Personal by design

Updated: Nov 20, 2018, 11:28 IST | Snigdha Hasan

Anew video series by an online magazine gives viewers apeek into the lives of architects, designers and artists

Personal by design
Architect Sanjay Puri poses like an art piece on the terrace of his SoBo residence

If it weren't for Ayn Rand's iconic novel, The Fountainhead, Sanjay Puri would have been a neurosurgeon. As the well-known Mumbai-based architect recounts his journey, he says, "I told my father I wanted to work with an architect. So, I landed up at Hafeez Contractor's office without having drawn a single architectural line in my life, on my 18th birthday."

The setting is casual - Puri is seated in his living room - and the conversation veers towards the art pieces in his SoBo apartment, his love for shoes, taste in music, why his wife is his favourite person to discuss work with and how his daughters can bully him into anything. The award-winning architect is known for avant-garde sculptural buildings, but barring a few photographs of his projects, none of them feature in the three-and-a-half-minute long video, the first in a recently launched series called In Candid Conversation With. The series is an initiative of, an online magazine on art, design and architecture.

Architect Brinda Somaya in a still from an upcoming episode
Architect Brinda Somaya in a still from an upcoming episode

"The work of an architect, designer or artist is there for all to see, and it's always their work that gets spoken about. But not everyone knows the person behind the professional," says Savitha Hira, editor of the magazine. The series, like the magazine, is the brainchild of Savitha and her husband Lalit Hira. While Lalit has been an interior designer for over three decades, Savitha brings in her experience of having written for design publications for 25 years. "We wanted to focus on what inspires creatives to do what they do, the strength that makes them what they are, their fears, aspirations, likes and dislikes," she adds.

While the next two videos will feature architect-artist couple Alfaz and Brinda Miller, and architect Brinda Somaya, interior, fashion and product designers will be a part of the series, too. The videos will be released on a monthly basis, with an accompanying write-up to help design enthusiasts know more about a professional they may look up to.

Architect-artist couple Alfaz and Brinda Miller ask each other fun questions
Architect-artist couple Alfaz and Brinda Miller ask each other fun questions

Given the short attention span of today, Savitha explains that none of the videos will exceed five minutes. The short duration, however, is used smartly to pack in a good deal of interesting nuggets and anecdotes one may not come across easily. What we would love, though, is more cushioned and better-edited beginning and ending, which in the case of the launch video seemed a tad abrupt.

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