The Experimental Design Oriented Firm – AADI DESIGNS|THE PRODUCTIVE VENTURE BY AN ARCHITECT AND AUTOMOTIVE DESIGNER
AADI Design is an experimental design-oriented firm that works on a variety of projects with a lot of mediums. Aadi Design is founded by Kunal Kulkarni, Automotive Designer and Architect Meenakshi Dravid in the year 2019.
Although the firm is less than a year old, it has already completed 3 projects successfully with a sizable amount in the pipeline with many achievements as well.
Their major services include Architecture, Interior and Graphics. They undertake turnkey projects while also providing with design only services for all three. They particularly specialize in architecture and interiors for retail and residential. They are currently working on design of a small-scale industry. They are also working to develop a modular yet bespoke line of furniture, so they do occasionally foray into product design. The founders’ state,
“Being an interdisciplinary firm it’s easier for us to take on design jobs of all kinds. If it excites us, we don’t turn anything down.”
t is indeed a unique and wonderful blend of two masters in two different fields working together to bring forth innovations in design and architecture. They say,
“We are firm with 2 design principals based in different design disciplines.”
Architect Meenakshi Dravid is a BArch from University of Pune with distinction, Post Grad- MArch from SCI_Arc with distinction, LA. While, Kunal Kulkarni, Automotive Designer, Graduated from ISD, Post Grad- Art Center, Pasadena.
Meenakshi did an internship stint at P K Das, Mumbai in 2012. She worked for about 2 years on a plethora of projects ranging from interiors to urban design. She later worked at Atelier Manferdini, for a summer internship. She was offered a job by Frank Gehry and joined FOGA immediately after pursuing her Masters. She worked with him for 2 years before returning to India.
Designer Kunal did his internship with Tooltech, and later Mercedes Benz while studying at International School of Design. He came back to India to work on personal projects after Art Center.
The duo artisans started their own firm AADI Design in Oct 2019.
Regarding their challenges faced in Professional career they share,
“Our biggest challenge is experience as a firm. Despite having a cumulative professional experience of more than a decade, we lack projects as a firm. This works against us in some ways where the client goes for more experienced firm. Thankfully, that is changing as our designs are very well received and people are willing to give novelty a try.”
They add their views on their experiences with the initial customers,
“We are very fortunate in this case, as all of our clients have been very understanding and genuinely are fond of the design we propose. We obviously have to go back and forth with the budget, but we work our way around and have till now come up with ways that work out for us and our clients.”
Although their firm is not old enough, their excellent services have brought them laurels at a quite early stage. They state,
“With both of having just started our careers with individual practices last year, as a firm this would be our first award. We have individually received scholastic accolades. We want to continue our work with complete passion and dedication to see what’s in store for us.”
Here is what they have to say about their learnings from personal and professional journey
“Both of us believe that pro-activeness is always the yardstick for success. We pursue everything with equal rigour. We also design for ourselves as much as we design for the clients that come to us. We believe that for anything to ring true to oneself, everyone involved in the process has to be content, be it us as designers, or our teams that execute our vision or the clients that invest their time and money with us. We love design and we want to do our fair bit of showing it. One of our major lessons in life both personally and professionally would be that never stop innovating.”
Architect Meenakshi says,
“For me personally, I have realized that one can never stop learning. And learning has to be both active and passive. Also, that you are as good as your imagination, so don’t ever stop imagining. Once you set up a frame of what is and is not probable, you have relinquished all control over what’s possible. So that is a life lesson I live by every day and try to push my own understanding of not just design but overall life philosophy.”
“I feel that it is important to deliver more than what is expected of you, it not only helps to make a better impression but helps in honing your skills and develop a deeper understanding of the project.”
The passion and dedication lead to a winning journey and the aspiring talents have a lot to learn from the duo founder artisans. Here are few words they put forth as suggestions to the upcoming professionals:
“We are quite young ourselves so it would be preachy to give an advice to anybody else.
Having said that, we would like to reiterate that stay curious and don’t be afraid to take massive leaps of faith every now and then.”
The combined force and energy of an architect and an automotive designer has brought a remarkable contribution to the field of architecture and Design. They have their dreams and plans to make a difference in the market and here they speak about their future plans and course of action.
“We have few varied projects that we are currently working on. We thankfully haven’t yet confined ourselves to specialisations. We are working on a factory, a restaurant, an apartment building and a public utility project. We are also on a hiring spree for now looking forward to involve more people as are scope grows.
We also plan to participate in a few international competitions to see where we stand in the global architectural discourse.”
Indeed, a long journey ahead with unending achievements!
Beginup wishes Architect Meenakshi and Designer Kunal and their firm all the very best for their future endeavours!
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