TADstories with Puneet Kumar | Interactive Design Studio

Interactive Design Studio is a Delhi-based multi-disciplinary design studio consisting of architects, interior designers, draftsmen, and engineers.In a conversation with this young and enthusiastic designer, Mr. Puneet Kumar, who shares his journey and philosophy behind his design firm.

Puneet Kumar is an architect and an explorer, leading a team of enthusiasts through Interactive Design Studio. Located in Delhi, the firm works around Delhi/NCR, Uttarakhand as well as in Raipur and has completed more than a hundred projects till date. In this following interview, Puneet expresses his ambitions, idealogy, and his way of working with us. 

1.Who is Puneet Kumar? How did you come up with the Interactive Design Studio?

I am a human being, an architect, a designer, and an explorer. I am someone with a deep passion for my work, always exploring new ways to give my client my best.

Interactive design studio came up because of my love for interaction with people. Because when you build for yourself, it becomes boring and mundane. However, uniqueness happens when building for someone, and joy and fulfillment happen when you build with them as partners. 

Here, at Interactive Design Studio, the smile on clients’ faces give me immense joy and fulfillment. Also, knowing that the partnership is fruitful in terms of design, materials, small details, and the fact that clients are happy in the space. For me, the most satisfying moment is that they will enjoy the space and will take care of it.

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

I was in my third year of college and a distant friend contacted me, saying one of his relatives is a contractor and he is working at a farmhouse where the owner wants to build an outdoor bar. And that was my first breakthrough in the real world. Afterward, we met the client and showed him the design. 

It was probably my first 3d and it got approved. Since it was a turnkey project for them, I was part of the team to build it. Days used to be college time & nights used to be site time that too in cold Delhi winters. It was one of the most thrilling experiences for me. And it got built where I used what I had learned in college. Hence, that was the first time I experienced my love for the process of building something and the joy of seeing it complete.  

3.Your bio says, “We love to break boundaries and explore new realms of architecture & interiors with each new project”, how do you define your design approach and signature style regarding this?

My entire design practice during my bachelor’s was to experiment with new forms and create something new every time. While during my master of Architecture, I realized why our city is turning so monotonous and boring. Why there was no fun in cityscapes and not even any experiments seen in middle-class houses, which comprise a chunk of the city’s architecture. 

When I started practicing, there was always a choice to do what I know and what is selling in the market. Even to experiment and give clients something new, fresh, something that works best for their requirements, taste, budget, and style. That’s when “Interactive Design Studio” was conceived and the idea to know my client so well that the house works best for him and his family. 
So, I started spending time with my clients and meeting them every week. I used to meet their families and understand each & every member’s requirements. My market visits with them helped me understand the criteria of selecting materials, other than aesthetics. When my first formal project was launched, It was a new kind of design for people. It was a triplex house with a walking glass on the top floor and a glass skylight above. That’s when I got what Interaction gives to me and to clients. 

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

One trend that I love to see in the field is the use of waste materials or reusing old materials to make buildings. Our buildings with demolition and renovations generate so much waste, it would be amazing if we could utilize it more, so our mother earth can breathe easily and our nature can rejuvenate itself and us.

One more thing that I would love to see is people’s connection with nature and themselves. In cities, due to constraints of spaces and expensive property values, the significance of open spaces inside the house is fading away for a common middle-class house. I would love to build spaces that help people reconnect with nature and themselves, places that bring peace and help them connect with life in full. Places where they can be themselves and with their families.

One trend that is a classic is the use of sunlight and ventilation. I love and I always build a building that has plenty of sun and light inside the building. No corner of the house is dark and people see nature’s creativity through each and every space. Let people connect to mother nature in different ways and enjoy its beauty.

5.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? 

Yes, with the growing exposure of the internet and these online design platforms, the client is aware of various trends, and styles and at times they have a liking of their own.

The fun is that I always start with interaction and then understand what they need and during that interaction, we both discover what will be suitable for them and why. I have no apprehension in experimenting and creating something unique for my client keeping my principles of architecture intact. I love being with them & experimenting with new things.

“Let Life be a canvas full of colors”

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

Having a  budget is a good idea, it gives clarity on how much & where to spend so the entire journey of the building speaks the same language.

 During design discussions and presentations, I understand what we will provide and what the client wants in terms of style. Once I am clear, we work on a very detailed & thorough estimate sheet with the client and be very clear on whether it works or not.

Once the team understands the design scheme, the idea is to figure out which pockets or spaces need to be designed. It is not always a requirement to design every nook and corner. It just takes a clear understanding of what all elements & spaces will come together to define a design idea. 

Once that is done, there is no challenge, our market is full of new materials that vary in price range from 0 to 100.  It is always a choice of materials that dictates the budget, so a good selection of materials is key to having a building as per budget. 

7.What would be a dream project for you?

I have two dream projects- 

My dream project is to build a resort on the upper hills, very close to the top of The Himalayas. A  place where you can reach by helicopter and there are very few roads. A place where you can be with yourself and see the beauty of nature, a place of solace and solitude and being with your own inner self.

My biggest dream is to build an architecture NGO, a place where we experiment with materials and give home to the homeless in creative ways. A place where people come together for the only cause is to give back to the city and its people. I would love to give back to my country and its people. 

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

Never thought on these lines but it could be fun. Anybody who loves experimenting and is committed to giving the best to the client or to the people. 

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

Clients are not ATM machines to fulfill your personal dreams and ambitions, they are also human beings who have worked hard or their forefathers worked hard to build that money that they give to us to build their dream projects. They and their projects need your best.

They trust you and give you their dream homes, offices, or places to design or build. You need to give your best and go beyond your boundaries to give them what is best for them. You have all the knowledge and skill, you need to add a little love and care to make each project magical and each experience of finishing that project memorable.

Take care of your client and he will take care of you forever.

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