Ricky Doshi, Founder & CEO, ARD Studio – an architectural startup founded in August 2013. ARD Studio had initially started as a side arm of M/S Doshi Associates, a 30 year old firm in the field or Architecture & Interior Design (primarily) headed by his father, Ar. Bakul Doshi. He began his career as a Junior Associate Architect with Hafeez Contractor & Associates in June 2008 after graduation from L.S. Raheja School of Architecture. In 2010, he pursued his Masters from Savannah College of Arts & Design (SCAD) University, United States of America. He then went on to work with New York Design Architects LLP for a year where he was Project Manager for Food Outlets like Mc Donald’s, Starbucks and Chipotle Mexican Grill.Coming back to India, he worked with renowned architect Reza Kabul as an Associate Architect where his designing skills shone. Team RealtyMyths had an amzing session, here are the exerpts,
How is the Indian architectural environment evolving?
India is a developing country, so the scope for construction and design is huge. The current environment, especially in metro cities, is not that conducive for construction, since these metros have already exhausted the land area and resources. The cost of construction has gone up due to shortage of local materials. Nevertheless, construction cannot be stopped, what we need to do modify is the way we approach the process of building.
Additionally, we should save on the existing resources and come up with solutions that are beneficial for the environment and human beings. The tier-II and tier-III cities are undergoing tremendous development and progress to ease the congestion. With the smart cities project initiated by the government of India along with many economic corridors, these small cities are able to attract huge investors. People are preferring to settle in smaller towns because of good facilities, low pollution levels, peaceful and stress-free environments.
Share some art forms commonly used?
These days some commonly used art forms in design are contemporary forms like cubes, rectangles, rounded edges, etc. There has also been a development in the usage of organic forms by some prominent architects. Such designs give a fresh outlook and perspective to the built environment and merges man-made structures with nature.
Share the funniest brief shared by your client?
In one of our high-end residential interior design project, the client’s wife was confused on the kind of theme to be used to design the house. We gave them a number of options with various individual themes. After a long struggle and many designs the client’s wife said she did not know what she wanted, where we as a team tried to help her out explaining the pros and cons of creating a chaotic theme for the house. Finally, she agreed on to our designs and the work carried out smoothly hence forth.
What do you think about the eco and sustainable development?
Eco-friendly material and sustainable development is the need of the hour. There has been a lot of haphazard development over the years, whose ill-effects are felt today. A properly planned design will not only save on the precious resources, but will also help conserve them. Materials these days come with an eco-friendly tag, and a standard has been set in the industry about the materials with minimal impact on the environment. This will only help in the well-being of human health and the health of our planet.
How was 2016? Is 2017 going to be more happening for this industry?
The start was a little indifferent for 2016 but in the mid-year things were slowly picking up in the residential market. Towards the end of the year, the demonetization act taken by the government, and the fight against corruption, black money and security of the country, has left everyone a little baffled, but looking at the long term, this move will only help the industry as there will be a lot more transparency in the system.
What do you think about affordable housing architecture? Is it a suitable model for India?
India is a developing country and majority of its population fall in the middle-class category or below. Owning a house is everyone’s dream, thus I feel that affordable housing solution is not only a suitable model for India, but also the accurate one. Affordable housing architecture is about creating mass housing schemes with all the necessary infrastructure at a minimal cost. This can be achieved with designing proper planning pockets in the city, where suitable land can be allocated for the same. Also government support and right policies are very important factors for affordable housing schemes to be a success.
How do you see the government initiatives would help you achieve your vision?
The government is doing a commendable job. The initiatives taken by them are the successful results of the commencement of many redevelopment projects & SRA schemes. Also, they are coming up with plans to allocate some dedicated pockets along the outskirts of the city to ease the congestion of construction within the city limits.
What are some of your top go-to spots that you would recommend to a friend/family member visiting?
Some of my favourite destinations to visit are NYC (New York City), Savannah (Georgia, USA), Vienna, Canadian Rockies, Wildflower Hall in Shimla, Lake Palace Hotel in Udaipur, Quebec City in Canada, African Safari in South Africa, UAE.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Who is your inspiration?
I consider myself very fortunate. So far, my biggest achievement has been opening my own architecture firm at the age of 28. In the span of 3.5 years we have completed more than ten projects, (Architecture, Interior Design & Project Management) with seven projects under construction and two on the verge of completion. There are many people who have has inspired me, to name a few, Le Corbusier, Bjarke Ingels, Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid. But the person whom I consider my role model and has been a tremendous source of inspiration for me, is my father. He has always supported all my decisions and made sure that I learn to be independent right from an early age.
What advice can you offer to the new age architecture?
I would advise them to work with dedication and strive for innovation in design. Do not chase monetary gains. As they say, failures are stepping stones toward success, so do not get bogged down up initial hiccups. Struggle, fall, rise & succeed is my mantra for success. Remember, there are no shortcuts to success in life.
Is cashless economy a myth? How is demonetization impacting architectures?
Cashless economy is something that we, Indians are not used to. We believe in using cash for every transaction. This is not only hazardous but it is very difficult to keep a track of all our money. Cashless economy does not mean that one is not going to be left with anything to spend. It’s just that one’s money is safe behind the strong walls of a bank, and they can use them anywhere and everywhere round the world. Once people start getting attuned to the idea, gradually they’ll not only accept this system, but also appreciate the rich benefits that will be reaped from it. Demonetization is one of the best decisions that any government has ever taken. It requires immense amount of courage to stand up and fight corruption, money laundering, and threat to national security.