Mitul Shukla

Principal Architect – Mass & Void Architects (Interview PART-1)

Working on modern designs while caring for the environment with Mitul Shukla

Mitul’s main philosophy has been towards working on modern designs, at the same time he believes in contributing towards saving the environment and utilising local resources.

Mitul completed his degree in architecture from Baroda, Gujarat. He then worked as an associate at a leading architect in West Bengal. He started his own organisation known as Mass & Void architects through which they began working on different types of projects which include bungalows, high-end bungalows, residential projects, mass housing, town planning, hotels, schools, hospitals, high-end commercial projects, malls and they have been working in Kolkata, Nepal, Siliguri and surrounding areas of West Bengal.


Mitul received an award from CNBC from CREDAI, West Bengal as an ‘upcoming architect’ for one of his projects which was based on low-cost housing project.

Learning and growing

Mitul says that learning is at every stage, college life is different from real working field. The background or the knowledge gained will still be useful while working in the field. The way of working of real estate in India is totally different than the architecture of other typical countries. It is totally driven by the real estate players and their requirements. After completing many projects and reaching at a certain level, they have now been designing buildings on their own, based on the aspiration of the design and by using quality products. The journey has not been easy in the initial stages, but as they grew, understood the reality, understood the market, they have been working in a better way. They are now at that stage where the projects are designed and owned by them. They are proud about the same, also that they are not guided by any builder or any other real estate player.

Software learning is a major challenge

In their case, design wise knowledge is great. Architects use many software to function well, they have to learn new tools, new software which are available in the market. It helps the architecture to grow in a right way. Software knowledge is needed, hence software learning is a major challenge. He has tried to overcome this by gaining more knowledge, during college days he had to study various software. He studied various software as a trainee fresher, fresher in an organisation. He finds it amazing that they can now learn design space, use virtually meetings where clients can see too which was discovered during the pandemic.

Team is a family

Based on Mitul’s previous experiences, he has taken many initiatives in his organisation. He terms his employees as associates. His major initiative is to grow the firm together involving the associates at every stage and work as a family.

Modern design

Mitul’s designs are modern, geometrical and he uses straight lines and geometrical lines. Learning new design is always challenging, but Mitul’s motivation and goal is to work on modern designs.

(Interview PART-2)

Being an inspiration

Mitul suggests the aspirants not to change jobs just to get an increase in salary, it is better to stabilize self, giving self at least 5 years in one organisation and understand what kind of projects one can do in real field, then go searching for new opportunities but not looking at salary, which will later affect the resume and the future, focus should be on one area in the organisation, understand their philosophy, work culture, after complete experience one should move, either begin on their own or move to other organisation.

Communication is the key

When a new product is launched in the market and the designers are unaware about it and the sales men do not approach the customers, Mitul suggests that they should connect virtually through digital media so that the details reach everyone. This will help people to understand the new product. COVID was such a difficult stage to handle, but technology was so helpful that we could reach everyone in the world without having to travel. When they follow digital media process and send it to all people in the industry which is indeed time saving, they can create a digital library from where others can pick up the resources and save on their organisation’s details and then send a proposal. Communication is the issue and creates a gap, everything should be available on one single platform, there will be no time delay and salesmen are more aware.

Choose to be a Designer or a Turnkey Contractor

Most of the times, the designer is also the turnkey contractor. But this shoul’t be followed.  Designer should separate self from the designer and turnkey contractor and choose to be only one. The turnkey contractor should have a single team, which has an idea of all the types of material, labour and all technologies available.  This will help the clients get single point solution. This will be the single point contacting system.

Leaders leads

Mitul believes that one should work as leader and not as boss. The leader takes the team with him and bosses only teach the team how to work.

Following trends

Mitul usually surfs the internet and follows the trends. He follows important blogs, through which we can collect data, contact them and then ask for hard copies for further action.

Smooth functioning of an organisation

There should be co-ordination between team, main architect and clients. Client should receive all the information upfront when needed. To resolve this they have software which is basically an ERP, a small one which resolves co-ordination issues.  Updated feedback from the team members is added to the software, the team is supposed to finish task based on the data available, then move to the next task in their system.

Save the environment

Saving the environment is the biggest challenge, as an architect we talk to save the Environment, but as a designer we take no action to save the environment says Mitul. We should save the environment. During the pandemic, all the materials were not available, hence they had to source from local material vendors, they are planning to continue the usage of local materials. This helps in improving the quality of the product which has not been explored yet, by this they are going for ‘being vocal for local”. We should explore the local products with the concern for environment and not spoiling it. Environment is a vital subject to take care of the future.