"Archiipedia...Connect to Create" is the single online listing platform in India, which connects all professionals and vendors of Architecture, Building Construction, Design, Decoration and Allied services with consumers and customers for the same, under one umbrella.
Arti Sudhir Nair is a Bangalore based architect and interior designer. She studied architecture from Pune University and has had a career spanning more than 18 years with vast experience in design execution and project management, early years, from interning with CNT (Bangalore) and working with reputed architecture firms like Venkatraman Associates and builders like Sobha Developers. Subsequently, she has had a long stint as an entrepreneur providing turnkey Interior design services to her clients. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Archiipedia Pvt Ltd, a one of a kind online platform for architects, interior designers and professionals and vendors of building construction industry.
Archiipedia is the single online listing platform in India, which connects all professionals and vendors of Architecture, Building Construction, Design, Decoration and Allied services with consumers and customers for the same, under one umbrella. Archiipedia serves as a business to business and business-to-consumer platform which helps its customers promote their businesses and products through informative listings and advertisements, hence growing a referral network and generating true leads for their businesses. Archiipedia's blog "Archii-log" aims to be a valuable resource of information, educating and inspiring consumers, with new latest products, design methodologies, and services of building construction industry.
INITIAL DAYS OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Talking about her initial days of entrepreneurship, Arti said ”Most of my career as an entrepreneur I have done turnkey interior design from design to execution and project management. Early years of my career, I faced major challenges promoting myself in my career with relocating away from home, and known circles post marriage. I was surprised to learn that most architects and professionals faced this problem in the beginning, starting out on their entrepreneurial journey. In my observation, the successful ones spent a lot of valuable time networking to find customers, instead of focusing on creativity and design. Most vendors also had the same problem. A lot of businesses failed to thrive for lack of time and resources to promote their services and products. I felt our industry deserved a common platform to dignify this profession. Another key observation that I noticed was customers today would like to be well informed and make informed decisions about where they are about to spend their hard-earned & valuable money and the quality of products. Unfortunately, there were not enough resources to demystify their questions and help them make informed decisions. In an increasingly digital world, there was no single platform for building construction industry. I felt I can and I should disrupt things and change the way business is done in India. I felt I can put together something to solve these problem statements. I want to do my bit for Digital India”. Hence Archiipedia was conceived with the vision of creating a digital presence for India’s large network of vendors and professionals of building construction industry. My understanding of this space and my network of vendors and professionals would help me make this vision a reality.
INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS WITH AR. ARTI SUDHIR NAIR
To understand more of the Archiipedia concept and her business plans, DE MODE scheduled an interview session with architect & interior designer Arti Sudhir Nair in Bangalore.
Q) What do you feel is the greatest challenge while designing for environmental sustainability?
The polluting effects of building construction have a very harsh impact on the environment, the amount of waste created during construction. Waste management, overbuilding and subsequent groundwater depletion are the greatest challenges faced while designing for environmental sustainability. Town planning at a macro level with environmental sustainability in mind could help prevent overpopulation, and hence overbuilding, and spaced out infrastructure development. Ecological footprint per sq ft has to be reduced. Extensive plantation and greenery need to be created for urban zones. Government agencies need to work closely with committees and civil bodies to ensure ownership and responsibility from society and the community at large. Climate change awareness needs to spread with every social being doing their bit for sustainability.
Q) One should design buildings with a strong focus on user experience and natural light? To which extent is this correct can you tell us more about this?
In any interior space, the user experiences well-being and health with natural lighting and ventilation. Designing buildings to make the best use of natural resources like sunlight, enhances comfort and integration with the human body's natural biorhythm. Most doctors could enlighten you how spending most of the day in air-conditioned, artificially lit areas/ offices is causing Vitamin D deficiency in people and hence affecting the psychological well-being of humans. Buildings need to be designed to actively use natural light for heating and lighting interior spaces.
Q) Are you concerned about environmental and social sustainability in design? What role does green building play in your work?
I am a strong advocate of using local labour and artisans in all my turnkey interior design projects. India has a large skilled population and most carpenters, masons etc who do woodwork, civil work and cabinetry, come from small villages. They train their friends and family to help them in their work. In my project, I make sure all work is executed by local carpenters and labour networks. As designers when we support and encourage our own network of skilled labour, we are making a strong move to empower social sustainability. I believe training and re-skilling folks would empower them with a decent income and economic progress. It was indeed a moment of pride for me when one of my carpenters expressed gratitude when he made enough money doing my projects to have a roof over his head (as his home had a thatch roof earlier).
I also ensure that I use and prefer renewable material like plywood or wood in woodwork and cabinetry. A lot of furniture is refurbished to avoid wastage and recycling. Home automation is effectively used to control wastage of electricity and solar panels and thermal insulation using natural material avoiding synthetic material.
Q) What inspired you to start Archiipedia Pvt ltd?
Our esteemed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's grand vision for digital India, the need for architects and allied professionals to grow their referral network were instrumental in inspiring thoughts of having to do something to solve this problem. Additionally, I was fortunate to attend a program at Harvard encouraging me to try to fulfil my dreams.
Q) What is the ultimate goal when it comes to your work? What do you want to be remembered for?
My vision for Archiipedia is to create a digital presence for every design professional or vendor of building construction industry in India. I want to be remembered as someone who made a difference in peoples lives. I want to be remembered as someone who did her bit for social and environmental sustainability by spreading awareness about the same and impacting economic progress and stability.
Q) What books do you have on your bedside table?
I love reading inspiring books like “The Power” and “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. My other favourite is ”The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. Humour and crime thrillers are other favourite genres of mine. I love PG Wodehouse.
Q) What are your thoughts on the importance of renders in architecture today?
Customers today want to see what they are going to get before they pay for it. Effective mediums of rendering help the architect/designer articulate their visions, hence renders are very effective mediums to communicate your design, to the client. Sometimes renders are necessary to persuade clients to buy into your concept and design.
Q) What do you think is the most effective way of presenting a project?
The most effective way is articulating your design with good communication skills, and presentation with pictures of similar executed design, swatches of materials used etc. Effective rendering techniques, 3D images can help convince the client. Even hand-drawn sketches can be powerful mediums of communicating design to a client.
Q) When you were a child did you always want to be an architect?
As a child, I was guided by a strong inner desire to be creative in everything I did. Though I had no formal education in art, I was a natural and won many prizes at school. I also loved to create an ambience in my room where I would use boxes and rearrange bits of furniture and toys and invite friends to enjoy my theme-based room arrangements. I also loved to design outfits for my dolls with swatches of fabric. At an early age, I felt inspired to want to pursue entrepreneurship with a childish idealistic vision of providing employment to youth in India. My love for design, beauty and entrepreneurship guided me to a career in architecture and interior design, so I could live my passion every day!! Hence Archiipedia!!
Q) Where do you work on your project?
Morning post-meditation I am at my creative best visualizing plans, rest of the time you would normally find me on-site locations.
Q) Do you talk about your work with people outside your office?
Though I have been working on stealth mode with regards to my startup, I did share my portal plans with few friends and vendors whom I have known for many years.
Q) Can you take projects outside India?
We are planning to work in India first but definitely Archiipedia aims to have a presence globally sometime in the future!!
MODERN LUXURY INTERIORS BY AR. ARTI SUDHIR NAIR