I love using textile techniques of printing, weaving, cutting and folding. I apply these in different contexts to my projects. I use such techniques based on what the concept demands, but I don’t fear taking risks and introducing new ways of approaching a material
Are you selective when it comes to your clientele or projects?
Do you experiment when it comes to designing? We see that there are many things you research upon. Can you tell us a bit more about what inspires you the most as you search for something new?
I always try to experiment and take risks when I am designing, otherwise it gets boring for me and I lose interest. Sometimes it gives amazing results and a lot of time it doesn’t. I get inspired from what I see on roads (for example the Cornhusk Project and the Diya Project for the Ministry of External Affairs, refer to www.y-walls.com) are results of my experiences and interactions on roads. I also love going to social places like malls and parks. One gets to see amazing natural shapes in parks. I once found a nest and a beehive in a park which led me to develop a concept for a restaurant. So there are a lot of things from where I can get my inspiration, because of which I love to explore more every time.
Can you tell us a bit about your work in the context of Nepal? Do you see a prospect for work here? Or have you done anything here?
I have a very deep connection with Nepal as I spent my entire childhood in Katmandu. Nepal has a rich cultural and traditional heritage that is so unique and beautiful. I love the simplicity of the people and the amazing food. I have not worked on a project in Nepal but in my recent visits to the country, I found lot of inspiration to use in my current projects.
What was your aim behind founding Y-walls? When I founded Y-walls, the aim was just to have a creative place to work every day, be happy and curious about things. Even today, the aim remains the same. When I drive to work every day, I feel like a kid going to school to learn, explore and share lunch, play and also be a bit mischievous sometimes.
Can you explain to us this whole process of designing and completing a space, from meeting a client to delivering the work? What does it all entail, which is the most challenging, and which is the most exciting part? How long do you normally take to complete a project?
Every project has a different process depending on what the nature of the space is. For example, if it is a restaurant interior design project, it begins with understanding the type of cuisine the restaurant serves, whether it is fine dining, a casual all-day café or a fast food format. The space should have a narrative which is in line with the brand image. Typically, every project begins with research and context study followed by concept design and technical planning. Once the concept is frozen, the detailing of the drawings, material boards, colour and finishes board, furniture and fittings gets finalised. The last stage is execution on site with the contractors. I think site-execution is the most challenging part for me. It involves choosing the right contractors and making sure that good quality is achieved at every stage of execution on site. The most exciting is of course the concept designing stage because we get to play and have fun on the design board. My favourite part is to work in workshops with the craftsmen to develop the prototype during the research stage. Making things by hand and applying modern technology to design a space on computer excites me. Mixing craft and technology is the design approach for every project.
80 / SPACES MARCH 2015
I am not selective about clientele. I have worked with government, co corporates, and international clients, as well as with individuals who own small offices. The project needs to be interesting so I am selective about the projects we undertake. Every client is different and it took a while for me to develop a mechanism to adapt and understand their needs. I spend a lot of time in understanding the brief and the client when we undertake a project.
The urban landscape has changed a lot in the last few years and I think it’s a great time to connect with tradition and blend it with the new to create beautiful contemporary spaces. This will give Nepal a unique modern identity while retaining its culture and values.
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