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In Conversation with Architects Aditya Kashyap and Sharada Seshadri of Architecture ContinuousBy ZingyHomes Editorial Team
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This week, we speak to two brilliant architects Adithya Kashyap and Sharada Seshadri, the key people behind the Bangalore-based design firm Architecture Continuous. Architecture Continuous is one of the leading design firms in India, and has been working on a large number of diversified projects across India and abroad.
Ar. Aditya Kashyap is the Principal Architect, Founding Partner and Director of Architecture Continuous and Ar.Sharada Seshadri is the Co-founder and Design Head of the firm. In this interesting interview, they talk about their firm, projects they work on, their vision for the firm, challenges faced, their design philosophy and more.
Please tell us a bit about yourselves, professionally and also about the people behind the architects.
Architecture continuous is a Bangalore based group of architects, designers, engineers, builders and thinkers working within the fields of Architecture, Interior Design and Research and Development, with a deep commitment to finding innovative design solutions with a dedication to creative thinking and craftsmanship. In our 12 years of existence, we have worked on a wide range and scale of very interesting commissions across the country. We have seen the evolution of our working methodology that today comprises of a symbiotic and a synchronized balanced analysis of the project brief undertaken with passion, leading to a pragmatic developmental design thereby facilitating the ideas to takes shape into reality.
Our studio is led by ourelves Ar. Adithya Kashyap and Ar. Sharada Seshadri, partners in life and design practice.
What core competence does each of the partners bring in?
Ar. Adithya G Kashyap (AGK)
As the founding partner and principal architect for the firm I oversee all aspects of the design and construction administration processes of a wide range of projects. My vision is to generate designs that create enduring and appropriate environments and buildings that positively influence the users on a daily basis. Being passionate about architecture; I love to deliver talks at architectural colleges and enjoy interacting with students.
Ar. Sharada Seshadri (SS)
I am interested in sustainable design solutions that result in lower energy usage and increased comfort for building owners and occupants. Being a gold medalist and holding a masters degree from the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, I have worked with Centre for Sustainable Technology, IISC, Bangalore on a number of cost effective and sustainable projects. Climatology, Conservation, Heritage and History of architecture being my areas of special interest, I have also been involved in teaching architecture students. As the design head, I am in charge of the design management of the studio.
Adithya is impulsive and expeditious while I am diligent and meticulous. We realize that our core values and strengths complement each other which help us in maintaining poise and a balanced approach to the work-life equilibrium. We are each other's best friends; we critique each other's works and understand the importance of honest introspection and mutual trust.
What is the story behind the name "Architecture Continuous"?
Continuity is a very strong word which can be interpreted in diverse ways.
Continuity as a concept is very inspiring and challenging at the same time. This notion presents the picture of a challenge which adapts, changes and lives with time and never ceases to exist... It's a journey which evolves to live on and on ... never giving up ...
Our understanding of architecture and design as a "never give up quest" to create environments that evolve with time and space, inspired us to launch Architecture Continuous.
What is your design philosophy?
We consciously decided not to bind ourselves with any specific design philosophy. We understand that following a design philosophy may become a rigid exercise that could make us really nonflexible...something that we are not. We would rather keep our mind and senses unaltered by logic/intelligence, and intent to create great philosophy. In this non desirous state of mind, the design dawns in the innocence, getting inspired by everything around as it evolves so that the dreams become a reality which in turn stimulates and inspires the human mind forming a cycle and a continuum.
What kind of projects have you been working on?
Between us, we do not handle projects separately but work together as a team and share the responsibility, assess critically each other's designs, debate and review our ideas for every assignment that is commissioned to our studio. We consider ourselves lucky to be associated with projects that address different needs of the society as well as the wide range of scale from a simple table to large townships and we have successfully completed projects across the country in different sectors The studio is currently involved in a large number of diversified projects throughout India and abroad that include Residential Homes, Group Housing, Hospitality, Commercial, Institutional and Public Spaces. Spiritual Centers, Temples etc.
Which has been your most exciting project so far? Which is the most challenging one?
I am excited and enthusiastic about every new project that comes to our studio. Every new design brief brings about exhilaration simultaneously presenting its own dimension of challenge. This may be in the form of exploring new arena of knowledge, understanding the new cultural sensibilities, handling difficult site conditions, tricky client-contractor interactions and communication, intra and inter design team coordination, timely design team intervention. I understand that this is an intrinsic attribute of the design process.
I would be unfair, if I choose one project over the other.
In this practice, I have been involved in many different types of designs across different locations, some were eventually constructed some were not. When I look back, it's not one specific venture but every opportunity that has offered me something to learn, giving me a better understanding not only of design but also about people and life. This aspect of design process is exciting and challenging at the same time.
Tell us something about your experience in designing temples and meditation centers.
The designing of temples and meditation centers has been an eye opener, and also has become a process of illuminating my mind. This has been a voyage that has taught me the power of human mind, the power of faith, the power of hope and true prayer...It's an attempt towards understanding the path to the unending unknown. This has also given me a better understanding of space, volume, light, material textures to create the appropriate spiritual experience to the divine seekers.
As mentioned earlier, temple architecture has been my area of special interest. Temple designs are different as they are representative of socio-cultural values of a society. This experience has revealed the subtle aspects of design principles of our ancient times and how to adapt them effectively today. I am humbled by the realization of how receptive our ancient culture and traditions have been in interpreting design and architecture as a reflection of our existence. It has made us to be respectful and sensitive to life as well as the world around us.
What would your dream project be like?
My dreams are so large that I would not like to confine them to a project. In fact many a times, a project stimulates my dream. The more I think...I realize that as I grow, I learn from this journey and it becomes difficult to define the "dream project". Every project brings a new story and experience and life is enriched by all experiences.
I am eager and curious to understand life in its absolute variety. In this quest, every need of design is my design project. Design is eventually a product of the state of mind. So my dream and wish is to be able to celebrate, enjoy and savour every moment of this journey which would eventually make me a better person than what I am today.
What is your vision for Architecture continuous? Where do you want to see yourselves 15 years hence?
We look at architecture and design as a 'quest' to create environments that induce the most appropriate experience to the people and the end user in response to the matrix of pragmatic concerns interwoven with sensibilities. We do not want our vision to be confined and defined by rigid numbers or economic statistics or the volume of work.
Our purpose is to participate and contribute towards the wellbeing of our clients, our culture and environment. We struggle towards leaving a positive legacy for the future generations because we understand that architecture is a process of designing the future.
As a part of design process, we aspire towards mentoring and bringing together a team of likeminded positive and enthusiastic people, generating creative designs and facilitate the material manifestation of these design ideas. We strive to provide a cool office environment so that people can learn, grow, and have the ability to go on and on and on without giving up, sustaining the same level of enthusiasm every morning.
Hopefully in future, we would like to be known in the same way as our vision is.
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