‘We keep our designs extremely simple by just believing in responding to climate, integrating nature into the built-environment and make the space a happy place’ says Ar. Nagaraja GP., Principal architect, Aadyam Design Studio, Bangalore in an exclusive interview with sawdust.
GP Nagaraja, Principal Architect, Aadyam Design-min
How have words and concepts such as “affordability” and “efficiency” found a balance in the stride of your own aesthetic?
All these are interlinked with design we do. Affordability is a must for client to go ahead with the design, efficiency to meet the purpose.
I’ve been speaking a lot with architects about the way buildings are judged. In return, they have been sharing their thoughts about form and purpose, in relation to beauty. In what ways does your work investigate the term or phrase beauty?
Most of our design is with response to client requirement, surround spaces. We are not form specific.
In what ways do you draw from the familiar vs. the unfamiliar in your work, whether this is in ideas, theories or objects…
In designing, the function of the object is known – familiar, the approach in achieving the same could be different. Process could be little different from the normal ways of understanding and acceptance as a whole.
What is your relationship with a project once you’ve finished it or deemed complete?
The connection once built, be it with the client or the project, normally tends to continue throughout in all phases – which is most essential part of growth of our firm.
When you’re in a new or different place, what are some aspects that make space either welcoming or unwelcoming for you?
For me, connectivity with surroundings, nature, and connectivity within spaces dictates good design. Correct amount of air and light has to be drawn in anything more or less would be a problem.
What currently excites you the most, either in terms of what you’re working on yourself or what you see being done in the field of architecture?
The use of materials in different ways excites me. With technology, we are able to use traditional materials in much refined way and give different perspective to the material. Modulation of material has given different meaning to design process.
Do environmental constraints limit your work, or do you see them as an integrated part of the design process like any other guidelines?
Most of the cases environment guides us to fix design. It is always an integral part of the design process.
How far and how quickly has your firm grown since you began and where do you see yourself in the next decade.
We keep our designs extremely simple by just believing in responding to climate, integrating nature into the built-environment and make the space a happy place. Our approach always has a lot to do with the feel of the space rather than its appearance. This has given us an acceptable space in the industry. We are moving ahead slowly and hope to see we design more spaces in years to come.
Do you look to overseas markets for upcoming trends or you think we need specific approach because of our culture and climate?
Both. We need to look at the technology used in other countries and try to use them according to our necessity. We can’t blindly use the elements without knowing the properties of the material and their implication on the project and the surroundings. Of late, glass and steel has been projected as images of Corporate Architecture, which is very unfortunate. These images might project international trends but they are not really relevant for our tropical architecture. There are larger issues which have to be addressed in Corporate Architecture.
What has been the most challenging project you have worked on and why?
As long as one wants to do good design, a client’s brief is always a challenge. Each and every project is new challenge for us and the way we proceed to resolve them brings in excitement and interest to each challenge.
Tell us on ‘going GREEN’ for India.
‘Sustainability’ for our country seems to have been defined by few other countries, so as to serve the objectives of their own economic gains., and professionals are terming as the ‘Green’ label, without even checking if it is ‘Green enough’ for our needs and priorities. We need to look at real sense of Green rather than the ratings. Our vernacular and historic architecture has always been very sensitive to nature. We can see many examples of innovations of water harvesting, cooling, ventilation and use of local materials in them.
Which difficulties have you had to overcome on your way?
Sometimes, we come across clients who can’t make up their minds about the design, finishes, costs etc. There are instances when they would ask to change the design after execution as they didn’t really understand it. This will adversely affect the project duration and cost and ultimately a loss to the client.
What is your biggest dream today?
I desire to convert my design aspiration into living, breathing reality.