Meet this 28-year-old architect, who has built herself quite a name through her brainchild – Hiraya Design Studio, Apeksha Naik. After interning at remarkable and eminent architecture organisations in Bengaluru, she began taking up private projects from the get-go of her profession. Naik’s eye for configuration specification has empowered deciphering the jargon of ventures in new and imaginative ways. The experiences are taken up make a flexible collection of work going from architecture and interior designing for corporate workplaces to retail and accommodation spaces. Hiraya Design Studio’s unmistakable style of designing utilises neighborhood materials and ideas; however, it retrospects over them with an exciting and contemporary plan. The company’s interest in crossing boundaries of ‘local’ or ‘global’ patterns in configuration is reflected in their various projects like that of a bar.
In an exclusive interview with NewsKarnataka, this new talent from Mangaluru expressed her journey. Speaking about the very start and the budding interest in interior designing, Naik said, “Styling, an innate flair for color, patterns, materials, and shapes, spatial arrangements, architecture, and textiles of a particular season that has a long-term influence on the market is always something I showed close attention to and that probably led me to this industry.” Hiraya, derived from an ancient Filipino word, means ‘the fruit of one’s hopes, dreams, and aspirations.’ Furthermore, she added that it took her a good amount of time to ponder over what she should name her studio, as it was essential to her that the name of her brainchild be meaningful as well as strongly correlated to the feeling she would deliver to her clients with her project plans and end products. “My wishes to our clients and to everyone else, Hiraya Manawari – May your heart’s wishes be granted!” she said.
Local materials for a project so big? YES!
How often do you find established architectural firms and interior designers taking up local materials for big projects? Perhaps, not that often. The founder of Hiraya Design Studio revealed that she uses local materials such as Mangalore tiles and Laterite stones in intriguing ways. “More than using readily available local materials, we try to customise each area of a space uniquely. For instance, we have used an antique door as a dining table top in a project!” she claimed. Similarly, Hiraya finds exciting ways to incorporate local materials in their designs, like using window frames as mirror frames and changing the glass shutter to a mirror. Source materials and elements from in and around the country are thoroughly brainstormed and utilised at Hiraya Design Studio since Naik’s team believes in using art and features from neighborhoods that truly add value to each project that has been assigned and entrusted to them.
In conversation about what makes Hiraya Design Studio unique, the same founder asserted that good interior design evokes happiness and soothes the soul. It can inspire confidence, empathy, pride, creativity, and energy. “Creating meaningful spaces that fulfill the needs of the inhabitants and optimizes their space is one of our key roles and is essential to our society,” Naik said.
Designing: Trends and more
Lately, the designing and architectural hub has witnessed a shift in priorities; we see buildings inclusive of pathways for differently-abled people and a fresh take on a conventional bedroom design. In this premise, what should one choose to stay relevant in the industry – follow trends and changes, or stick and tried ways? Speaking about the same, the founder of Hiraya Design Studio informed that interior design trends seem to be taking a more eco-friendly approach as people are moving towards muted hues and natural elements. Smart homes are rapidly evolving in the design industry. She further added that originality is more important in today’s times. “As designer products and services become increasingly accessible to a broader audience, and as online platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram spawn lookalike interiors, clients increasingly search for one-of-a-kind interiors from the professionals they look to hire. Trends are usually a reflection of changing social and cultural moods. Our main focus is to stay updated with it and constantly take inspiration from art and cultural practices around us and incorporate it in our projects,” she explained.
Competition, thus, becomes an inevitable part of the journey to establish relevance and significance in the industry. Speaking on the same, Naik affirmed that interior designing is a competitive business. But what she truly enjoys about this field is that it allows one to put their natural abilities to use, which also means that no two designers can execute similar work, allowing the audience to hire a designer based on their skill set.
In conversation about her future endeavors, Naik disclosed that the main aim is to strive to onboard clients who bring in new challenges and are open to accepting concepts that create a niche in the market. Hiraya Design Studio intends to focus on developing and running detailed projects such as financial (costs involved with contractors, supplies, overhead-break up by n number of clients and percent of time dedicated to that client) time budgeted vs. time used. She looks to set a system for each stage of a project. “We want to grow and learn from our mistakes, to improve and gain clients we desire,” the founder signed off.