiration.

Architects and designers envision ideas for the present, with an awareness of the past and materialize them for the future. As key influencers in the design and construction industry, we rely on them for their design expertise and the manifestation of exceptional ideas.

Whether it is an aesthetically designed home or a functionally designed office space, the work of leading design professionals and upcoming designers and architects have added a new dimension to the world of Indian architecture and design.

We take you on a journey of acquaintance with a selected group of designers and architects who are making a new and significant contribution to the industry. This cover feature is dedicated to these amazing and emerging names that spell excellence and progress in the field.

Kaushik Mukherjee: KMA

Designers, Architects, expertise, inspiration.

After his long association with Channa Daswatte of MICDA Sri Lanka, Kaushik Mukherjee, the principal architect established Kaushik Mukherjee Architects (KMA). Set up in Bangalore, KMA believes in novel ideas, innovative designs and environmentally friendly structures which are at par with site climate and access of local materials.

KMA’s mindfulness perceives the pending structure in its entirety and is ready to assist with the accessory services with a view to providing the highest degree of functional and aesthetical architectural design.

What would be your approach to designing smaller spaces economically?

Apart from the governing factor of usage of such small spaces, essentially, a naturally cross ventilated space with natural light is of utmost importance to whatever we design. This takes care of all the unnecessary artificial sources of light and ventilation consuming renewable energy source and hence the cost.

What defines your style? How does it set your firm apart from the multitude?

From the inception of my design career, I have always been very intrigued with creating original ensemble using beautiful objects stitched together to tell the story of its inhabitants. Also, getting involved with the site along with the understanding of design brief forms the back bone of visualizing the “bigger picture” – the site being all important.

In your opinion what are the challenges to design and architecture in India?

Lack of empathy resulting in insensitively built environment would be one defining factor. Also, I feel, somewhere in the transformation of our societies to the “modern” and the proliferation of trade, there seems to have been a stage where local techniques are not seen as progressive and various atrocities are accepted as way forward. These are some issues I can promptly think of which can affect adversely on any nascent and budding design practices.

Designers, Architects, expertise, inspiration.
Kaushik Mukherjee, Principal Architect, KMA Architects says that he is intrigued with creating original ensemble using beautiful objects stitched together to tell the story of its inhabitants

What do you think has been a prominent inspiration behind your work?

Local practices, history of the region, local arts and crafts, always provide matter for the narrative of the experience one looks and feels in a space. As far as design attitude is concerned, most certainly, my time spent under the Geoffrey Bawa umbrella of thought and long association with his former partner Ar. Channa Daswatte in Sri Lanka.

With the world reconsidering the issue of environmental conservation and sustainability, how do you hope to contribute to greener ventures?

We have always believed that indeed there is no point in shutting all the windows and then inventing a sophisticated technique to cool a building, which in the long run is also a drain on the environment to solve the problem of comfort. Therefore, original out of the box thinking can be more rewarding than vox populi approach towards design. Also, the idea of being able to renew and reuse is an important part of sustainability. The materials and the way in which they are used in vernacular and traditional architecture allows for these issues to be addressed. We try to build with these design principles into the spaces we design, so they are inherently green!

What would you like to say to a new architect or designer?

Thank god you haven’t use the word “young”, as it would have made me sound incredibly old. In fact, new architects/designers are a source of fresh inspiration to us.

Contact
Kaushik Mukherjee Architects
web: www.kmarchitects.co.in

Sushant Verma: Rat[LAB]

Designers, Architects, expertise, inspiration.

Sushant Verma  is an architect and computational designer, currently leading research organization rat[LAB] – Research in Architecture and Technology. rat[LAB]  is an independent research organization and network of designers and researchers specializing in computational design or similar technology-related domains. It is operated as a cloud-based organization with an international network of researchers and computational designers spread across UK, USA, Europe and Asia, and a studio in New Delhi.

The research cell functions as a global collaborative and multidisciplinary laboratory facilitating design research that leads to novel spatial tectonics and smart built environments It offers collaborations to architecture and design firms to develop systemic models using advanced computational techniques and carry out project-specific or agenda-specific work in all fields of design.

What would be your approach to designing smaller spaces economically?

Our design approach revolves around technology as its backbone since we are focussed to bridge the gap between design, technology and research to explore novel spatial tectonics. Regardless of scale and type of space, we use computational design methods to rationalize a design to meet its outcome in the most optimized manner.

