Veteran Architect Kamlesh Sheth, Lead at Kala Rachana Associates shares with Gallopper his journey as an Architect. On a philosophical note, he introspects on various aspects of the practice along with a subtle message to the younger generation of practitioners. Kamlesh Sheth has served IIID (Institute of Indian Interior Designer) as Chairman for two consecutive terms.
The photographs in the article are some of the work carried out by the Architect’s firm.
“Architecture” is not a limited subject….it is related to the various aspects of our life and as we say we are the “Architect” of our own life and destiny.
When I came to Mumbai to pursue my further studies in the year 1968, after my S.S.C. there was only one known institute/college in Architecture and that was “Sir J.J. College of Architecture”, which has recently completed 100 years. Those were the years when the subject of Architecture was not very popular and people did not have much understanding about the subject.
I had come from a vernacular medium; from Sangli to Mumbai and stayed in The Jain Hostel which moulded my early years of life. After my graduation in 1974, I worked with various architectural firms for a period of 3 to 4 years to gain experience. It was a matter of great struggle, but I loved the subject. Though it was a new beginning for me, I was determined to set up my own practice and started my small office in the year 1981 in the name of “M/S Kala Rachana Associates” and the rest as they say is history.
Today we deal with large size corporate projects with interior design, high-end residential projects and various other institutional projects. As a part of my service to the society, I have been associated with IIID (Institute of Indian Interior Designer) for several years and have served the institute as a Chairman for two consecutive terms.
Today we are fortunate to have most of the advanced studies and technologies at our disposal. Times have changed and so has the system. With the age of computer technology, we have some of the most advanced tools at our finger tips to give shape to our imagination with a number of possibilities. Our dedication and hard work can only bring out the best from all of us.
Years of formal education is the foundation and a beginning to shape our future to give wings of possibilities, to our imagination. We may not be successful with these formal years of education, but this definitely leads us towards the goal of our life. This road leads us to immense possibilities. However, we have to take the first step on the road of success – enjoy the work we do and be passionate about our work. Our determination will only give wings to our imagination. It is not important how different we are; but it is important : how we do simple things differently.
“Success” is very relative term. It cannot be measured in terms of name, fame or money; in fact it is a matter of consistency and our satisfaction towards the work we do. The measure of success is not how to start but how we finish. What lies behind us and whatever lies before us are not as important as what lies within us.
We all have bigger challenges to face today. This is the age of competition and to make our own identity we will have to be different and get acquainted with the latest technologies. Our success will largely depend on our determination and will be measured in terms of satisfaction we give to our clients for years of our services with specialized skill which is the greatest reward of our profession.
Architectural and Interior Design has grown many folds and one has to choose the specialization in chosen field according to one’s own inclination and abilities. Today we have more responsibilities to shoulder, to bring about change into today’s challenging situations, right from the ecological imbalance to the clean environment, recycling waste and garbage disposal for a healthier future .
“Service” has been the foundation of Kala Rachana. We have grown out of our relationships with the clients, offering them dedicated services for more than 30 years. We have worked on various types of projects, viz, small residential projects, private villas, institutional projects, hospitals, commercial cum residential complexes, corporate office buildings with interiors. What is important to us, is to understand the needs of the client and giving them the best – under the given parameters and resources. Clients’ satisfaction and faith in us is the reward for which we have a dedicated clientele and we work as a catalyst to make their dreams manifest into reality.
Design is an ongoing process, a journey into the unknown, unfolding various dimensions of our life-process. We have enjoyed every bit of the projects where team work and harmony is important. Our approach towards design is simple: utilizing the given space effectively, with the application of innovative materials. We always take due care of the workmanship and the quality of the materials used in the projects.
We have tied up with an experienced group of professionals viz. Structural engineers, Electrical and HVAC consultants, Landscape designers & various allied service consultants, which makes our team complete. We also have a dedicated team of contractors carrying out the work to clients’ satisfaction.
Integrity of each member of our team brings harmony and reliability; and this is what makes it easier to arrive at any decision very quickly.