MAYUR MANGUKIYA & ANKIT SOJITRA
When a civil engineer and an interior designer get together, be rest assured of a design that is both technically and aesthetically sound. At Surat-based Studio 17, founded by Ankit Sojitra and Mayur Mangukiya, this is precisely the case. Their joint view on form and function underscores this promise: “We feel that form and function should be balanced — they need to go hand in hand. If we are stuck to one, the space might miss out another.”
While Sojitra’s path to being a civil engineer was fairly straightforward, Mangukiya’s journey towards ‘destination design’ was somewhat circuitous. “I started out by achieving a graduate degree in commerce. And then I realised my forte went beyond number-crunching. I wanted to be a part of the design fraternity, and that’s how I completed my design graduation.” For both the partners, being around architects and designers while growing up may have something to do with their choice of profession.
The two young professionals established Studio 17 in 2017, with the aim of providing spatial experiences that were comfortable, high-end and stayed away from unnecessary ornamentation. While the larger design direction is contemporary and leans towards the minimal, they are ever aware of connectivity. “We try and balance space activity and connections,” declares the duo, who is inspired by Kiev-based architect Sergey Makhno, and his vision of ‘seeing beyond sight’. Their recently completed office design for Coruscate, a custom web and mobile app development company, lies at the crossroads of the old and the new, of tradition and technology — reflecting the very character of Surat city, where it is located. Aesthetically, this is expressed as an environment which is natural, raw and textured with rough and unfinished edges. “Good design,” say Sojitra and Mangukiya, “happens when the designer delivers beyond expectations and provides solutions that connect the user to the space. Keep the technical aspects in mind, but don’t let ‘why not try that’ slip out of sight….”
1) Coruscate expansion, Surat
2) RasKunj, Surat
3) Siya, Surat
MOST SIGNIFICANT PROJECT TO DATE: Coruscate, Surat