Designers, Architects, expertise, inspiration.
Sushant Verma, Rat[LAB] says, “Research cell functions as a global collaborative and multidisciplinary laboratory facilitating design research.”
What defines your style? How does it set your firm apart from the multitude?

I would not like to define our work under a narrow spectrum of a ‘style’. It is an evolving piece of work that we are carrying out at rat[LAB] and it continues to push boundaries that we set in our previous works.  Since we use technology at the core of our practice, our work evolves rapidly with changing technologies and computational methods form the practice ethos, making it distinct in its own ways as far as design process and output are concerned.

In  your opinion what are the challenges to design and architecture in India?

Architectural Practice in today’s date has become more globalized than ever and there is a healthy exchange of knowledge and data due to the openness of internet, mass share of data and architectural journalism being at its peak. Hence, practice challenges are as much as it would be in any country or environment. Yes, India is slightly slow in adapting to new technologies & methods, but we push hard to break the conventional boundaries for innovative work to emerge. India is a booming market and acceptance to change is becoming better with time & globalization.

Designers, Architects, expertise, inspiration.

What or who do you think has been prominent inspiration behind your work?

I have always been inspired by works of Frank Gehry & Zaha Hadid due to the way they have pushed the conventional boundaries of profession in their own ways. Gehry’s work forms an inspiration as he introduced new technologies from parallel disciplines to drastically change the way architecture is practiced, constructed & realized. Zaha, on the other hand disrupted the design language of a static profession. I have been fortunate to be associated with Zaha Hadid Architects, London during 2013-14 where I gained immense exposure and experience to work on complex projects of all scales and types.

With the world reconsidering the issue of environmental conservation and sustainability, how do you hope to contribute to greener ventures?

It is time we reconsider our concerns about environment and start to take larger initiatives. We, as architects, have a slightly higher responsibility to express this sensitivity towards environment as we contribute to the built environment. Taking necessary steps towards this is integral to our practice as we strive to develop innovative solutions to tackle environmental impact.

Designers, Architects, expertise, inspiration.

What would you like to say to a new architect/ designer?

Design is an amalgamation of strong ideas, extensive research and solving simple & complex problems for a smart output. The process itself can be complex as it is a non-linear process with real-time feedback at all steps. In my limited experience of working on a multitude of projects and design problems, two things I have realised and keep telling myself are: “Anything is possible- you need to solve problems smartly” and “Best design solutions are the simplest ones”.

Contact
Rat Lab Interiors
web: www.rat-lab.org

Vritima Wadhwa: Project 810

Designers, Architects, expertise, inspiration.

Vritima Wadhwa, a graduate from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad founded Project 810 in 2014. The studio, located in South Delhi is an integration of Interior Designers, Exhibition Designers, Graphic Designers and Architects from across the top schools, in and outside of the country. The Studio’s core strength lies in its flexibility and expertise in handling projects across scales; from the minute furniture details to boutique stores and even large interior-architecture spaces. Being a holistic design practice, the Studio follows a strong process driven approach, from thorough research to effective, experience centred design.

A collaborative, rooted in the contemporary Indian context, Project 810 believes in using local resources matched with high quality craftsmanship and sensibilities, to create a tailor-made design experience.  It has worked on projects across sectors, including Retail, Hospitality, Residential and Furniture projects over the past few years.

What would be your approach to designing smaller spaces economically?

The first step would be to understand the existing architectural nuances of the structure that can be retained or used in their natural forms without making the surfaces overtly crude. Working with raw plastered walls, open ceilings and grid systems is currently in trend. This trend can serve to be quite economical. Besides, a careful selection of well-priced materials and restricting the material palette and elements to a limited few can also serve the purpose.

What defines your style? How does it set your firm apart from the multitude?

I don’t feel that we’ve developed a strong recognisable style as yet. But there’s one thing that we see running in our projects is that our projects are almost defined by the details. Another conscious choice we try to make in our projects is to try and use as many local materials as possible.

In your opinion what are the challenges to design and architecture in India?

Not per say a challenge but our country is definitely a few years behind in execution of design. The engineering aspect of a product or space is not yet there. There aren’t enough support mechanisms from the industry as yet.

Designers, Architects, expertise, inspiration.
Vritima Wadhwa, Project 810 says, “Conscious choice we try to make in our projects to try and use as many local materials as possible.”

What or who do you think has been a prominent inspiration behind your work?

Inspirations come and go. Some are conscious and some subconscious. My education has been a very big inspiration to me. Being in Ahmedabad, a cultural city with inspirations from the likes of Charles and Ray Eames, Corbusier and other such dignitaries – uplifted, steered and channelized my sensibilities towards design. Over the years I have worked and collaborated with some of the best in design. Working with them not only helped me understand the subtle nuances of the intentions behind their outputs but their work inspired me deeply as an individual.

