The simplest thing I learned at the school was that the journey and the process of making is far more superior and enjoyable than the actual goal! The richer the process, better the gratifications,” recalls interior designer Megha Patel-Vadodaria of her days as an undergraduate enrolled for a Bachelor’s degree in interior design from the School of Interior Design, CEPT, Ahmedabad. This seemed like a natural progression for a child who had enjoyed the act of making – be it toys, objects or small structures from agricultural waste. Now, the pleasure of creating hide-outs between wooden trusses under sloped roofs has blossomed into a fascination for the works of Carlo Scarpa, and Charles and Ray Eames. “I appreciate the details of smaller space elements and objects, furniture along with the larger context,” she says of their oeuvre.
For nine years after her graduation in 2005, Patel-Vadodaria and her spouse, architect Dr.Keyur Vadodaria garnered professional experience by working in the UK – post which the urge for home-coming and taking the process of decision making into their own hands proved too irresistible. “We started our practice Patel Vadoraria Design Research Studio (PVDRS) in early 2014. Despite the con-struction industry being largely unorganised in India, we always appreciated the opportunities that India offers in terms of the craft-skills’ set and the possibilities of material explorations and bespoke detailing,” says the 36-year-old designer, a strong advocate of a collaborative (client-craftsperson-designer) work process — something, she feels, is still lacking in India.
Both founders of PVDRS are very particular about all areas and aspects of their projects, and especially rely on mock-ups and prototypes to vet ideas and concepts. Which is perhaps why the award-winning studio’s two initial projects (the Aranya Farmhouse and the 3R Pavilion) helped define its belief right at the outset. “They reflect our approach towards design – a language that is modern and yet rooted in the cultural context within which we operate, and our continued effort in reducing the environmental footprint of building and construction,” reveals Patel-Vadodaria, for whom picking up pieces and trying to fit them forcefully in a space without considering the user is anathema. “Design is truly design,” she states emphatically, “when it truly reflects its users! When it makes them want to be in the space, over and over again.”