An interior designer has the power to transform a dull space into something magical and beautiful. Architects and interior designers play a vital role in creating a ‘magical’ impact. It’s often noticed that certain properties have a great welcoming feel. They have a unique blessing of vibrant energies with very astonishing facets.
Expert architects and interior designers systematically identify the property and plan the ‘solution’ layout that includes all the aspects of decoration, ergonomics, user-friendly logic, openness, and effective space management. Established in 1995, SSA Design Studio, a firm of Architects, Interior Designers and Corporate Design Consultants, has built itself an impressive reputation for innovation and superior service by creating aesthetically pleasing and radical design solutions within the allocated budget and time frame.
Under the coherent leadership of Mr Sandeep J. Shah and Mrs Anita S. Shah, the studio has grown to deliver as a team of professionals who integrate their individual abilities to provide a complete understanding and practical solutions to its clients.
In an interview with Insights Success, Ar. Sandeep Shah and Ar. Anita Shah revealed their professional journey right from their initial days and how they are on the path of a more ambitious future ahead.
An Articulate Leadership
Sandeep Shah graduated from L.S. Raheja School of Architecture, Mumbai, in 1992, successfully topped in the state of Maharashtra. He then completed his Master of Science in Architecture (M. S. Arch.) from California Polytechnic State University, USA, in 1994. He worked with various Architects in the USA before returning to Mumbai.
On the academic front, he was also a visiting lecturer at the Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute of Architecture and Environmental Studies, Juhu, Mumbai. On several occasions, he has been a “Design Jury” at many Architecture Colleges to evaluate and encourage young students and speak on Architecture and Interior Designing at various forums, including social forums like the “Rotary Club.”
Anita Shah completed her G.D. Arch from L.S. Raheja School of Architecture, Mumbai, in 1992. Apart from Architecture and Interior Design, she is also very insightful in the field of Vaastu Shastra and Graphic Design. She too has been a part of the “Design Jury” at several Architecture Colleges and commercial forums.
They started the firm M/s SSA Design Studio (Architects, Interior Designers and Corporate Design Consultants) in 1995. Apart from their successful professional careers, Sandeep and Anita are also deeply involved in charity work in the field of education and healthcare.
An Exhilarating Start
Sandeep reminisces their initial days of being fortunate enough to have travelled extensively locally and internationally since school days. Both were fascinated by building designs and intrigued by interior spaces on their various trips and tried to dissect how these spaces must have been designed and put together.
Architecture and interior design thus became a natural choice. This profession combines design and engineering, and as it caters to people, it has to be safe and aesthetically pleasing. Architects and interior designers make sculpture liveable. The best part about this profession is that the design would also be there for future generations to revere and learn from.
The Distinguishing Feature
Creativity is the backbone of any form of design. Creativity is what differentiates good design from the rest. It can transform spaces, influence perspectives, even make history and change how one feels.
Sandeep and Anita try to create spaces to have a “timeless” quality to outlive fashion – meaning it should look and feel interesting even after say two decades. Sandeep revealed that each project has certain specific requirements, and that’s how our designs emerge. The company’s motto and USP is to always stay one step ahead and give clients more than they expect.
Customer First, Policy
Anita highlighted keeping abreast of the latest trends in materials and technology; Anita and Sandeep together create a harmonious amalgamation of all the inputs which suit the client’s budget and taste. Translated in three-dimensional views, walkthroughs, sample boards etc., makes it easier for clients to understand the concepts. She revealed that they educate the clients in many spheres of design, materials, and technology.
Their daily purview leads to healthy discussions in all aspects of designing and execution, resulting in a reliable partnership. This helps build “trust” – and in their field, where the stakes are high–trust is the key to a successful project. Hence, they get repeat projects from clients.
Rising and Growing From Challenges
Anita elaborated about their initial days; they were brimming with ideas and enthusiasm. It took a lot of convincing to clients to secure projects as one would rarely have a body of work to show for in the initial stages of their career.
But their never-give-up attitude helped them bag good projects, both in architecture and interiors, which were also featured in various design publications. She exclaimed that since then, there was no looking back. It’s been almost three decades, and their team still has the same fire and enthusiasm for every project they do.
In general, procurement of consistent quality material from reliable sources to managing after-sales services from vendors and contractors were the most concerning challenges in the initial years. But this also taught them to be more efficient and prudent in their design and build process.
Anita responded on the present day, more than ever before, is the best time to be in this creative field with tremendous help from technology, amazing work happening in research and development across the production spectrum and exposure to a huge variety of data.
Ironically, the current challenges involve dissuading clients from incorporating some design idea they would have come across in the media but happens to be an absolute out of place concept as per their overall theme.
Today there is an overexposure to everything, and one needs to be knowledgeable enough to evaluate this data, from temporary fashion fads to timeless beauty. Each design idea is worthy – however, it requires an appropriate ambience to enhance its value and look in-sync.
The Technological Impact
Sandeep mentioned that technological advancements have indeed opened many avenues. They still believe that hand sketching is the best form of transforming ideas – on paper. A host of software are available for 2D and 3D visualization to take the design process to the next level. Clients can preview their projects before execution.
Sandeep added that with the 4D immersive technology in the metaverse, one can be “within” the space and feel the “walk-throughs.” The software that translates 2D to 3D instantly is widely used to eliminate unforeseen errors during construction.
A team of multiple designers can now co-work on a given project file simultaneously, thereby saving time, improving precision, and saving cost while generating the best results. The computer revolution has been a game-changer. Communication with clients has become much more manageable. Several complex building designs which are built around the world today would not have been possible without these tools.
Unique materials have flooded the market, which use technology to aid their manufacturing processes, giving designers various choices. One material could undergo different finishing treatments and result in multiple unique finishes. The base material could be the same, say marble or glass, but with other specific treatments, the result is amazing.
It is now easier to recreate affordable designs, whether digital printed artworks or exclusive marble print tiles, thereby opening newer possibilities for designers to provide exclusiveness even in a budget job. Technology has made the visibility of an idea easier, leading to better knowledge sharing, easy procurement, and a transparent market.
Pearls of Wisdom
Anita pointed out with enthusiasm that it is a vast field with abundant opportunities to experiment with new ideas and materials to create and satisfy the artist in ourselves. A completed project gives immense work satisfaction. But at the same time, it is very competitive since this not being a regulated profession needing a licence to practice.
Sandeep added that the design, the ability to adapt to this ever-changing scenario, the quality of the service and the factor of integrity as a person should become the trump cards of success in this field.