Niraj Doshi Design Consultancy [N.D.D.C.]
How did you come up with the name of your studio?
It was an impromptu decision actually that we decided to name the firm Niraj Doshi Design Consultancy; the obvious reason being the first two words from my name. As for the full name, we decided on adding ‘Design Consultancy’ rather than just adding ‘Architects’ or ‘Interior Designers’, because we really wanted to keep ourselves open for multi-disciplinary design fields. Therefore we can take on wide-ranging projects right from Furniture Design, Graphic Design, Exhibition Design, etc. So this helps us keep ourselves open to different avenues or disciplines and ultimately work on different scales of design right from Urban Design to Product Design. This keeps you very fresh in terms of research and asking the right questions, which is the most important part of any design process that we undertake.
What determined your passion for design? Tell us about the moment when you decided
this is the way to go
I believe that the passion for design is ingrained in you from your childhood, which I speak of from my personal experience. To explain this further, during my childhood I spent most of my time playing with ‘Lego’. It gave me a tremendous creative burst because I saw that even from a small individual object like a block, you can create absolutely anything you want. This was absolutely a great product from my childhood. Later in school, the Arts & Crafts classes helped in that creativity to further develop and flow throughout. At the end of the school year, I got introduced to Aerodynamics, where you could make remote-controlled model airplanes, which is where the technology and design started to work hand-in-hand. So all these experiences growing up kept the creative juices flowing and kept the passion growing, which helped me decide that this
is the way to go.
What kind of projects were you doing when you first started as a designer?
While doing architecture, side by side I had the opportunity to get involved in a lot of small-scale and large projects as part-time work. I started off by doing Ichalkaranji’s Master Plan which was part of the town planning work by one of our Professors. Later, I did some bus stop design for local authorities, which was followed by doing huge signage over a water tank. So small projects like this kept me alive and gave me a little bit of an entrepreneurial spirit which guided me to start doing small projects like these on my own while studying Architecture. I effectively did work on different scale projects, not just Architecture or Interior Design which generated a lot of my interest.
What field of design are you most interested in?
With the huge influence of ‘Lego’, the modularisation of any design system or any products, where there are many different types of fixed modules which combine together to create a full project as per independent requirements. This customization possibility by the end-user is something that really influences me to this date. Hence, whilst designing anything, we try to create systems rather than one single project, which would evolve over time and can be used in different ways to cater to the different spaces and different functions.
What is your favorite book/magazine on design? How about your favorite site?
In this digital age, I think Archdaily is a huge influence on us. We love to visit this site on a daily basis to check out what has been happening in the world of Architecture. When we think of other fields like Product Design Furniture Design to everything else, ‘Dezeen’ is where we always look forward to. When we talk specifically about print media, rather than your typical Design books, there is a book titled ‘Heaven & Earth :
Unseen By The Naked Eye’ authored by Katherine Roucoux, which is basically a compilation of Photographs right from the ‘Micro’ scale up to the ‘Planetary’ scale of everything. This really gives you a perspective and at the same time a huge conceptual influence on your design.
What is your Signature Style?
We don’t have any Signature Design Style as such, but we do have a Signature methodology that we follow for all our projects. This basically evolved after a lot of experimentation considering the sustainability factors which are becoming more important nowadays and of course ‘Modularization’ of these systems. For example, a system developed for a Train Station can effectively be replicated for many different Train Stations to come up in the future.
What inspires you to thrive in this industry? Which piece of architecture inspires you the
Through Architecture or large beautiful public buildings, we can touch the hearts of millions of people, change their emotions. That is one of the most beautiful aspects of Architecture, as it isn’t merely something just for Infrastructure use, but the way light, textures, landscapes, etc. are incorporated into the design, which makes a huge impact on human emotions. In this very rat-race kind of world that our generation is currently living in, when you are traveling through a beautifully made Train Station, it makes you stop for a moment and become aware of your environment, which in itself can be a huge benefit in your daily life.
From your point of view, is design an art or a science?
In my view, design is a very chaotic process, which not only involves arts & science but also involves culture, emotions, economics, environment, nature, etc. So if you ask us, it is actually a vast field if you really explore more disciplines and when you bring them into this field, the maturity of the project gets better and better.
If you had no limits (money, resources), what would you create?
If we had no limits on money and resources, we would love to create/design a ‘Multi-Module Transit Hub’ i.e Transport Interchange Public Buildings, where a lot of different types of modes of transports come to pass through these nodes on a daily basis to travel between your home and work. If at all we are able to make these Transportation Hubs as one of the best things in a particular city, they effectively will become the benchmark of the cities, which will lead to people to stop using their personal vehicles leading to increased use of public transport. At the same time, whilst one is experiencing passing through these buildings, you can really change their emotions because those are the stopping points while going to their workplace from home or vice versa. This will whilst going to their workplace will energize them to get out into the world with an enthusiastic attitude to get about their tasks and activities; and whilst on their way back to home after their entire workday, it’ll help them have a moment of calm and peace. This in turn will promote them to live a sustainable lifestyle.
What advice do you have for young designers or architects reading this interview?
As we all are aware that every single human being is unique and different in his/her own way. The same is applicable to Architects and Designers to their personal interests and experiences. Hence, every student or every budding Architect should not let go of their other interests apart from Architecture, because those are what make them who they are. These are what creates their character in your design. For example, when I had the chance to work with the world-renowned Architect Lord Norman Foster, I realized how much his love for flying an airplane influenced his Architecture was limitless. This effectively meant that his Architecture was way different than most of his contemporaries. Therefore, I think your personal interests are very important which makes you a unique design.