“We believe in being local and thinking global. Interaction with peer group always helps in one’s growth. Foreign architecture firms can get a different outlook but local firms still have a stronghold in my opinion. Also, with current government policies local firms will always have an upper hand”, says Ar. Manish Dikshit, Aum Architects in an exclusive interview with Sawdust.
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How do you visualize architecture as a profession progressing in our country – especially keeping in view demographic transition, rapid growth in income level and government policies like building smart cities and housing for all?
Walter Gropius said that, “A society needs a good image of itself. That is the true job of an architect.” Therefore rapid growth in infrastructure is a boon for our profession. with this sudden boom in the demographics, lifestyle changes the whole world is turning around to us. Not only are there constant opportunities but also with current government policies it is growth in the right direction. This is also impacting the quality of architects graduating every year. Awareness about sustainability, technology is imparted as a part of the education and influences the practices eventually.
How do you incorporate sustainable practices into your projects?
In today’s time sustainability is the need of the hour, design of any sort influences the way of living. Therefore it’s important to have smart spaces being designed taking into consideration functionality, accessibility and aesthetics. We use LED lights, use windows and doors efficiently to our advantage and making them more sustainable. Reclaiming, recycling and reusing also helps in making design solutions more sustainable. Right from using high-efficiency materials to following simple methods like painting walls in a light colour to have maximum natural light being captured and reflected.
Bringing newness/uniqueness in every project is a difficult proposition. How do you tackle this?
As we closely work with our clients; every requirement is different or with a twist this gives us a starting point to innovate. We research on new materials that keep getting introduced in the market quite frequently. The final design proposals are based on our interpretation of the requirement, change in material and its final application.
If you have to list three best projects executed by you, which ones will come to your mind first and why?
They would be two residential projects both of them are penthouses one in Malad, Mumbai and the other in Tirupati. They immediately come to mind as the clients had complete faith in us and we were able to give our best output. The third one would have to be an office we did for Dawn India, Mumbai being one of the earliest projects this one’s special.
Do you think foreign architecture firms entering India pose any threats to local architecture firms?
We believe in being local and thinking global. Interaction with peer group always helps in one’s growth. Foreign architecture firms can get a different outlook but local firms still have a stronghold in my opinion. Also with current government policies local firms will always have an upper hand.
Is getting quality manpower a problem for you?
Not at all; we have good pot of talent in our country. We have interns coming from all over the country other than our full time dedicated team.
How do you keep up-to-date about latest trends and technology?
I am active on all online mediums, design portals as well as with the magazines. Keeping in touch with various vendors also helps.
Tell us about your experiences where you studied.
Pune has been a brewing educational hub for a long time now. It has a huge population of immigrant students and professionals. It’s a city that enjoys both, its cultural heritage and its modernity. Having studied in Padmabhushan Dr Vasantdada Patil College of Architecture, Pune; it opened windows of opportunities, interaction and helped shape my design sensibility in a way.