LEGENDARY INTERVIEW

Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Sameer Khosla ("SK") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?

SK : I am a designer by choice with an amazing amount of passion to give my piece of serious contribution to the practical beauty of this world. I started my career as an architectural background in residential space. Soon I realized my core interest lies in designing commercial retail space and that triggered all my energy and focus in the right direction to achieve the bigger objective in life.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?

SK : The power to “CHANGE” anything and Everything motivates me, Design is not my profession, it is my crazy passion and I just love it.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?

SK : Definitely by choice

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?

SK : Right from 8-inch product display to 10,000 stores/ Restaurants/ Schools/ Villas/ Bar/ Pubs/ Exhibitions and much more in one year. Yes, we are a multi-disciplinary design studio that have tremendous expertise to deliver Design + Manufacturing + Deployment. Now we wish to design spaces which act as a large experience house.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?

SK : The world has changed so fast in the last 5 to 10 years. Whatever we learned in the past does not apply today. Try to unlearn and try forecast & somewhere in the middle of both lies the real answer.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?

SK : As D’ART the first few pointers that we follow religiously to ensure great design output. 1.Client's skin is Designer skin so that we can feel the same pain. 2.“Empathy is the biggest asset” without which we can’t design anything for clients 3.Rational between the heart and brain defines the final and correct mix of the project.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?

SK : D’ART always believes that the design is a co-creation process. We never keep our clients out of that process of designing. Therefore at every single macro and micro stage, both client and us judge the project together to ensure that the final result becomes “Turning dreams into reality”

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?

SK : A design is engineering to drive the desired output value. We always check this equation (Drive “X” output value ) again and again in our design projects. Therefore mostly we find the investment done by the client on design fetches mind-boggling results.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?

SK : We are presently designing the school for blinds people. I wish we could design schools for all types of differently-abled people.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?

SK : Water Park and Amusements Park

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?

SK : The first few questions that we ask and that turns out as our design research before that we don’t initiate any design project within our design studio. Q1 – Why are we designing this? Q2 – What is the purpose or objective of this design? Q3 – The purpose or objective of design is built for which kind of end-user? Q4 - Where are the present gaps and how our designers can fix it?

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?

SK : We believe form, shape and colors are too narrow definitions to arrive on favorite designs. We like concepts of “Fluidic Design” by Late Zaha Hadid truly an inspirational legendary designer. What I love the most in her thought ideology that she was “CONFLICT” any things normal is normal but what is the change, that we bring in design with our wisdom is what matters the most to us.

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?

SK : We believe form, shapes and colors are too narrow definitions to arrive on favorite designs. We like concepts of “Fluidic Design” by Late Zaha Hadid truly an inspirational legendary designer. What I love the most in her thought ideology that she was “CONFLICT” any things normal is normal but what is the change, that we bring in design with our wisdom is what matters the most to us.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?

SK : So Far be believe Studds is our greatest design which has made us Won A'Design Awards Project Uniqueness – As D’ART we always believe the design is a vision of the believers. We designed STUDDS to capture masses and classes under one roof. This store offers a complete phygital connect right from VR for immersive product experience, Touch displays to maximize SKU’s and minimize inventory cost. Legendary and geometric design to ensure maximum eyeballs are captured to increase the probability of sales. Project Striking Feature in today’s context of COVID19 – Sameer always believes in keeping hygiene and sanitization in every piece that he creates. In the research, we found that people in India come to helmet stores by wearing a sweaty helmet because of the climate, which may cause infection. Therefore a new STUDDS store has a “Helmet Sanitization Machine “by the time you shop from STUDDS new stores you can keep your used helmet on the sanitization machine to ensure hygiene with a nice fragrance. Also, the fresh pieces after every trail get sanitized to keep the customer safe from COVID19 or any contagious infection.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?

SK : The designer needs to have empathy and if one has empathy then soon after the client brief the reaction from his or her side will define whether you proceed further or not.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?

SK : Photographer for sure

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?

SK : D’ART believes that design is an expression and the vision of all believers to allow sketching a beautiful story that is liked by brand, channel partners and end-user. Finally, a soothing translation of the expression into the experience is the heart of design for us.

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?

SK : "Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts." D’ART is the story of three very simple friends yet highly aggressive. Sameer Khosla – Creative Director, Syed Shahnawaz Zaidi – Marketing & Retail Strategy Director & Deepak Kumar – Operations Director. Ours headquarter in New Delhi, India. Our studio consists, a bunch of crazy designers who are in the quest to creating some new yet simple. In a very short journey of four years, serving 8 countries, significant share in blue-chip clients in national & international markets. We have a vision of expanding D’ART in more than 200 countries with our global alliances by 2030.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

SK : Empathy

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?

SK : Shifting from job to business was a very risky decision.

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?

SK : Research And Design, Research and Prototyping, Research and Rollout, Research and Performance Audit, Research & Improvise, Research and Final Design.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?

