Namrata Doshi of Define ArchitectsBy Andrew Chyne
With just 7 years of experience behind her, Namrata has already made her mark as a Planner and Green Building Consultant. Her practice "Define Architects", based out of Mumbai, has successfully completed many national and international projects. Namrata holds a Masters degree in Architecture from the Savannah College of Art and Design, USA and she is also a LEED Accredited Professional under the US Green Building Council. She has worked with brands, like Apple Inc. and Cannon Design, and has worked on esteemed projects that include TATA Hospitals, Marriott Hotels, Sony Stores and Panasonic offices.
Here is Namrata in conversation with ZingyHomes.
How has the journey been so far for Define Architects?
Define Architects was founded by me with the only idea to utilize latest technologies in architecture that allow project visionaries to take advantage of Building energy modeling and Green design strategies. Define Architects was founded in the later half of 2011 and in the past 3 years, we have built a very strong team and a proud portfolio to showcase. The journey in doing so has been very rigorous, yet satisfactory. Our testimonials speak for themselves! You can see them on our website.
Consumers, SMBs and Corporates speaks a lot about your Green buildings. What is your opinion in this matter?
Sustainability is a way of life. Green building is not a commodity, but a concept that goes so deep, that clear understanding of the subject along with intellectual experience is a must for successful completion of the project. The biggest challenge for a client is "Awareness". There is very little awareness of the subject and hence owners are easily fooled by consultants. With my team, the focus is always on ensuring that the right information is being shared. We spend hours in educating the client about the subject even before he or she confirms the project. My team is always available to answer any one's query regarding the subject. You can try it, simply call my office and you will know. It is this trust that we build with our audience, that speaks volumes about our expertise and green building consulting services.
Alongside, we take it as our social responsibility to spread awareness about sustainability and promote green building education. To streamline these efforts, we have started "Green Building Design Academy or GBDA". GBDA is a platform offering training and mock tests for major green building rating systems.
Which segment of consumers do you cater to?
With a team of young, yet highly experienced professionals and leadership that strives to achieve excellence, our team has successfully managed to work for industry acclaimed clients. In a short span of 3 years, we have widened our horizons to include clients of varied scales and industry sectors. We take pride in working with following corporate, public, private, large and small clients and have successfully completed projects up to 20 lakh sq. ft.
- Waltz Group
- Philips Healthcare Ltd
- Emerald Lifestyle Pvt Ltd
- Omkar Builders
- Shah and Talati Associates
- Laxmi Pharma Pack
- Laxmi Infra
- ERM India Pvt Ltd
- Archinova Design inc
What has been the response from your clients?
Our clients are a clear reflection of our strengths. From the big names to individual owners, every client is our priority. As for what my clients say, I will let our testimonials do the talking. Visit our Youtube Channel: www.youtube.com/Definearchitects or read more reviews on our website.
What are the challenges that you face while implementing a project?
Challenges are different and cannot be defined. Right from operational issues to functional aspects, every project has its own challenges. But if I were to name the top three, here is my list:
- Most projects suffer when project owners/clients do not understand how to prioritize the money they are spending. 75% of my own consulting time is spent in convincing them about the right places to invest in during the design process.
- End users are often neglected by every team member, be it an owner or a consultant or a contractor. I ensure that the project is being executed keeping in mind the end user- ultimately that's who we design for!
- Being over ambitious is also a common characteristic, most clients have. It is one of my important tasks to ensure the project brief is in sync with other parameters and constraints. Clients tend to want it all, with slim budgets and in a short span of time (and that's understandable, because they are in a business with cut-throat competition). But if you give in to their demands, you land up making a shabby project.
Do your clients give you a free hand in creating your designs?
Well, in most cases clients intend to control the process, which is of course understandable. But usually after the first 2 discussions with my team, most clients are confident about our work and give us a complete free hand. That makes me the happiest, as a team leader. It is the reward of my leadership and hard work.
How many months does it take for your company to experiment a particular design?
When it comes to designs, there are no experiments. There is either good design or no design - As simple as that! We do not experiment, rather we focus on the right things to achieve the best product. Our planning ideas are the key to our success. A successful project begins with well-thought design and intelligent planning in every aspect- space, resources, aesthetics, function etc.
What will be your suggestions to young students of Architecture and Interior Design?
Educate and learn to say “No”. As a creative mind, education never stops. Not even after you start your practice. Every project, every drawing comes with a learning lesson. Embrace it. Lessons are the little steps to success. And finally, as a good designer, learn to say “No”. Say “No” to bad design decisions, say “No” to stubborn clients and say “No” to compromises in the project. Remember, if you are a good architect, you know what is best for the project, period!
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