Reflections

It has been 2 years since I launched the website and wrote my thoughts in the blog section. There was so much that I wanted to share on regular basis but I guess the priority shifted to get office organized, get more work , complete the projects and document them.

These 2 years have been full of learning, meeting wonderful people, making friends, knowing people and most important having fun. My new office although modest and no elements of decent interior gives tremendous energy.

Housed in a middle of a large farm nurtured by Dr.Arun Kumar, I can never be thankful enough to him and his wife to let me use this beautiful space.

The best part about this place is that it opens up your mind and lets you think beyond your capacity. Actually we always underestimate our own capabilities. There were times when a plan has come on my table and I have wondered how I would do justice to this work.  In such case I have surprised myself.  There were times when I have even overestimated myself and have been disappointed with myself. Regrets? Yes we all have several regrets but very few acknowledge the fact. When I say regret does not mean bad work. I mean the work which I would have liked to do differently.

As mentioned earlier a house is a reflection of the owner first and then a signature of the designer. So there are times that this reflection starts dominating the signature. Now there is a very fine line between what the client likes and what a designer offers.

Today, the clients are exposed to various design websites and also gets influenced very easily. I get several emails showing what they like. I appreciate it, as a knowledgeable client is always better than an ignorant one.  The brief gets very clear. But then there are several who do not understand the relevance of those websites in their own space. Many of them claim that they know what they want but just need help to implement those ideas. Frankly I would like to run away from such people.

Not because I want my signature to come first but generally a respect for a designer is shown less in such cases as you become their helper. I have seen several projects where the client does not even name the designer. Hmm, a confession, unknowingly I also became a part of such project few times.

Designing a house is a very challenging but satisfying job. It gives you a wide canvas to work on but with loads of limitation in a form of interference.  One can look at these limitations as boundaries to work within but several times these boundaries are so ambiguous that you need to read the user’s mind and offer them exact picture. Frankly I like this ambiguity so that I can take some liberty to stretch myself and not work within the frame work. THIS IS A REASON WHY WE DO NOT LIKE TO GIVE 3 D IMAGE FOR A RESIDENTIAL PROJECT. You get bound by your first idea and presentation.

I am not trying to justify my limitation in giving the image but in most cases the design evolves with time, get mature with the proportions you see on the site and the new material you come across.

Another large canvas is hospitality work. People react to your work instantly. I was about to handover a renovated hotel lobby , restaurant and a bar. I got calls only to appreciate my work. Plus the same client offering you more work only shows his satisfaction and appreciation.

Signing off I will make sure I don’t wait for 2 hours to come back here.

 

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The Design Process

“Change is the only constant on this earth”

I have evolved as a human being and as a designer. My lines are cleaner and forms are more articulated now. I have the photographs of works from my past. I do not dislike it, but I do not practice those forms now. I wonder what kind of lines will flow out after another ten years!

When I start sketching, it is purely a 4B pencil on white paper. Yes, I think in black and white! I start adding colors only after forms start taking shape. Forms look best in monochrome where you can appreciate solids from voids without getting distracted by colors. Colors come in only to enhance the forms.

Hussain-Doshi Gufa

Hussain-Doshi Gufa (photo credits: SLClaassen)

As a student I was scared of sketching. My lines were not confident and I was more concerned about the aesthetics of my sketch pad. We were made to sit in front of lovely structures like the Hussain-Doshi Gufa and were asked to sketch. So intimidated about doing justice to such famous creations, I was sure my sketching skills could never do justice to it.

A professor made me sit in front of a weaving loom used by a middle aged woman and asked me to sketch. He said, “Just put some lines so that we know you were in front of this loom and that lady. That is what a sketch’s function is”. That day, I got over my fear!

I have not looked back after that. My sketches may not be breathtakingly beautiful, but they are good to transfer my thoughts on paper. I use this tool to communicate with my Kannada speaking house-help too! I still use age old paper and pencil to create.

In the design process, the journey starts from the concept to requirement, to space, to physical manifestation, to use, to reuse, to alter, to going back to the drawing board. We go back and forth to make sure that the concept is not restricted to a beautiful thought only but is carried forward with the right attitude.

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