Entrepreneur and Former Director, Katerra (Interview PART-1)
Sudheera Mure is an architect. She is a member of Council of Architecture and Indian Institute of Architects. She has 25 years of experience, where the first 5 years of her decorated career in architecture was with Kharche Associates in Chennai. She says that her 20 years plus experience is in interiors (with DSP/KGD/Katerra), a happening, high energy and fast paced domain. She is also a member of Wirenet. She states that design is one profession, you never get bored of. That’s the advantage of being in the creative field and her success is a mirror of this commitment. She believes creativity reflects in personal life, how you deal with things and how your personality is shaped over the years. She says, “Your professional life does reflect in your personal life. It will create a positive impact on your personal life.”
As Best Creators took to her valuable insights, we learned powerful guiding forces of her elaborate career in architecture and design. She was quick to provide great learnings for the fraternity and all those involved. Her main focus was on how the function is an offspring on design and best value for client’s money would bring lots of satisfaction.
“When it comes to design philosophies, design shall meet function, while providing bang for the buck. Designs may have various options, but not necessary that a good design should be expensive. I’m not talking about cheaper, but value for money should reflect in the design. That should be the ideal philosophy for any design. Every design should gel with a functional aspect. In this era, there’s a lot of information design choices available. What works well and why it works is what a designer should keep in mind and provide a solution.
She then told the Best Creators about the importance of collaboration and communication in the organization.
“Impacting an organization has always been based on team performance rather than individual performance. Knowledge sharing enhances value, bringing synergy to overall organization performance. Leadership is all about being approachable to teams and clients. It’s not about how big you grow and thus spending fewer hours on these aspects. Be more approachable to teams and clients, and that’s how you add value for your client and your organization. We have to share knowledge and keep learning new things for the growth of your organization. There are no shortcuts for discipline or commitment.There is no specific definition for learning approaches because each one learns from their own experiences. But from my learning, I would like to say that never stick to your comfort zone. Go out of your comfort zone and it will bring more opportunities for learnings. The second one is to adapt to change. Change is continuous. How quickly you can adapt to change is critical and focus on what one can bring to the organization.
Sudheera Mure’s views are a true reflection of the prowess she holds in this vast and impactful industry. She challenges the profession she holds dear with obstacles that may come her way as a learning experience to perform better.
“In terms of challenges, there are many that arise. Some of them that pertain to the design industry is related to overall planning happening in terms of time management. Most of the time, we work with very aggressive timelines, especially in interior segment, the turnaround time is always at a very quick pace. The construction happens in a rapid pace and every nook and corner of the space is going to be a design-oriented area. Therefore, the number of areas to design will be very vast and construction is much faster than primary structure. How we schedule is critical. Projects contain design, documentation and execution phases. When a specific time is given, we should educate client on the plan to bide time for design to ensure quality is reflected in the end product. Once completed, a good design masks earlier time crunches & challenges faced during execution. That is why we have to spend quality time during design, while meeting timeframes as per client’s demand. Due to high real estate valuations, one cannot expect clients to give lavish time-frames. Complete agreement on how we schedule project deliverables is very important. Another aspect is the retrofits. When we do retrofits, there are lot of challenges, with many surprises. Our experience should help us navigate challenges.
“When we design a space, we consider the rising land values and focus on space optimization. How best we can fit in the requirements and how well it can be designed plays a vital role. The second thing is value for money. We usually conduct workshops, where we interact with end-users, share the dos and don’ts, understand the wish list, and educate them on what can be fitted and what can be avoided. We look at what the client is looking for to align our design to the client’s requirements. With all these parameters, there should be a unique factor when the project is built. The uniqueness of design and value engineering is very important. Where we divert and utilize the money optimally, determines how client benefits in terms of function and design.”
Her focus on well-being of the team forms the basis of leadership values, enabled her success in the industry. She is a strong advocate for collaboration and imparts wisdom that encourages people to create a unique impact through regard and mutual understanding. She further continued to expand on her sources of learning and how she continues to keep updated with the latest trends in today’s world of interior design. To be continued.