How did you come up with the name of your studio?
Our design philosophy is pretty much emblematic of our name, ‘playball studio’. We prefer ‘to play ball’ with our projects. We always ask our clients/patrons to give us as many requirements as they can, after which we try to tweak the brief in the best possible way with respect to the site, climate, time, and budget.
What determined your passion for design? Tell us about the moment when you decided this is the way to go.
Since my childhood, I have been fascinated with built forms and cityscapes. My father realized this and made me meet an Architect; after listening to him talk about his practice, I was hooked on the field of Architecture. Since that day, I have wanted to become an Architect and nothing else. There was something about the taken-for-granted importance of space for every human being that inspired me to become an Architect.
What kind of projects were you doing when you first started as a designer?
The initial projects for the studio were quite challenging as on one hand, I was doing a very small retrofitting project while on the other hand, I was preparing a proposal for a 45-meter high commercial project. So it was an interesting constant change of scales, but it allowed me to transfer specific micro-level learning from one project and apply it to the other project with a macro perspective in mind.
What field of design are you most interested in?
Architecture, especially the Architecture of ‘public good’,
What is your favorite book/magazine on design? How about your favorite site?
I enjoy reading monographs of different architects and studios. ‘El Croquis’ is the industry leader when it comes to monographs. In terms of constant updates about projects from all over the world, I think ‘ArchDaily’ is doing a great job. However, curation wise ‘Divisare’ is a class apart.
What is your Signature Style?
There is no particular signature or style that I apply to our work as every project is different from one to the other. The site is different, the requirements are different, so it is very hard to subscribe to a particular style for all. For me, every project is a fresh inquiry into what can be done to do justice to it. I never try to repeat anything from one project to the other and that is what keeps me motivated to start from scratch at the beginning of every project. The only thing that I carry forward from one project to the other is a constantly evolving sense of learning and using that to enhance the outcome of the next project. I think it will be fair to say that this is the only signature style that I follow for all of our projects.
What inspires you to thrive in this industry? Which piece of architecture inspires you the most.
I am deeply interested in exploring avenues that can rationally steer rapidly growing Indian cities to a sustainable model of growth thereby ensuring the preservation of their culture, history, environment, and resources. Thus, any piece of architecture that attempts to deal with this avenue inspires me greatly!
From your point of view, is design an art or a science?
A good piece of design will always be at the intersection of art and science!
If you had no limits (money, resources), what would you create?
I would create an energy-efficient building construction technique that can completely revolutionize the way we build and save our planet before it’s too late!
What advice do you have for young designers or architects reading this interview?
I strongly believe that good Architecture can never be learned or produced just by being on the drawing board; it is high time that we roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty at the site!