At the outset, Suhani Lal Sanghra, principal architect at Sparc Design exudes the nonchalant vibe of an architect who deftly shifts between crafting exceptional designs for residential and commercial buildings, restaurants and homestays, resorts and hospital ventures. She is notable for personally tailored client-specific designs that use a burst of colours, textures, new materials, techniques, and engineering details.
With innate talent and unwavering dedication comes recognition. Suhani has seen two major milestones in the form of awards come about this year, including the 2023 ICI Ultratech Award for “The Antique Modern Home” and “Outstanding Concrete Structures of Pune” in the residential multi-apartment building category.
Since founding the full-service consultancy firm Sparc Design, the Pune-based architect-designer has been connecting creativity and functionality and working towards one vision: to make a difference in people’s lives. The detail-driven work of Suhani and her firm’s rooster includes The Earth and Metal Office, Tattva, Earthy Woven Café, Villa Firangipani, and many more.
TheGlitz met up with Suhani to chat about her love for aesthetic design and how her passion for life’s experiences shines through in her creative and innovative design work.
Rajeev, TheGlitz.Media: Suhani, you launched Sparc Design in 2010. Tell us how you got to where you are?
Having worked in various organisations for 6 years, I always had the “Sparc” or fire, in my belly to start my own practice. I set up a small 500-square-foot office with only one project in hand; however, from there on, there was no looking back. The last 13 years from then on have been purely dedicated, determined, and hardworking. Not being from a business family, I took slightly longer to understand things, as no one teaches you the “business” of design. However, however I am very grateful for where I am today, appreciative of the growth and accomplishments that have materialised.
Tell us about your designs.
My designs are hugely inspired by nature and my travels. All of us architects see the world slightly differently with extreme sensory focus and attention to details, and this exposure has helped me evolve in a great way over the years. From being a modern minimalist in the initial years of my design career, my work now draws huge influences from Indian art, form, and craftsmanship. Today, my designs reflect a harmonious fusion of contemporary aesthetics and the timeless influence of India’s artistic heritage.
Being an interior designer, how do you see your work in relation to art?
Extremely passionate about art and sculpture, all our art in our projects is pre-planned and never the last thing to be brought in. I perceive my work as a canvas where each space becomes a unique art composition. I blend functionality with aesthetic expression, transforming environments into living artworks that evoke emotion and resonate with personal narratives. In essence, my role extends beyond design; it is a continuous exploration of the intersection between functionality and the visual poetry of spaces.
What sets you apart from the competition?
While acknowledging the uniqueness of every designer, we distinguish ourselves through meticulous design detailing, comprehensive documentation, and rigorous record-keeping. Our commitment extends beyond creativity; we leverage various cutting-edge software and systems, ensuring seamless project tracking and delivery. It’s not just about design; it’s our dedication to precision and efficiency that sets us apart in the competitive landscape.
Where do your ideas for designs come from?
I seek inspiration from nature in its simplistic, minimalist, and natural forms and colours, as well as from great works by the masters of architecture and design.
Which has been your most challenging project till date?
The most challenging project till date has been “Tattva,” an apartment building project based on the 5 elements, or Tattvas. The project was challenging from start to finish due to various situations; however, the most challenging one was that after casting 4 slabs, there was a rule revision, and the client decided to change the plans substantially. There was a lot of structural detailing, rework, supervision, and tireless, dedicated work to achieve these changes without changing the design elements to finally achieve the end product. I seek inspiration from nature in its simplistic, minimalist, and natural forms and colours, as well as from great works by the masters of architecture and design.
Who are you outside of Design? What are your interests?
I am a carefree, outspoken, and social person outside of design. I absolutely love travelling and exploring, adventure sports, and dancing.
As a final question, describe a dream project that you have yet to realise.
My dream project would be a resort project with a complete architecture, interior, and landscape scope of work. Based on ecological principles and sustainability, I would love to use energy-efficient techniques for the services of the project. The spaces would create a great sensory experience in terms of human scale, proportion, and lighting. I visualise an entrance space providing an experience of all elements of nature and the spaces created thereafter to blend with the landscape and the interior.
TheGlitz Rapid Fire
What, if not a designer? Pilot
Describe your relation with design in one word? Married
Best one-liner? If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.
Favourite material. Wood? Glass? Stone? Metal? Wood
Landscaping or streetscaping? Streetscaping
Skyscraper or low-rise? Low-rise
Art deco or Art nouveau? Art nouveau
Classical or Colonial? Classical
Stained glass or Antique brass? Antique brass
What makes you happy? Nature, music, a walk in the forests, dancing