• TADstories with Malvika Ajgaonkar I The 24th Studio

    The 24th Studio is a Mumbai-based architecture and interior design firm, led by Ar. Malvika Ajgaonkar. In this interview, Malvika shares her journey thoroughly and provides tips to grow in the business with us.

    As we all know Mumbai consists of one of the largest populations in India, where there are numerous interior designers and architects. It is a hub for people to start out their journeys, not only in design but also in many other fields. This bustling city has provided platforms to a large number of people and, here in a conversation with The Architect’s Diary, Ar. Malvika shares her side of the story of working in Mumbai and establishing The 24th Studio.

    Who is Malvika Ajgaonkar? How did you get into this field? 

    Since childhood, I always saw my father create buildings, and huge townships as he was a builder and an eminent name in the real estate industry. Growing up with such an influence, I knew this is what I wanted to do when in the future. I started sitting with him when he discussed plans and concepts with the architects and it really fascinated me. Seeing something you conceptualized and turning into reality is just such an inspiration. This is how I got into the field.

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

    The very first project I got was a friend’s house. I remember the first 3D I designed and that turning into reality was just wonderful.

    What or who is the biggest influence on your designs in terms of architecture and interiors? 

    So, on a personal basis, as cliché as it sounds, is my father. As, he always told me to design a home, not a project. People should feel warm and welcome, and I have tried incorporating this principle into all my designs. In addition, on an architectural level, Geoffrey Bawa is an architect that really inspired me. Also, a very well-renowned architect Ar. Ashish Kambli has really pushed me and mentored me through this process. I always fall back on his advice. 

    When it comes to designing interiors, there are numerous choices to select from. What is your design approach and signature style in terms of planning and execution of interiors? 

    I always end up going for material that resonates with nature. As humans, having any earthiness in your home or office makes it warmer. I always get common feedback from my clients, “We love coming back to this, it feels like our space.”

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

    The pandemic changed the outlook of a lot of people when it comes to interiors as well as architecture. They realized the importance of an architect and how getting their space worked out by a professional makes a vast difference. Also, people have started using their homes more and gave attention to detail. This is something I would always like to keep the same. 

    The one trend that I love and in fact is now in our field, as well, is the importance of our national art. Every artist, architect, or designer is looking at our roots and getting inspired by Indian heritage and traditions. These details are now reflected in every aspect of design, like the marble inlays, the intricate detailing, the bold colors, the textured terracotta walls, and so on.

    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?  

    As a process, I make it a point to connect with the client personally to understand their taste and what they like. To make it easier for both of us, we as a team, request the clients to send over a few reference images. Now, this is very important for both the clients as well as us, to prevent any future design clashes. We then derive our take on these design elements and come up with a homogenized conceptual design.  

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

    We always tend to ask the clients about their budget in the very first meeting. This is of the utmost importance. I have had horrible experiences where the client needs a budget but wants all the expensive finishes. Also, this is something the junior visionaries need to know and understand is, always make sure your Book Of Quantities are accurate. 

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

    I have always been an animal lover and a spiritual being along with it. Hence, my dream project would be a holistic center, where both people and animals are treated as an ecosystem.  

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

    Collaborations are the way forward in any field. And, I am already collaborating with Ar. Ashish Kambli for many hospitality projects and restaurants.  

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

    The most important way to make it big in this field, in fact, any field, is to increase your knowledge, by attending these materials or design expos. This keeps you upbeat and gives you an upper hand over any of the young architects around you. Also, I cannot stress over this more, but get out there and NETWORK! 

    TADstories With Ar. Deep Sakhare | Barakhadee Studio

    Ar. Deep Sakhare, the founder of Barakhadee Studio, shares his passion for architecture and design which entwines with the admiration for travelling. Barakhadee Studio is an architectural and interior design studio, founded by Ar. Deep Sakhare in the city of Pune in Maharashtra. The firm focuses on approaching every project with a new perspective and […]

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    This Apartment Design Attributes to Luxurious, Light and Airy Spaces | Charcoal Hues Design Studio