Any design intervention is a precursor to the act of urbanisation, according to architect Ainsley Lewis, and it is according to this ideology that he runs his private practice. “Urban interventions is to research user aspirations and manifest them in appropriate,innovative and sustainable best practices, while leveraging socio-cultural and ecological concerns,” says the Mumbai-based architect who began his career collaborating with Nuru Karim on several architecture and interior projects. Following his Master’s degree in Urban Design, he set up an independent firm to pursue projects in urban design, architecture and interior architecture, with research as its main anchor. From his portfolio that includes architectural conservation, The museum for Christian art in Goregaon stands out as one of his defining works so far.
Despite being away from the limelight, Lewis has led his firm to many victories, from the IAB Young Architects Award, winning the AKESI School competition at Vapi, and the Jindal Award for Innovation in the use of Stainless Steel. Along with his practice, Lewis has taken a keen interest in architecture education and has been teaching since 1996, and is currently the dean of Bachelor of Architecture at the Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture and Environmental Studies (KRVIA).
In the coming years, he hopes to address the unique challenges of informal housing in the city. “Policy and regulation, especially for these areas that can shape urbanity, needs to be revisited. The slum dweller needs to be at the centre of all the discourse, so as to frame a more inclusive policy,” says Lewis.