Emerging Interior Designer
Nikita D’Silva, STaND, Mumbai
Nikita D’Silva co-founded STaND in 2016 with her partner Siddhant Tikkoo. Always keen to meet new people and exchange ideas, Nikita D’Silva believes keenly in the relationship between nature and structures. She enjoys taking a holistic approach to her design that is grounded in strategic thinking with a sharp eye for the minutest of details. Graduating from the Balwant Sheth School of Architecture, she honed her skill at Hundred Hands in Bangalore and has even been invited to be a speaker and panelist at the United Nations university conference at the India Habitat Centre for Clean Water and Sanitation. She also co-started Sit Outs, a series of sessions for her alumni, where designers and entrepreneurs share their inspirations and inhibitions.
Do you think architecture & design has the power to build better communities?
Undoubtedly yes. Architecture has the unique ability to create and design environments, unfortunately, both for the better and the worse. It is pivotal as architects understand what makes a community or space ‘better’. Different rules and parameters apply in different contexts. The smallest tweaks can sometimes create the most powerful solutions for societies. One such example is the Zollverein School, in Essen, Germany designed by SANAA.
I came across it while researching for my thesis and it is one project that has stuck with me. The school is constructed near an old coal mining site that continues to have hot water pumping out of it, currently going to waste and flowing into a river nearby. The architects use this water to geothermally insulate the thin monolithic concrete walls of the building, saving the building’s artificial heating costs and in turn coming up with the new concept of ‘active insulation’. This structure to me, is an example of a ‘better community’.
Any suggestion for the future.
Planning meets in different cities across India, under the WADE ASIA umbrella, perhaps once or twice a year is important. Consider holding small talks and workshops that can help budding designers understand the merits and challenges of working in the fields of design. It is important for designers to start talking about the less rosy parts of their practices.
“It is important to get our carpenters, contractors and on-site partners used to a female-led team.”
Please share your experience as a woman in architecture & design?
Running an architecture and interior studio in a male dominated business, we ensure a well balanced studio environment. We take it in our stride to build the confidence of young female designers by giving them responsibilities and making them decision makers in the design and construction process. It is important to get our carpenters, contractors and on-site partners used to a female led team.
Your opinion on WADE ASIA and its objectives.
It has been a privilege to be a part of this forum WADE ASIA. It is encouraging and inspiring to have a body that celebrates women and their achievements across the fields of art, architecture and design.
Note: This article was originally published on Surfaces Reporter December 2019 Issue.