Name: Raseel Gujral Ansal
Position within Company: Creative Director
Winner of the Residential £5 million plus Award in the Asia-Pacific Interior Design & Architecture Awards 2013.
1. What direction do you feel design is moving towards in general terms?
– Design has made a definite shift from being sterile and minimalistic to spaces with object and character that consists of some sense of origin. Design should be ingrained in an indigenous culture, yet at the same time offer a contemporary reinterpretation which binds it together into a coherent narrative. Great design is timeless.
2. What are the key influencing elements at present?
– Design at a lot of levels has a lot of monotony, boredom and a reflection of confusion. However interspersed with sublime peaks of originality from across the globe. We need to focus on individual expression and have the confidence to speak our unique language. As an eternal optimist, I would say this is pre cursor to another golden age of design.
3. What sort of projects are you working on at the moment?
– I am currently working on commercial and High End Residential Design projects, Resort properties in Goa, and associating with boutique hotels within the Indian subcontinent, while also developing established markets in the Middle East. I have been privileged that as a design professional in my field since 1986, I have seen enormous spectrum of design. While being given the opportunity and recognition to work on very design significant and pivotal projects.
4. A designer’s work is so diverse – how do you manage to hold down a career and a life?
– You need to be highly disciplined and compartmentalise, all the different aspects of the design business and process.
Free, focused uninterrupted studio time, to continually have the space to evolve. Public relation time, with clients and media. Psychotherapy for your clients and your team! Striking a balance between the business & process of design and family time. The essentiality of being in the moment to give oneself wholly, in order to optimise all aspects of your life.
5. Name 5 key essentials for the 2012 and beyond.
– History, Character, Universal Language, colour & indispensable art.
6. If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
-One needs to have a very simple and sound foundation for the design. Everything starts with a concept, simplified into a coherent plan. Especially people relevant spaces need to have the capacity to allow layering of the design process. So that all the elements eventually come together to resonate with a divine melody.
7. How important do you feel Design Awards are as recognition of designer’s talents and achievements?
– Design awards are essential milestones for recognition of one’s standing in an international playing field. To have the dialogue and exposure with a much wider audience. As well as to be inspired by your peers. They broaden ones horizon and prevent an insulation of thought.
8. What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
The next 12 months, are a short time frame within the design environment. However there are three very diverse architectural projects that range from a neo- classical residence, a contemporary urban low rise and a group housing project. To complete these with the endeavour to establish landmarks. Also to put together a design book.
9. Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
- The car you drive?
- A Jaguar XJ
- Your favourite place to travel to in the world?
- Your favourite hotel?
- 4 seasons in most destinations
- The place that gives you the most energy?
- And the place that enables you to totally relax?
- Your favourite food and drink?
- More than a gourmand, I am an environment aficionado, for that reason simple food in an extraordinary environment is the ideal recipe.
- Anything else interesting?
- I am a sensory junkie, perpetually permeated and absorbing. Whether its art, fashion, nature or objects of beauty. I feel constantly impassioned by small points of joy and inspiration, translating to an elixir of youth!