Designer In Profile- Sumi Gupta of Virtuous Retail

Name: Sumi GuptaSumi Gupta - Director, Virtuous Retail
Company: Virtuous Retail
Position within company: Director


. Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
An ex-banker having worked in finance sector in London & New York for nearly a decade. Co-founded a real estate/design company Transforming Spaces in London, where residential homes were transformed using spatial and interior design.

. How would you describe your personal design style?
My personal style is classic…I believe in “less is more”.

. Where does your design inspiration come from?
I am an avid traveller, am inspired by what I see during my travel – buildings, museums, galleries, public spaces.

. In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
Design is becoming more collaborative and experimental.

. Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2016 and beyond.
Natural & durable materials
Texture & Rhythm

. If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design, what would it be?
Be functional with context.

. How important are The International Hotel and Property Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
Extremely prestigious as the awards are judged by industry professionals as opposed to a panel.

. What projects are you currently working on?
A mixed use development in Chennai, India – VR Chennai, with a built up area of 1.8m sq ft
India’s largest collaborative work space in VR Bengaluru – a 60,000 sq ft space

. What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
To complete the current projects and continue to push the needle on good design and public art.

. Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession?
A first edition leather bound copy of The Wonder that was India – A.L.Basham given to me by my grandfather.
Your favourite holiday destination?
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
Villa D’este – Como, Coya – London – Mark’s Bar in Soho, London
Your favourite book / film / song?
Difficult to pick one – One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Film – Gone with the Wind, Beethoven’s Symphony no.9
Your favourite food and drink?
Everything good, am partial to a good full bodies red wine – a Bordeaux or a Super Tuscan
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon? 
Sitting in a garden that’s in bloom – reading a book, sipping tea with some Beethoven playing in the background!
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
I would still be working in banking!