With the world reconsidering the issue of environmental conservation and sustainability, how do you hope to contribute to greener ventures?

We ensure minimum wastage in our projects and work with the execution team to ensure proper planning of elements. We are conscious about the materials we use and only hope to achieve higher sustainability and be more environmentally conscious with each project.

What would you like to say to a new architect or designer?

Be honest to your work by being original. Question the purpose at every step and always be eager to learn. Even the smallest stone mason at your site will have something to teach you.

Contact
Project 810
web: www.project810.com

Sanchit Arora: Renesa

Designers, Architects, expertise, inspiration.

Renesa is a firm dealing in Architectural and Interior design consulting across India. Based in New Delhi, their design studio and project plan office, comprising of a number of associate architects and several architectural assistants, is led by Mr. Sanjay Arora. Renesa has worked on various projects ranging from large commercial projects such as airports, sports complexes, head-office buildings, multi-unit commercial, print-media production facilities, and multi-unit residential projects.

What would be your approach to designing smaller spaces economically?

Firstly no space is small or big. I feel every space has its own relevance in terms of designing it and we as architects need to find new solutions to overcome this imbalance in the design vs. costing theory. The only simple approach to designing spaces economically is that that the spatial economics meets the spatial ergonomics for the inhabitants. Hence, there will never be one set criteria as to how to design smaller spaces economically but I would rather emphasize on getting the spatial efficiency right along with the aesthetics to minimize on the criteria of going overboard with costing.

Designers, Architects, expertise, inspiration.

What defines your style? How does it set your firm apart from the multitude?

Renesa as the name suggests is the noun form of Renaissance meaning the Rebirth of Art, Design and Décor and at Renesa, we feel the need to capture the lost essence of art and architecture in today’s world by collaborating the two different school of learning of different age-groups and different design ideologies and philosophies (i.e.  Mr. Sanjay Arora , 51, Founder Principal Architect and Mr. Sanchit  Arora, 25, Studio Head Architect). The amalgamation of different school of learning creates a unique blend of architectural and design ideology which sets Renesa Architecture Design Interiors Studio apart in the market.

In your opinion what are the challenges to design and architecture in India?

India with its growing economy has a huge potential for the architects and designers in the market and with this huge potential comes a lot of persisting challenges in the architectural society. Personally speaking, Indian architecture and design has always been impressive as it holds the right connect to its past cultural history but at the cost of highly skilled labour dependence, hence is a very labour intensive craft in India which probably needs to change in the coming future.

The spatial requirements are always sky high but the spaces provided to the architects are always tight and hence puts a big challenge on the architect to design in accordance to the spatial issues. Another issue is the unprofessional behaviour of the market along with the inability of the market to respect the hard work and sweat that goes behind a design ideology and scheme.

What or who do you think has been a prominent inspiration behind your work?

We have always found inspiration from the modernist architectural greats like Mies, Gropius, Corbusier, FLW and many more. The design ideology of modernism to create an everlasting effect through simple straight lines is one of the basic principles that the team at Renesa follows while designing various out-of the box design schemes but at the same time being subtle and not going overboard with the lines.

The important aspect with getting inspired is to find the weaknesses of the already issued design schemes and try to overcome those issues while germinating a new concept from the same. “As there’s always going to be a better way of doing the same design, we as architects need to be hungry for new solutions”.

Designers, Architects, expertise, inspiration.
Sanchit Arora of Renesa, says “The best way to move forward in designing a space is to critique your own design after every step.”

With the world reconsidering the issue of environmental conservation and sustainability, how do you hope to contribute to greener ventures?

Going green or providing the sustainability factory to a building has become a major trend in the last decade of our architectural fraternity. We have lately ventured into the green building syndrome in a way of providing a different outlook to architectural aesthetics through the project “Casa Green Lattice”. The whole idea of reconsidering environmental issues has been a blessing in disguise for the design fraternity as we now have another dimension to work upon in this ever so growing field of design and architecture. The Potential of involving nature in architecture looks really promising for the future.  “Nature will never fail you”.

What would you like to say to a new architect or designer?

The best way to move forward in designing a space is to critique your own design after every step. “Since most of us are going to be doing ordinary things in our lives, the most important thing is to do those ordinary things extraordinarily well.”

Contact
Renesa Architecture
web: www.renesa.in

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