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  • TADstories with Darshan Singhania | Henge Architects

    Darshan Singhania, the founder of Henge Architects shares about his deep passion for design and architecture.

    Henge Architects is an architecture and interior design firm situated in three cities namely Salem, Chennai and Bangalore. The firm founded by Darshan Singhania and now working with Vidushi Agarwal Singhani, focuses on functionality and transparency with clients.

    In an interesting conversation with Darshan Singhania and Vidushi Agarwal Singhania, he shares about his long-term aspirations.

    henge architects

    What is the story of your passion for architecture? 

    Hailing from a family with a business background, and inspired by my grandfather and father’s passion towards construction industry, my interest in its bureau had developed at an early age. With the background knowledge as traders of basic construction materials like cement and steel I was now more drawn upon the need. This gave meaning and shape to these products. I chose to pursue an undergraduate study in architecture at School of Architecture and Planning- Anna University, a coveted university in India.

    The long-term aspiration is to join my family trade with a professional qualification, which would further reinforce our ideals and seek my self as an individual who can provide better solution as designer and developer. My studies changed the way I perceived and analyzed everything around me. These qualities have had a positive outcome on my personality. The ability to observe things not just as objects but rather as a processed approach to problem solving solution. I have learnt a lot through observation and meeting people of different genres. This was through travel experiences in India and abroad for education. It has also changed my perception towards design and its process.

    interior design by henge architects

    What pushed you to commence your own architecture studio?

    The concept of revolutionizing the construction practices in our city sparked within me a sense of purpose. Thus motivating me to return to my hometown, a tier 3 city. Despite suggestions to leverage my exposure and foreign education in a metropolitan area or abroad, I was driven by the gratification of realizing our envisioned creations. Early on in our projects, it became evident that our city required professionals like us more than we required its opportunities.

    Journey of Design Process!

    Could you write in short about the philosophy you go with when designing a certain project?

    At Henge Architects, we believe that design should not only be aesthetically pleasing but also build trust between our collaborators, clients, and those who inhabit the spaces we design. We understand that architecture is not just about creating buildings, but about creating experiences that connect people to their environment. Our team of highly skilled architects and designers has a passion for innovation and creativity that is reflected in every project we undertake. We also take pride in our ability to bring our clients’ visions to life, no matter how complex or challenging they maybe.

    residence design by henge architects

    What is the inspiration behind your concept developments and design ideations?

    Remaining faithful to the site and maintaining a fresh, uninhibited approach to our brief are the cornerstones that define our conceptualization and design processes. During my early days, my inaugural project presented a formidable challenge with its compact dimensions (14′ x 70′). As the sole representative of the firm at that time, I found myself immersed in a dual role: crafting drawings into the night and assuming the responsibilities of a site overseer by day. The endeavor felt akin to a studio project from my college days, where I introduced a novel concept previously unheard of in my city, one aimed at optimizing space, functionality, and inviting ample natural light. To my astonishment, my initial proposal was embraced, prompting inquiries into its feasibility. This experience underscored the significance of an idea capable of securing a project and reshaping the future of residential design.

    With years of learning and practice in architecture, how did you evolve your design language?

    I firmly believe in our continuous evolution towards improvement every single day. The multitude of inspirations we glean from industry designers constantly challenges us to reassess our capabilities and strive for excellence. Each day, we embark with a fervent desire to create something novel, something so innovative that it eventually becomes a wellspring of inspiration itself. Our aim is to craft designs that are inherently pure and resonate with a sense of authenticity. However, I acknowledge that this level of refinement comes with time and experience. We have a journey ahead of us, akin to the aging process of fine wine, where our craft will mature and refine over time.

    console design by henge architects

    What values do you prioritize in your life and how do they reflect in your way of work?

    Two core values guide our approach: hard work and humility combined with honesty. We prioritize ensuring that our clients comprehend every detail outlined to transform their project into a dream space. Transparency is paramount—we provide quality material information without imposing our ideas if they don’t align with our clients’ best interests. Instead, we empower them to make informed decisions by presenting a spectrum of options and guiding them towards choices that best suit their needs. Our approach is akin to tailoring solutions precisely around their preferences and requirements.

    A Sneak Peek Into The Projects By Henge Architects

    Looking back at all the design projects you’ve worked on, which is the project that has made an impact on you?

    Each project presents a fresh opportunity to glean new insights and perspectives. However, one particular project stands out for its profound impact—a home designed on a slender plot measuring 16′ x 120′. Here, we endeavoured to seamlessly integrate the preferences of two generations into a harmonious living space. Overcoming the challenge of maximizing natural light and ventilation within the constraints of the site was immensely satisfying, as it aligned perfectly with our core purpose.

    Considering the quick paced lifestyle of today, how do you use technology to deal with the project challenges?

    In our ongoing pursuit to keep pace with rapidly evolving technology, we’ve embraced the use of virtual reality tools and gadgets to enhance our clients’ understanding of their spaces. Leveraging this technology has not only facilitated clearer comprehension but has also instilled a heightened sense of confidence among our clients, subsequently expediting the project timeline.

    Could you share the story of a project which has truly challenged you go beyond your conventional style of approach?

    Our first major project involved designing a bungalow on a 6,000 sqft site. We integrated one of our unique selling points into the design development. However, due to structural feasibility challenges, the project had to change direction, resulting in a more dynamic and unique space. Initially, we proposed a mezzanine floor, but it required a cantilever design with dimensions of 9 ft by 14 ft, suspended from one end. This pushed us to think beyond our current capabilities and enhanced the project’s visual and functional qualities. At this juncture, we also learned to never underestimate or misjudge the potential of a client’s vision and to always assess new possibilities.

    How do you think your projects can make a change in the way people perceive built spaces?

    Our projects have always aimed to maximize three-dimensional space, enhancing both functionality and aesthetic appeal. This approach has helped clients understand that space is not limited to the floor area but also includes the vertical realm, which plays a significant and challenging role in design.

    Beyond Design!

    Apart from architecture, which are other hobbies that inspire you to keep going?

    I am more of a social meet-and-greet kind of person. A few healthy conversations with friends and well-wishers act as an energy boost, refreshing my mind and keeping me motivated.

    bedroom design by henge architects

    What impact has the journey of architecture had on you personally?

    I feel this is one of the best things that has happened to me personally. The skills I’ve developed as an architect have helped me analyse situations, identify their root causes, and find ingenious solutions to improve things around me. Additionally, I’ve learned the importance of listening and now take more time to understand people before imposing my ideals on them.

    Looking ahead in future, what are some of the commitments to yourself to help you grow as an individual?

    The first thing that comes to mind is to be as approachable as possible, connecting with many people for personal growth and maintaining a positive outlook on life.

    Beyond professional achievements, what personal legacy do you hope reaches the masses and can make an impact on their lives?

    I believe that making efforts to benefit society without seeking fame has a significant positive impact on one’s life. The ability to give selflessly and help others, even in the smallest ways, brings a sense of eternal happiness.

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