MAD(E) IN MUMBAI
How did you come up with the name of your studio?
The studio didn’t have a name for a very long time & then we realized we should get a name. Mumbai city came naturally as a point of beginning because our everyday lives, thinking & visual processes are so much grounded here. Both of us photograph the city extensively & in the process of doing so our thinking & seeing methods become more clear. Also, the madness & absurdity of the city continues to inspire us.
What determined your passion for design? Tell us about the moment when you decided this is the way to go.
Our formative years at Architecture school as students are key in cultivating our love & passion for Architecture. After graduating, we kept exploring diverse processes of thinking, drawing & making through teaching at KRVIA & our studio. Both informed each other and made our inquiries more concrete.
What kind of projects were you doing when you first started as a designer?
We started with participating in a lot of Design Competitions that dealt with projects in the public realm. Revitalization of Banganga Crematorium, BMW Guggenheim Lab Kalanagar Junction Design, Gorakhpur flood Resilient Housing, Slum Sanitation Scheme by MCGM, Mumbai Street Lab Competition for designing Grant Road are few of the competitions that we took part in. These competitions projects branched out in various directions & moulded our interest in public projects.
What field of design are you most interested in?
We are interested in the Architecture of the cities that we encounter in our everyday lives, sometimes the most banal & boring ones. We want to capture these mundane moments/Spaces and elevate them to the most beautiful ones through the medium of design. ‘The Toilet Manifesto’ & ‘Street Design for Grant Road’ are a few of the projects where we have tried to address these ideas.
What is your favourite book/magazine on design? How about your favourite site?
There are no favourite books as such. Our interests in reading and referring keep shifting with new projects, new sites, study trips, architects, poets, philosophers we admire & cities we visit.
What is your Signature Style?
Somehow there is not much prior thinking about developing a particular method of working. Every project is like a new research & design project where there is a conscious effort to invent new methods of thinking, drawing & making. Each project is a new story.
What inspires you to thrive in this industry? Which piece of architecture inspires you the most.
Both of us as fresher Architects worked with Charles Correa and his vast body of work, ambition to reimagine each program and develop a new language for each is a constant source of inspiration.
From your point of view, is design an art or a science?
Traditionally we love making these boundaries where things are separated into different entities. What is intriguing about design disciplines is their ability to blur all the lines we draw between disciplines. Different kinds of voices – poetic, philosophical, scientific & material can all sing together through the medium of Design.
If you had no limits (money, resources), what would you create?
Both of us love the kind of dynamic cities & landscapes we have within our country embedded within complex layers of History. There is so much more beauty possible in the way these places are lived & experienced every day. Architecture in the public realm has a large role to play here. To address this, we began this process of making Manifestos that address the future of Public Architecture across different cities. We want to continue making different kinds of Manifestos, different kinds of drawings & make them into reality.
What advice do you have for young designers or architects reading this interview?
Enjoy this mad journey, find crazy friends to work with, make beautiful drawings, & don’t settle for the known.