Her forte and contribution are in the constant evolution of traditional Indian arts and crafts, its application thereof, and continuously finding new meaning for them, in India and abroad. A six-time winner of the prestigious A’ Design Award in Italy, Ms. Amee Vora wins clients’ hearts with each project, whether it’s in the interior design or the product design categories.
Ms. Amee Vora’s Design Philosophy and the Importance of Being a Good Listener:
Ms. Vora believes that engagement begins by being a good listener. Understanding the client’s lifestyle and the design aesthetic they identify with enables her to create an inclusive spatial concept for the client. She firmly believes that it’s a journey to understand and be understood. However, this makes the process lengthy but is very meaningful. The immediate gratification comes from catching that expression of joy and belonging, which the client experiences, and it only multiplies when the client begins to experience her design intent. She believes that is one of the highlights amongst the many underlying layers of intended client wellbeing. Her design process is staying on top of all material innovations, production methods, marketing approaches, and global design trends. It is further informed by absorbing only the relevant, applying the wisdom of all associated arts and sciences – the ultimate aim being to create a timeless design narrative unique to that space.
Being Intrigued by the “How” of Things.
Navigating, through her professional journey, her calling directed Ms. Vora to architecture and design. Her focus on directing her energies to create aesthetically superior, artistic, and well-crafted residential spaces started during her formative years. She continues on this path with her design practice Studio AV Fourth Dimension, which she established in 2010. Since its inception, the firm has refrained from the straight jacketing of categories. Moreover, with Ms. Vora’s belief in ‘design’ being universal and that one creative genre’s learning can be applied to another, the studio is increasingly looking beyond traditional architecture and interior architecture boundaries and into art and product design.
How Design Has Evolved and Inspired
For every project, Ms. Amee Vora practices the process of soaking in the space for a few hours all by herself. Add the building blocks as the thoughts flow, look for the hidden cues from the client interaction, and finally giving it focused time in early morning hours to sharpen the idea and bring out the best.
After that, good design is an outcome of a structured approach. This allows improving each time by evolving and adapting to newer techniques. That helps create an element that lends the space its unique identity, alongside curation of products that hit the right chord, all of which to endure and embrace the tomorrow gracefully.
Understanding Processes, Creation, and Curation
“We create because the demand is felt.”
A meticulous process that seeks to increase communication clarity between the client and designer by capturing crucial information marks an assignment’s first step. This is followed by developing multiple design possibilities and alternatives, using the most critical early-stage design tool – the drawing. Detailed research into material and color palettes to arrive at an apt selection to complete the cycle. This is then taken through to the execution stage, with a commitment on site. Every site begins with spaces created around a narrative. The shell is designed to receive materials and products to flow into each other seamlessly. We further strengthen the narrative with curation from enough and more respectable work already available. However, at times, the last note is to be created for the symphony.
Ms. Vora took us through a few handpicked projects explaining to us the aesthetics and the client thought behind each project:
A Bedroom Suite – a Dictate Coming From Client Aesthetic
A regal bedroom suite was the desire expressed by the client. The contemporary avatar of the arabesque pattern was agreed upon. This geometry was applied across materials where this form was stenciled on a wall, the AC grill sitting on the same wall was cut out in solid wood in the same pattern. A metal jaali was used as a sheer screen against a window facing north. Semi-precious stone marquetry formed a ledge below the television screen. A semi-precious stone inlay was applied to the wardrobe shutters. The same pattern was etched on glass and back-painted in the vanity and wellness areas. It was also CNC cut on clear plexiglass to beautifully camouflage the window yet allowing light and ventilation to flow. And all in perfect half or full cuts at the ends.
A Multipurpose Room – a Dictate Coming From the Client Lifestyle
This room was located centrally to the home, and the client wanted to use it as a home office, a study, and a home theatre room over weekends. The constraints posed by budgets, availability of the right hardware, and sourcing time and performance for the intended use decided the design. Sliding glass doors were used, thus allowing the space to become an integral part of the home. Wooden sliding screens were also used to enable privacy when being used as an office or study. A projection screen was proposed to double up for meetings and as a home theatre screen, and movable seating shuffled within the house based on function.
A Mirror – an Example of Coming From the Demand for Function
The layout emerged out of a Vastu belief. The main challenge of this project was an existing window and access to the plumbing shaft. This was camouflaged with a CNC cut screen to allow light and ventilation. But since a basin demanded a mirror and facial light, a 2ft round backlit mirror in marine quality SS on a rotating arm was installed there. It beautifully merged with the adjacent wall and showcased the backlit Sanjhi art and would swivel to sit central to the basin when the need for a mirror was felt.
Panel With Emotions
This project demanded emotional needs to be addressed and Amee’s absolute favorite. It was for a multi-level dwelling in Mumbai. The available floor plate and the Vastu Belief forced the master suite to be located away from that of the children’s suite, though on the same floor. The children were young, and she sensed both children’s and mother’s discomfort because of the suites’ distance. The only plane that connected the two spaces was a 45′ long wall. So, she applied her design narrative, thus connecting the two areas emotionally and creating a beautiful seamless space
Steering Challenges and Being Motivated
Ms. Amee Vora firmly believes in this quote from Vladimir Kagan, “Inspiration sometimes comes from a client’s expressed desires or from things I see around me; other times I wake up in the morning with an idea burning in my mind.” She reveals that she needs to be convinced and clear of what the design needs. Once she is in that zone, it’s just a matter of navigating through the situations and challenges as they unfold. She is exceptionally process-oriented, and she strives hard to adhere to them. She said that had been the biggest savior, although not the best experience, especially in unpredictable circumstances. Her ardent processes are the key to leading an idea from its inception to completion, thus creating for the client a tranquil calm sanctuary that is much needed in the times we live in.
Sourcing the Right Product
Ms. Vora disclosed that the product’s selection is driven by the client’s choices or the brand ideologies or USPs. The key is to get the combination right. After that, the sourcing is only consequential. The brand ideology resonates with her when she is convinced by the person she is sourcing from and who knows the product thoroughly and is not just there to sell the product. She prefers to understand all the complicated technicalities and evaluate its pros and cons before suggesting any product to her clients.
Future of Product Sourcing
People prefer to use established brands. With the pace of innovation in the country and across the globe, upcoming designers and brands will give the established brands a run for their money. The old will give way to the new, and even the established players will continue to innovate. Digital platforms will drive a lot of sourcing decisions. The experience of established players versus the exuberance and quirkiness of new designers will make the sourcing space very interesting and enhance the spectrum of clients’ choices.
Thoughts on Arcedior
Having a platform that provides products of a high quality that will survive an Indian lifestyle’s needs will be a wonderful thing to have. To have products that are aesthetically appealing and available in a wide range of finishes and varied price points will be valuable for any designer to make the right choices for their projects. While witnessing an artisanal wave globally, some contemporized traditional craft forms will be unique. An excellent recommendation is including limited edition statement pieces for a client who fancy unique. To have all of these available under one roof will be very valuable. She looks forward to enjoying this experience with us.
To conclude, we will keep introducing you to too many other successful architects and designers with exciting projects, insights, and information. Till then, stay tuned!