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Lalita Tharani of Collaborative Architecture Recognised For Her Superlative Design Innovations

By admin / Published on Friday, 08 Feb 2019 17:41 PM / No Comments / 378 views

Lalita Tharani of Collaborative Architecture Recognised For Her Superlative Design Innovations

Architecture at Collaborative goes beyond the generally prevailing notions of functional contingencies and simplistic approach of problem solving. This architectural firm with an international approach headed by Lalita Tharani and Mujib Ahmed is driven by innovation and ceaseless pursuit of quality in design to create projects, which are highly sensitive, poetic, and contemporary. Known for transforming critical explorations of ideas into inspiration for the rest to follow in the future. Every project is an exploration, going beyond the functional brief, creating a symbiosis of people, places, culture, climate, economy and collaborative efforts of related disciplines. Fortunestreets.com speaks with Lalita Tharani to understand more on her style and perspective of work. What drives her towards intuitive designs?

Lalita Tharani of Collaborative Architecture Recognised For Her Superlative Design Innovations
Lalita Tharani Co-Founder of Collaborative Architecture

Who and what inspired you to take up this profession

Sounds cliched but I always wanted to be in a creative profession! In my aptitude test, I was advised to take up sculpting as my profession as I sketched, sculpted and painted. Maybe it is hereditary, my grandfather was an artist, my dad an Engineer (who sketched beautifully), guess I wanted best of both worlds, creative at the same time technical and architecture fitted the bill perfectly. My dad never wanted me to be an architect but at the same time never discouraged me from chasing my dreams, all this, gave me the resolve to pursue my passion more energetically and channelised me towards this profession. I do not recollect, but an old friend who I recently met after a long time, tells me that I always wanted to become an Architect!  So here, I am…

What is the design mantra that you work on that defines your style of work?

The studio invests in design research and intuitive design at equal measures. The designs are often a confluence of these two approaches.

How did you begin your journey and your experience of doing the first project, tell us more about the same. Since then how was your experience working on different scale of projects, how many have you done so far?

Loads of excitement, expectations and butterflies in the stomach that how the journey began. Not much has changed since then, it is the same excitement and anxiety that starts a design journey every single time. May be the process got stronger and more clarified over the time. There were scores of invisible teachers in this journey; many of them are friends now. My first project won the IIID national award, which took the practice to a national level. The practice later merged into a partnership to form Collaborative Architecture. Never kept the count! Just enjoyed the journey and tried to learn something with each project.

Which was the most challenging project undertaken so far, where and what was it all about?

The firm has started taking part in many highly prestigious international competitions- both open and invited. These are a different ball game and needs to be among the best internationally even to be invited, or get shortlisted. The studio was selected as the finalists in the Indian National War Museum, New Delhi – a two stage international competition by the Govt. of India in 2016. In 2017, Collaborative Architecture along with the firm’s collaborating partner J.Mayer.H, Berlin also was selected as the finalists in BCDA Iconic Tower, Manila, Philippines.

The studio’s works have been featured in The State of Architecture Exhibition and conference 2016 in Mumbai, India. It was acknowledged as one of the most significant works of post-independence era in India. In 2018, the studio got shortlisted as one of the 6 finalist, in a three stage international competition for Kennedy Centre Lounge in Washington DC and collaborated with Henning Larsen Architects, Denmark, in the Second Stage of Musi River Revitalisation, a global competition floated by Telangana Government to revitalise and reclaim 57.5 km stretch of the river.

Which projects are you doing currently, where and the scope of work?

Several single family residences, a corporate office for a leading builder in Bengaluru, designer sample apartments, some competitions and other experimental works.

How do you both work as a team, each of your forte that helps boost your project towards fineness? Your ideology of undertaking each project

We open a new project to the studio and ask the studio to coin ideas, deep / peripheral thoughts on the project, while doing necessary research. Both of us parallel formulate our ideas and work on them. First week to 10 days are evaluation of multiple ideas, sketches and we finally zero in on 2-3, before finalising one. Then one of us leads the project from there to the finish. During the conceptualising process at times, we have cloning thoughts and at other times, think diametrically opposite such situations only refine the designs further towards fineness.

We approach each project with the thought to be able to innovate and learn something new each time. It makes, worth-our-while and satisfies us immensely, if along with good design we can be socially relevant too, a feat we have realised in couple of our projects. We politely hold back from the projects, which are not close to our heart!

According to you what are the important components in architecture that should be considered that are overlooked

Context, end user and the Life Cycle of a project.

Your advice to the budding architects and interior designers

Perseverance is the key. Talent is just a bonus!  To achieve something be a perpetual student, a good observer, never believe that you have learnt all. Good designs are rarely born out of the first thought that flashes in your mind, most often than not innovative designs are the result of visiting & re- visiting the idea repeatedly and improvising.

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