ASHA SAIRAM & PANKHURI GOEL
Conscious Design. At the centre of Studio Lotus’ design philosophy lies this powerful concatenation of two words. A consciousness that emerges from a mind that’s receptive to influences, possesses curiosity and is prepared to learn and unlearn. Traits that are seen in the award-winning firm’s two design principals — 36-year-old Pankhuri Goel and her younger colleague 31-year-old Asha Sairam.
Goel’s house-proud mother — “who was constantly renovating and recreating (spaces)” — and furniture manufacturer father generated a curiosity within her that led to an enrolment at NID. “Over time, travel experiences became integral in shaping my world view and perceptions of space,” she adds. For Sairam, interior design became a serendipitous calling, when she encountered Studio Lotus in the research for her (NIFT) Communication Design thesis on ‘Experiential Design in Retail Spaces’ — and ended up joining the firm as an intern.
For both, the learning has continued beyond formal education. While Goel points to the insights into the power of ‘narrative in design’ she assimilated while working with Design Habit’s Amardeep Behl as educative, Sairam credits her understanding of the importance of material and lighting in creating spatial impact to scenographer Sumant Jayakrishnan and his ability to transform spaces with simple gestures. Both colleagues are united in acknowledging the founders of Studio Lotus, their seniors at the design firm, their teams and craftspeople they collaborate with for enriching their perception of design.
While the two young professionals usually work on separate verticals, they teamed up on the design for Aloft Hotel, at Aerocity, Gurugram, where the mandate was to interpret an international hospitality brand to create a distinct spatial experience. “The design scheme for Aloft, Gurugram, layers elements of familiarity from the brand’s international presence with smaller resonant interventions within the property,” says the duo, adding that good design should be intuitive, authentic and relevant while breaking conventions and challenging the established ways of living and working.
1) Royal Enfield Headquarters, Chennai
2) Ather Experience Centre, Chennai
3) Yoga Centre, Central Delhi
1) Orissa Convention Centre, Bhubaneswar
2) Corporate Office for a leading law firm, Gurugram
3) Godrej RKS, Mumbai
MOST SIGNIFICANT PROJECT TO DATE: Aloft Hotel, Aerocity, Gurugram