TADstories with Dhruv Mehta | Karya Design Studio

Karya Design Studio’s principal designer, Dhruv Mehta, shares his design journey thoroughly in conversation with us, commemorating what it was like to begin at the young age of 23.

Karya Design Studio, popularly known as KDS, is a Bharuch-based interior design firm by Dhruv Mehta. After a prolonged internship, Dhruv started his own design firm which gradually evolved into an interior and an architecture studio.

Who is Dhruv Mehta? How did you get into this field?

I am Dhruv Pravin Mehta, the principal designer of Karya design studio, from the small town of Bharuch, Gujarat. I hold a Professional degree in Interior Designing from INIFD, Vadodara, Gujarat in the year 2013. 

As my parents wanted me to be an Engineer, I never thought I would be an interior designer. Although, I was good at drawing and have represented my school in various competitions. Hence, my journey towards becoming an interior designer began when I was discussing with one relative about design. 

After my studies and the internship, I was excited to open my own office, with a great amount of confidence and support from idols and clients. Though, in the initial days, my friend gave me ample mental support, for establishing a new firm at the young age of 23.

Karya Design Studio, popularly known as KDS, began as a very young interior design firm. And gradually it evolved from an exclusive interior design firm to an architectural planning firm also. Continuing to attain the position as one of the respectable and admired firms of Bharuch.

How did you get your first project and what was it?

My First project was a referral that came from one of my friends. It was to work on several smaller Residential Interior Design projects for a couple in Vadodara in the year 2015. These projects helped us build a portfolio and gain experience that can be showcased to potential clients.

What or who is the biggest influence on your designs?

In early days, I was quite impressed by the works of Shree Dipen Gada and my idol Shree Kadam Shah. I believe people you meet inspire you and the biggest inspiration is the vibe that you get while designing a space. Also, and I look for various qualities of things that are important for every designer to grow.

For me, the design is an emotion, which is sensory. It is not something technical that I would like to add. I have always sought knowledge and exposure which boarded me on a path of self-learning. In addition, intense traveling, study, and seminars helped me create a niche identity for my practice.

I have implemented the learning and experiences to take definitive steps towards achieving perfection. Also, I have worked towards implementing micro-level changes in my design with each progressive project.

Your designs explore a contemporary language and subtle material palette. What is your design approach and signature style in terms of planning and execution?

The biggest driver for us is understanding the user’s needs. We aim to create unforgettable experiences and we believe this can only be done through in-depth, almost science-led research. Hence, studying the local context, the brief, and the client’s expectations; all these aspects are always a good starting point. As we never have a predetermined idea of what the project should look like.

This is part of the reason our studio doesn’t have a signature style

In the past few years, especially after covid, there has been a rapid change in residential design trends. What is one trend change that you would like to see in the field? and one trend that you would never like to change?

As designers whether any given projects, we all need to be more sensitive to the fact that our design gestures are environmentally friendly. Sustainability is a key factor governing our designs now. And it is the most important aspect of design to ensure a better world in the future. And that trend we would never like to change.

Built only what is necessary, retaining structures resulting materials, reduction in resource consumption.

Nowadays there are numerous online platforms to get inspired and get ideas. How do you cater to the client’s requirements regarding your style of design?

We as designers have a huge responsibility towards society and people who give their dreams to create it into reality. Also, we are trustees for their future and we need to attend each project to keep their faith alive. We need to provide the right solutions to the people who approach us to design their, homes, office, work-space, retails, institutes, or any other projects. 

We deliberately try to fulfill these dreams into reality, so that kind of platform give you only ideas, not realities.

What is your strategy to transform a given space into a masterpiece in terms of budget constraints?

There are multiple things to take care of in terms of budget constraints. At Karya Design Studio, we define the team’s goals and objectives and establish clear roles and responsibilities. Along with developing an effective communication strategy and providing feedback regularly. As projects evolve, and new challenges arise, we are prepared to adjust our team structure, roles, or workflow systems to accommodate the changing needs of our team on the same budget.

If you have the opportunity to design a dream project, what would it be and why?

One of my dream projects as an interior designer could be designing a wellness retreat center. Combining sustainable design, natural elements, and modern technology. The retreat center would be designed to promote health, relaxation, and mindfulness, providing a holistic approach to wellness. 

The benefits of such a wellness retreat center would be significant. And would provide a sanctuary for people to escape the stresses of daily life. Also to reconnect with nature, and focus on their physical and mental well-being. Also, it would promote sustainable practices and serve as a model for environmentally conscious design.

Nowadays collaborations are in trend. If you have the opportunity to collaborate with another designer, who would it be and what would you create?

The key to any successful collaboration is finding someone whose vision and expertise complement your own. Also, working together to create something that is greater than the sum of its parts. I don’t have personal preferences or desires to collaborate with another designer. However, I can suggest some renowned designers who could be great collaborators based on their past work and achievements.

One architect I would recommend as a collaborator is Dipen Gada, a designer known for his innovative and sustainable designs. Dipen’s work is characterized by a combination of bold forms, advanced technology, and a commitment to environmental sustainability. Collaborating with Dipen Gada could lead to a project that pushes the boundaries of what is possible in architecture while addressing pressing environmental challenges.

Our readers are always looking forward to learning from the best. What advice would you give to upcoming designers or startups?

We as designers are having a huge responsibility toward society. And I always tell each individual designer or young buddy, to take such responsibilities and perform with the highest level of the client’s expectations. We need to value ourselves and perform the best which fulfills the client’s need with the best outcome.

Be focused, be dedicated, and be enthusiastic to be the best. Start work today if you want your own car & apartment in the next two years. I just say that “Believe in yourself”. I wish the best to all young buddies as you are the future of design. And you are the ones who can make a difference to the surroundings and society.

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