25 iGen: PASHMIN SHAH & SATYAJEET PATWARDHAN

PASHMIN SHAH & SATYAJEET PATWARDHAN

FOUNDERS, AMOEBA DESIGN, PUNE
16 Apr 2020

We don’t really believe in ‘dream projects’. With every project, we dream of exploring something new within the context. It’s always about what the project needs than what we want as designers.”

Pashmin Shah and  Satyajeet Patwardhan call themselves accidental architects. “I wanted to be a fashion designer and Satyajeet wanted to be a painter,” says the former. “Probably that’s the reason our projects tend to lean towards the work of art rather than an architectural expression which is bound by function and economics.” The duo completed their graduation in architecture from Nashik. From here, their paths split. Shah did her specialisation in Energy Efficient Architecture from the State University of New York, Buffalo, followed by stints in New York and Costa Rica. Patwardhan, on the other hand, went on to obtain his M.Arch. in Sustainable Design from the University of Texas at Austin, USA. Post this, he joined Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP and worked on the T2 terminal of Mumbai airport before moving back to India. They established Amoeba Design in 2012.

The duo candidly admits to being inspired by ‘designs’ than ‘designers’. “Smaller houses in villages are sometimes far more sensitive in their responses than a designed place by some architect. However, philosophically we certainly feel the connect with the works of Geoffrey Bawa, and Bedmar & Shi for their unique and contextual approach towards design, especially landscape,” they state. “We’re (also) inspired by wabi-sabi…and aim to manifest this approach in all our projects,” adds Shah, before dwelling on their passion for environments that are rich in material and texture. “India has always been a land of craft and we truly aspire to maximise the involvement of craftsmen in every project that we do,” she says. “We focus a lot on light, volume and materials, but always seek opportunities to change conventional thinking. The name amoeba itself comes from the germ of being true to oneself without being stuck in a particular image, allowing...constant change!”

While every project has brought with it its own incremental addition to their collective wisdom, they view the cinematographer’s house they designed in Talegaon with special fondness for its extreme simplicity and soulful presence. “As architects, it taught us how important it is to cultivate a restraint in your craft,” remarks Patwardhan. “Such projects can happen only with a greater control on and confidence in your craft as an architect.”

ONGOING PROJECTS

1) Restoration of an old house, Bhubaneswar
2) Portuguese-style inspired villas, Goa
3) Conversion of a mall space into a restaurant and an art gallery, Kolhapur

MOST SIGNIFICANT PROJECT TO DATE: Cinematographer’s Home, Talegaon

 22) iGEN 2020 - MAYUR MANGUKIYA & ANKIT SOJITRA
1) iGEN 2020 - ABHIGYAN NEOGI