Interview with Ar. Kajal Gupta, Co-founder of the Multi-disciplinary Design Firm, Studio Motley

Young Turks Dated:  April 7, 2016
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Ar. Kajal Gupta and Ar. Anand Kurudi

We speak to Kajal Gupta, who along with Anand R. Kurudi cofounded Studio Motley, a multi-disciplinary architecture firm in Bangalore. Kajal received her post graduate degree from the University of Cincinnati post which she worked in Singapore and the US. She uses her rich international exposure to fine tune designs in the local context. Kajal has worked on various urban design projects, waterfront developments and SEZ developments across Asia and is equally at ease working on residential interior design projects.

How would you like to describe your journey with Studio Motley so far?

It's been exciting. We have had the opportunity to work on various scales, from large master planning and architecture commissions to interior design projects and we find this kind of cross pollination to be enriching to the design process.

You have won many recognitions for your innovative work. Tell us about your most favorite ones.

The standard response is to say 'the next one' but this is actually true because each project is a learning experience and we find that we have grown with each one. Having said that, the Weekend Home project is special for us for various reasons, both architectural and personal.

Living RoomLiving Room - Weekend Home

Could you share with us some important milestones in the journey till now?

We have been fortunate to have won a few awards in our relatively short journey so far and while being recognized by our peers is an affirmation, we also see milestones being about the people we meet and experiences we have and in that respect we have had more than our share of luck.

Where do you visualise the firm in another 10 years?

We look to continue to design spaces that are enriching and go beyond the physical program given by the client. For us it is important to challenge ourselves to critically examine the context and respond meaningfully. We would look to include traditional crafts and building techniques in our design process, at all scales of building and do our bit so that this wealth of indigenous building knowledge is continued.

Kids Activity CenterKids Activity Center - Magic Threads - Kids Boutique and Activity Center

How would you love to describe the team of yours (Kajal and Anand)?

While we have shared concerns about architecture and its relationship to the city, we have different approaches because of our different specializations.

Anand has a Masters degree in Architecture while I have a Masters degree in Community Planning. Anand likes to joke that I think in acres while he thinks in millimeters.

Being such a successful architect / artist, what are your words of wisdom to upcoming architects wanting to follow in your footsteps?

There are a few things which continue to help us even today. In the age of an abundance of images, there is still no substitute for travelling and physically experiencing buildings and design. And we always go back to the architects we personally admire and see how they approached a particular problem or situation, not just in terms design but also in terms of establishing a practice.

Living Room View - Apartment 404

Your favorite Design Quote is...

We like a quote by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien which goes 'We see architecture as an act of profound optimism'. This is really true on so many levels and the sentence is framed so simply and beautifully. From the sheer time taken to build well to the effort invested by the architects, artisans, clients, etc., the entire team has to believe that what we do has a positive impact for the users and the immediate context.

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