FHD is a unique firm that does not believe in architectural styles, which enables each architect to evolve his own work culture. Each Director, Manager brings his/her own academic background, unique professional experience and belief system to create unique teams and projects. FHD’s belief in sustainability ties the projects into a holistic body of work. It would be interesting to follow and study some of their unique work culture and projects. Mathan Ramaiah 
Director – Design, FHD Group

What motivates you to be an architect?

  1. Fact that the territory of design (and by corollary the territory it can affect and impact) is boundless and infinite…and one can explore it from any and every aspect of life as long as we are conscious of it.
  2. The sheer joy of creating and how unpredictable it can be is motivation enough (if at all needed)!!

Describe your design process?

Below is the sequence I think I usually follow…at every scale, the design operates at

  1. What – is the scale of the Site, program and compare with anything similar I know or can find… A SketchUp massing to understand the amount of design “clay” that has been given
  2. Why – the intent of the project brief is valid… set the criteria to question why/why not!!
  3. How – the design would make the programs and user experiences intersect with form in inspiring ways
  4. Talk a lot with me (shower time helps a lot!!) and everyone around me to catch different viewpoints
  5. Arrive at the diagram of the design story (generally amassing Parti and an experience map) …
  6. Start design layering!!

Favorite tool:

Soft –  Internet, Design Dialogue

Hard – .5 mm hard tip pen, sketch up

Your favorite architect? 

–        Don’t believe too much in favorite as it changes as we evolve.  Below is a fictitious architect…

Remzo Koolhano

–        Unexpected Programmatic interrelation and well-engineered simplicity are two things I deeply believe in. 

Your favorite project at FHD? Why?

–        Have to create a fictitious project as well then!!

Orgapolun media Office

(Author’s note: I guess that’s a combination of 4 projects – Organo + Polycab Experience center + Lunkad + Abudhabi media office)

AT-M

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Dhurgai Kumaran  
Director – Design, FHD Group

What motivates you to be an architect/ design?

The purpose of design to bring out subtleties that are clandestine due to the obviousness of the context motivates me to do the design/ be an architect.

Describe your design process?

First Differentiate what is obvious of the situation (context and program) and bring the hidden logics of both that could operate (model) the physical (architectural) outcome.

My priority will be always how to program can be organized (through diagramming) by identifying their gradations (eg: smooth to hard, social to the individual, light to dark) than discrete relations (black and white, interior and exterior, etc).

Your favorite architect? Why? 

Sanaa, Philippe Rahm, Paulo Mendes da Rocha- I am really interested in their quietude in rebelliousness. Ben Van Berkel for his operative model approach.

Your favorite project at FHD? Why?

2getherments, Naandi .both are less as architectural and more of an operational (agent)

program fL-02-01

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Sriram R
Manager – Architecture, FHD Group

What motivates you to be an architect?

Architecture is a unique tool that enables me to influence the socio-cultural world at all levels of human needs -physiology, safety, belonging, esteem, and self-actualization.

Shakespeare said the world is a stage. As an architect, I feel the world is a canvas. Anytime I open Google earth, I can see a giant painting with some strokes of it being mine!

Describe your design process?

A pre-design phase includes intensive research into the site, client, building typology and scale. I choose design tools and processes based on the specific goals of the project. I begin a formal project with parts-diagram that broadly captures the intent, essence, and identity of the project and user. I then develop a broad formal language by sketching or 3d modeling. The program weaves into the form creating a unique story with a sequence and/or hierarchy for each project. There are different characters in each story like materials, climate responsiveness, site responsiveness, etc. The circulation creates an experiential flow to the user, creating high and low moments. The details accentuate the experience. At one point, the architecture becomes self-actualization of the user. The design is complete when the boundaries between the user’s aspiration, form, space, and order vanish.

 Your favorite architect?

Louis Kahn – who achieves the right balance between form, space, order, light, and material in each project.

Your favorite project at FHD? Why?

AT-S

GMG HQ in Dubai – It crosses the domain of functionality and reaches a state of self-actualization letting the user rethink his own self. The architecture reveals itself in layers to the user over time.

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Hriday Siddharth
Manager – Design, FHD Group

What motivates you to be an architect?

‘Design thinking’ I firmly believe is the only solution to betterment. Any design intervention/innovation is a challenge taken to improve/create something which helps people to live in a way that was better than yesterday. The motivation I think derives itself from the excitement attached to the explorative nature of the design process.

Describe your design process?

I think my belief and design process can be described in 2 quotes.

“Design is not only about how a product looks and feels but more about how it works” – Steve Jobs

“Place is to architecture what meaning is to language”

My personal design process is started with understanding the scale and typology of work at hand, and then establishing the dos and don’ts of the job on hand. This needs thorough research into the way similar jobs have been addressed in the past and also understanding what how the way is these spaces are expected to work.

Then the next step is to establish the circulation of spaces and the experiential pinching points which would enhance the way the users and the spaces respond to each other. “Climatic aspects – Materiality – form-finding” are steps that go hand in hand influencing and driving each other. Which eventually drives the design forward.

Your favorite architect?

Cannot name one favorite architect, there are aspects that so many people have explored which inspire me.

Your favorite project at FHD? Why?

Naandi Of course, but of the ones I have worked on – Sri Kailash kalayana mandapam. The latter is a beautiful synthesis of materiality, design, form-finding and the sheer experiential quality which redefined and takes people back to the earthier way of marriage ambiance.

AT-H

Some of the projects discussed are under various stages of design and shall be linked to upon completion. Keep looking at this space for updates.