We aim to achieve that wow factor in our design’ says architect-turned-entrepreneur couple
By Harshita Das:
While Chirag Gupta, an alumnus of Apeejay Institute of Technology – School of Architecture & Planning (AITSAP) is practising architecture, interiors and valuation, his wife Sheena Gupta, also an AIT-SAP alumna, is professional landscape architect.
Currently, the duo is running their own firm Landmark Designs based in Meerut with branches in Moradabad ,Bijnor ,Dehradun and Hapur.
Together, the architect-turned-entrepreneur couple has completed several big-budget projects including 80 residences, 3 schools and 1 hotel till date.
In addition, Ar. Chirag is the Secretary of Meerut Architect Association as well as the Coordinator at UP Architects Association.
The AIT-SAP alumnus has also organised two successful massive architecture exhibitions cum seminars in Meerut. In this interview, Ar. Chirag narrates his entrepreneurial journey and more. Edited excerpts:
When did the entrepreneurial bug bite you? And how did you embark on this journey
It was almost a year since we graduated from AIT-SAP, during our job days when I suddenly realised that there is never a right time for a new beginning.
I knew I wanted to start fresh in my professional journey and achieve something bigger in life. So, I started with a very small office of size 9 by 15 feet in our city. Slowly and steadily, my name was counted amongst one of the best architects in Meerut.
When and how did you both meet? What are the big projects you both have worked on together?
It was the end of our first year of college when we both started talking to each other and by the end of our college days we knew there was something special bond between both of us. And now, we are happily married forever.
It has been a wonderful journey together executing personal as well as professional projects. Some of the combined projects we have worked on are: Meerut Public School Group, Brainwaves International School and high-end bungalows.
What are your respective design philosophies and how do you help each other grow?
We have almost the same design philosophies which we work upon – ‘Function over form and a wow factor in every building’. We aim to achieve that wow and everything else falls into place.
Growth is something which should be constant and having a life partner to help in that journey is nothing less than a blessing.
We give each other space to explore and experiment in respective fields of design. Our guidance for each other in times of any doubt and hurdles is our biggest encouragement to grow better.
In terms of design or design philosophy, what do you like about each other?
Like I mentioned, the wow factor and function over form is our main motto. The different approaches towards the aim is what we like about each other. I am more simplified and Sheena is more experimental.
What are some of those elements of sustainable architecture you integrate while designing a space?
I just go with a practical approach where my client and me both are adjustable. I make sure I am on the same page as my clients.
According to you, what is the scope or potential existing in India for architects to foray into entrepreneurship?
There is a little scope to foray into entrepreneurship in India but one has to come out of their comfort zone and realise the fact that doing a job and being an entrepreneur are two different scenarios.
For creating your own firm and doing your own work, it’s also important to be practical to realise the needs of your clients and how the actual work on the site is different from what we design on our laptops.
In today’s ever-evolving globalised world, the architectural field continues to re-invent itself. Two key skills needed to be a part of this dynamic field?
Change is something which is constant so one should be ready to accept it and ready to work according to the market conditions. One should always be aware of the changing design philosophies and the new concepts and materials.
Secondly, there is no god father in architecture. No one will help you in getting some projects or something which will make you a better architect. One should have the guts to compete and struggle in the field and work smartly to grow in the market.
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