Designer Stories

Decoding Rakesh Sharma

Founder of Delhi-based architecture firm Genre of Design
In this episode of Design Leaders Decoded, an interview series by Arcedior, we bring you, the multi-faceted and very experienced architect Rakesh Sharma. He’s the founder of Delhi-based architecture firm Genre of Design, a multi-disciplinary platform for architecture urbanism and landscape. He has completed several projects including HNI residences and commercial projects around the healthcare and hospitality industries. And, all projects display a beautiful harmony between architecture form and functionalities.

During the course of his career as an architect, Rakesh Sharma has made a name for himself and bagged many amazing projects. His journey has truly been inspiring.

What fuels Rakesh Sharma’s passion? Let’s understand from him.

Approach to Architecture – “Form Follows Function”

When asked about how he approaches his architecture projects, Rakesh Sharma says that each client stresses the uniqueness of their property, which is why his projects often include experimentation with the process of creation. “Sometimes, we work with the form first and then begin to plan, and sometimes we plan the space and then work with the form. We play around to create a different product”, he adds.

Through his design and architecture firm, Genre of Design, Rakesh Sharma has completed several projects that include architecture, interior design, landscaping, urban planning, etc. And while there are N number of processes and parametric designs that architects can work with, the architect’s favourite is an iterative process between ‘function follows form’ and ‘form follows function’.

“We first design a building based on the form. We play with models, sketches, etc.while the functionalities always stay in the back of the mind. And then we keep the plan created aside, and move to creating a design with functionalities in focus, the process of which is known as ‘form follows function’. A sketch is made based on the functionalities, which is then converted into a 3D model. And this is how we improve the previously created form further to be able to create a building that has a balance between the form and the function”, says Rakesh, explaining how his unique approach works.

Very intelligent!

All About Making Design Decisions

An accomplished architect or designer is the one who can make the right decisions at the right time. And having known Rakesh Sharma, we can say that his decisions reflect his rich industry experience.

“Function is what helps us make design decisions. We need to make sure that the plan is optimum, i.e. it has all the functions as well as aesthetics that the client wants. Moreover, climate responsiveness, material availability, use of local art and architecture, etc. are some of the many criteria that go into decision making. You cannot compare the importance of each criterion; they go into the project layer by layer and help us deliver a successful project”, says Rakesh Sharma when asked about the factors that influence his design decisions.

Rakesh Sharma’s Approach to Versatility

Rakesh Sharma’s firm, Genre of Design, offers various services including HNI project design and architecture, township planning, product design, etc. And it is obvious to wonder how the firm manages to excel in each. So, we decided to ask the expert architect how he does it, and he answered us with, “We work in different domains and undertake projects at different scales from 200 sq. yard to 100 acres with different requirements from space planning to product design. But when we talk about design and architecture, the main constituents– the ideology, how you approach the design, what language you follow – remain the same. The only difference is the nature of the project, and we at Genre of Design enjoy and appreciate this difference. It gives us immense joy playing around with the intricacies of the project. And this is what is important if you wish to excel at something.”

Itarsi – Township Project by Rakesh Sharma

It’s impossible to not mention Rakesh’s beautiful and strategic township project in Itarsi, a small town near Bhopal. When asked about the concept of the project, Rakesh Sharma says, “The idea was to put layers of all things good into the project. So, we started the whole concept with a spine. The spine enables the neighborhood, encouraging people to come together.”

As you enter the township, you can see the vista traversing down the 60-acre area. It consists of several green spaces and common areas for entertainment such as basketball court, badminton court, amphitheater, clubhouse, etc. To give the residents a sense of security, the premise is secured with boundary walls and just one point of entry which is guarded. Moreover, the entire township is planned, keeping Vastu in mind, conforming to the request of the client.

Many energy-conscious efforts have gone into the planning of this residential community project. The general lighting system is powered by solar energy. Rainwater is harvested, plus the wastewater is recycled and used in the irrigation of green spaces so as to prevent the wastage of fresh water.

A Unique School in Jodhpur

This fascinating school in Jodhpur by Rakesh Sharma is unconventionally brilliant. It’s Rakesh Sharma’s eccentric approach that makes him stand out.

Other Brilliant Projects by Rakesh Sharma

Private Residential Project, Udaipur

Private Residential Project - Udaipur

Private Residential Project, Ahmedabad

Architecture Is Work in Progress

Architecture is a work in progress. Rakesh Sharma perfectly describes how.

“Architecture is self-evolving. If I talk about myself, I see my last project, which was my favourite, and I don’t like it much now. We keep on evolving. A project can be your favourite, but when you’re done with it, you want to do something new; you want to evolve”.

We think that’s what an architect, a designer, or anyone else for that matter, should consider their work like. That’s how one grows.

Sourcing – a Common Challenge

Architects and designers often face challenges while sourcing. On being asked about his experience, Rakesh Sharma says, “Multiple companies offer design and architecture products, which makes it difficult for us to find the right products since new trends are always emerging. So, we tie-up with companies like yours who can guide us better, show more and new products available in the market, and keep us updated.”

Arcedior + Rakesh Sharma

We have had the privilege of working with Rakesh Sharma on a couple of projects where we assisted him in sourcing the products he required throughout the design phase. Sharing about his experience with Arcedior, he says, “Arcedior has done a wonderful job with the handholding support for us, right from the beginning. They suggested the right products, the right companies, and the right price. From start to finish, the experience was very nice. The way Arcedior team managed everything was very professional.”

We are happy that we could be a part of Rakesh Sharma’s projects and even happier that we could live up to his expectations. We are certainly looking forward to doing more projects with him!

It was brilliant talking to Rakesh Sharma and learning about his work. We hope that you too enjoyed this insightful episode of Design Leaders Decoded. We will soon be back with another episode and more stories from the industry leaders. Till then, stay tuned!

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