That Designer Label
To my mind, a space should look aesthetically pleasing to people who inhabit it. At the same time, it should not be screaming itself hoarse. Too many people fall into the trap of designing with one eye on a magazine article. In other words, I believe the design is more important than the designer.
Creative Guide – not Despot
I have seen situations when clients have been treated as mere piggy banks and (literally) shouted down when their views don’t match those of the designer. The latter’s argument is that clients have no taste anyway and, their job is to redress just such a deficiency.
If a client’s tastes are so opposed to mine that they’ll never be happy with what I do (and I, with what they expect) then I simply refuse the assignment. Doing this has caused some grievances, I must admit, but I believe that it is better to refuse a project at the very outset than to be faced with a tense and acrimonious atmosphere later.
This is doubly true for residential projects. A home is a very personal space and, over time, the spaces as well as the residents find a sort of equilibrium. Renovation involves a transformation that may be harmonious; or it can completely disrupt everything. An architect’s role is to smooth this process of change and help achieve a look that reflects the client’s own individual lifestyle. It is therefore vitally important that the client and I see eye to eye on, at least, the basics.
Keeping it Affordable
There’s always a sense of fulfilment when a design is not as expensive as it looks, but I am not a price-guarantee contractor. My primary role is designing aesthetic spaces; not making them cost less. Experience has taught me that reducing costs beyond a point leads to shoddy workmanship – which is much more expensive in the long run. A good design walks the fine line between cost and quality. And if speed is added to this equation, things can really get out of hand. The productivity triangle explains pretty simply what I mean.
Making it Green and Sustainable
Environmentalism is still finding its feet here in India. Activists are looked upon by many as fanatical anti-progress freaks, while some armchair greens, in turn, blindly oppose all development. As is usually the case, the truth is somewhere in between.