Practice Strategy

A series of discussions by architects from India’s major metros, on how the practice is re-emerging from the 2020 Pandemic recess.
Curated by Varun Kumar

When a vibrant design studio is distanced - Anagram, Madhav Raman

When a vibrant design studio is distanced – Madhav Raman, Anagram Architects

Madhav Raman, principal architect at Anagram Architects, holds the experience during the pandemic that the Corona Virus changed people’s belief systems. As he termed it a Gandhian Virus, it places people in a situation where they’re forced to think about other’s safety, for their own too. Madhav also highlights how the wealthy sections of our population, small in size, have opted to bag peri-urban farm lands as their new investment zones for personal built property, and how they sprouted many farmhouse projects in the Delhi market. This was accmpanied by a rethinking of home living ideas, as a result of the pandemic. Anagram Architects have experienced significant influences to their vibrant and physically active studio environment, as bio-safety measures forced remote and slower modes of architecture practice.

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Hatch Workshop-Ar Mason Rattray’s response

Initiatives for migrant workers hindered – Hatch Workshop

Hatch Workshop is a team led by New Zealanders who emerged as designers of housing for migrant labourers in Ahmedabad. The duo of principal architects Hannah Broatch and Mason Rattray couldn’t use opportunities in India to execute new housing for the vulnerable, owing to the travel restrictions during COVID-19. Hatch Workshop’s current focus is on projects in their hometown of Aotearoa and Auckland, hoping to resume soon in India.

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"A checkpoint towards a more comprehensive growth" - A Design Co (ADC)

A checkpoint towards a more comprehensive growth – A Design Co. (ADC)

A Design Co. is an architecture and interior design practice, focussing on the principle of being a work-in-progress in terms of their studio’s collective growth. The team has handled the tray of challenges from the Pandemic, importantly hindered coordination and adapting to effective remote work methods. This shift in has embedded fresher technological and collaborative work processes in their practice.

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"Understanding the work-focre's health concerns" - Myvn Architecture

Understanding the workforce’s health concerns – Myvn Architecture

MYVN is a team of young creatives sensitized to values such as ancient practices, inspiration from nature and solution-based innovation. The team also seeks to apply these values with modern tech applications. The team witnessed the shift of work processes into virtual formats as an important aid during the pandemic’s disruptions. The studio draws the learning that their workforce’s health, on and off the field, is most crucial for the times ahead in their practice.

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Our pursuit as a variated and connected team - Triple O Studio

Our pursuit as a variated and connected team – Triple O Studio

A team composed of multifaceted creative individuals witnessed an opportunity to rethink their existing process of operating with a variety of work bubbles within a single studio. The team also experienced good sustenance with their different channels of work, their off-studio initiatives, alongside their strong connectivity within the studio team.

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"Team spirit and resilient work processes are a necessity"- FUNKTION DESIGN STUDIO

Team spirit and resilient work processes are a necessity – Funktion Design

The team at Funktion Design experienced the challenges of keeping up the morale of their personnel during fears of the pandemic. The studio had identified ways of enlivening their workspace to maintain the team’s vibrancy and increased the spirit between members. The studio’s relatively fresh experience with cloud working systems has helped them realize the importance of resilient in-studio work processes to pre-empt any future challenges like this pandemic.

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"Additional fundraising challenges and refreshed social goals." - NIVASA NGO

Additional fundraising challenges and refreshed social goals – Nivasa NGO

Nivasa NGO, possessing a network of advisors, fellow NGOs and funders, collectively witnessed additional strain on their monetary channels to aid their initiatives. The lockdowns, however, helped principal architect Akhila Ramesh to reinvent her journey with the Nivasa NGO team. With a rejuvenated studio structure and efforts to implement dignified living for the urban and rural poor, the team hopes to expand their friend network and funding avenues to aid their cause.

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"Sustaining with core research and social opportunities" - Ketham’s Atelier Architects

Sustaining with core research and social opportunities – Ketham’s Atelier

Ketham’s Atelier has been focussed on researching the core concepts of architectural design and becoming well versed with the associated skill sets. Additionally, the studio also has been running an NGO practice to impart the learnings through teaching methods. Together, the studio witnessed the importance of their research in helping them sustain through a time like the pandemic.

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"Focus on virtual work and a new magazine" - Compartment S4

Equipping a virtual workflow and a new magazine – Compartment S4

As a young and large bunch of designers, Compartment S4 experienced a distancing of the studio members alongside the halting of projects and monetary flow. The team, however, found the hiatus as an opportunity to equip virtual methods of collaboration with their work, such as co-drawing digitally. Compartment S4 also came up with their exciting new initiative in the form of a Magazine, that is in cohesion with their talk series called “Friday Night Conversations”.

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Rethinking practice, teaching and new collaborative initiatives - Shikha Doogar, Shridhar Rao, r + d Studio

Rethinking practice, teaching and new collaborative initiatives – r+d studio

r+d studio is led by principal architects Shikha Doogar and Shridhar Rao. The studio is founded on their experiences comprising a stint at Gehry and Partners. r+d studio witnessed opportunities to rethink their practice procedures, involve in teaching virtually and start-up a new city collaborative initiative called Gurgaon Design Collective. The pandemic was handled by r+d studio with a positive outlook, safety and security of the team and nurturing new tech ideas through their new venture RD Labs.

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Persisting with tech for an ever-changing world - Sushant Verma, rat[LAB]

Persisting with tech for an ever-changing world – Sushant Verma, rat[LAB]

rat[LAB] was founded on the technological strength it possessed. The studio has already been functioning as a team of remotely working associates from different time zones, with cloud computing as one of their practice tools. The pandemic experience has shown the team that technology supports their practice to adapt to the surprises that the world can throw at us. Additionally, savings from previous projects has helped the team stay afloat, in any case of fears that they may have encountered.

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Towards increased flexibility in practice - BanduksmithStudio

Towards increased flexibility in practice – banduksmithstudio

banduksmithstudio, a closely-knit team, experienced the hindrances in their internal and on-site coordination as the significant challenges. Moving swiftly into the virtual space to coordinate and continue work as the lockdowns were enforced, aided in levelling up the studio’s flexibility. The studio believes they adapt to any forthcoming challenges too to flexibly stay in collaboration with fellow practitioners.

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"Glimpse into architecture's skilled workforce and allied industries in India during the pandemic" - AvDC

A glimpse into architecture and its allied industries in India during the pandemic – Suhasini Ayer – Guigan, AvDC

Architect Suhasini Ayer – Guigan , principal of Auroville Design Consultants, Auroville, shared insights on how the industries associated with Architecture practice were already facing a recessive market. The pandemic, hence, was not a fresh disaster to our practice, and perhaps possessed opportunities for youngsters to improve their interpersonal skills. Architect Suhasini also shares insights on how Indian manufacturing is deeply connected with global production cycles, thereby causing a chain of shutdowns to Indian work. Additionally, she also shares the significance of the shifting thought and behaviour patterns of the general Indian working population toward more efficient practices, from being disorganized and spontaneous.

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