SK : House Of Red Chief is the upcoming project that will change the way people look at footwear and apparel retail stores.

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?

SK : In a very short journey of four years, serving 8 countries, significant share in blue-chip clients in national & international markets. We have a vision of expanding D’ART in more than 200 countries with our global alliances by 2030.

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?

SK : We owe a lot from this environment which is already disturbed and polluted. We as a design studio is highly fortunate to sit on the position where what we design becomes a mandate of production on a massive scale. Hence at D’ART ensure to maximum play with green material and also ensure a process that consumes less energy and creates maximum output. This is how we try to contribute to the environment.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

SK : The saving environment today would lead to a safer future of tomorrow.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?

SK : House Of Red Chief is the upcoming project that will change the way people look at footwear and apparel retail stores.

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?

SK : B2C format where we get to study consumer behavior and that becomes the most entertaining part of the project. Design for humans and drive their behavior to do something, that is very interesting to watch.

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?

SK : “Less of me”. More consumer and client needs. WOW, the design is mad race don’t go there.

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?

SK : Don’t try to design for the future, try to predict & understand the present & future problem and help the client to solve it.

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?

SK : Depends on projects – 24hours to 1 year or more even

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?

SK : As per the client’s needs either HO or sub-location.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

SK : It gives a serious contribution to the world and people. One day we will go and generations will remember you because of your good work.

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?

SK : Design sets the trend only if research work is strong at every front.

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?

SK : Completely phygital and Design will try to build all 5 senses in every piece of product.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?

SK : The software we use are SketchUp, Revit, 3D Studio Max, Autocad, V-Ray, Photoshop, InDesign etc and the equipment is VR {virtual reality} platform that dramatically transforms design collaboration and communication experience.

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?

SK : We like to play more with the fusion of various materials. Our first preference is always green materials as a responsible design studio we owe a lot from this environment and it’s our turn to give it back. Hence most of our designs are metal, fabric media etc. D’ART believes any platform or technology becomes affordable only if you can drive volumes. Therefore as D’ART, we are very lucky that we are blessed with clients who have volumes in abundance.

DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?

SK : What D’ART believes in, that design is an expression and the vision of all believers to allow sketching a beautiful story that is liked by brand, channel partners and end-user. Finally, a soothing translation of the expression into the experience is the heart of design for us.

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?

SK : WOW, how they thought about this idea.

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?

SK : We all three friends who are the Director of D’ART are ideal design partners and yes we believe in co-design.

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?

SK : Researchers Insights and End Users

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?

SK : We don’t read as much, More of Ted talk shows, AV of real project case studies etc.

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?

SK : Develop Empathy with the client of the next level to nurture & transform your skills.

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?

SK : God, Family, Friends and Me time

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?

SK : We are truly humbled and honored on receiving A' Design Award which is World’s largest, most prestigious, and influential design accolade. After god & family blessings, we thank our clients and people who work for D’ART because of whom we have reached here on a short journey of 4 years. As a retail design agency, you always cherish to win such a global award. "Make In India" and "Making India Proud" is a different feeling altogether. Keep tuned some thrilling future projects in the pipeline to witness the next level “CHANGE”

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?

SK : White color, India, all types of food as long as the taste is amazing, winters is what we like the most, the brand I like is Apple.

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?

SK : In our struggling day's people don’t pay us and we end up creating a free portfolio. This is funny and painful too.

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?

SK : New Challenging work motivates us as a company.

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?

SK : Not really, I need to check this from my parents.

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?

SK : Alvin Toffler said the world will witness the last wave before the end “THE THIRD WAVE” – “IDEA WAVE”. We all are in this stage design idea comes like a bubble, makes money and burst. Future designs will be. 2.Phygital – Right Mix of Online and Offline 3.Design Adaptability – Space/Climate/People/Culture 4.Multi- Utility – One utility will be a dead design 5.Flexible & Scalable – Diverse yet cost-friendly 6.The notion of tech in it will be built-in. 7.The design will try to build all 5 senses in every piece of product.

DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?

SK : We are too young to have real fans. Yes, 7000 people follow me on LinkedIn but that is a mad race. I wish in future we may have real fan following in and around our work.

LEGENDARY DESIGNER

DESIGNING WORLDS FIRST EVER "BLIND SCHOOL" WHICH HELPS BLINDS TO SEE THE NEW WORLD. ALSO CREATING A MODEL THROUGH WHICH THEY WOULD BE ABLE TO EARN THEIR LIVELIHOOD GIVING PRESTIGE AND GRACE TO THEM SO THAT THEY CAN KEEP THEIR HEAD HIGH IN SOCIETY WITH ZERO DEPENDENCIES. I BELIEVE AS A DESIGNER THIS IS MY SMALL CONTRIBUTION TO THIS BEAUTIFUL WORLD.


Studds Retail Space

Studds Retail Space by Sameer Khosla

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