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Interview with Sameer Khosla

Home > Designer Interviews > Sameer Khosla

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Sameer Khosla (SK) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Sameer Khosla by clicking here.

Interview with Sameer Khosla at Tuesday 5th of May 2020
Sameer Khosla
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
SK: I am a designer by choice with an amazing amount of passion which gives a serious contribution to the practical beauty of this world. I started my career with an architectural background which was more into residential space. Soon I realized my core of interest lies in designing commercial retail space and that triggered all my energy and focus in the right direction to achieve the bigger objective in life.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
SK: "Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts." D’ART is a story of three very simple yet highly aggressive friends, Sameer Khosla – Creative Director, Syed Shahnawaz Zaidi – Marketing & Retail Strategy Director & Deepak Kumar – Operations Director, who started the journey four years back and Currently serving 8 countries, a significant share in blue-chip clients in national & international markets. Our global headquarter is based in New Delhi the capital city of India. All our studios consist of a bunch of crazy designers who are always in the quest of creating something new yet simple masterpiece. We have a vision of expanding D’ART in more than 200 countries with our global alliances by 2030.

FS: What is "design" for you?
SK: We believe that design is an expression and the vision of all believers to allow sketching a beautiful story that is liked by brand, channel partners and end-user. Finally, a soothing translation of the expression into the experience is the heart of design for us.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
SK: Right from 8-inch product display to 10,000 Stores/ Restaurants / Schools / Villas / Bar / Pubs / Exhibitions and much more in one year. Yes, we enjoy multi-disciplinary design projects. We have tremendous expertise to deliver Design + Manufacturing + Deployment.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
SK: We believe form, shape and colors are too narrow definitions to arrive on favorite design. We like concepts of “Fluidic Design” by Late Zaha Hadid truly an inspirational legendary designer. What I love the most in her thought ideology that she was “CONFLICT” any things normal is normal but what is the change, that we bring in design with our wisdom is what matters the most to us.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
SK: Our first project was to design the retail identity of Indian Phillipe Morris - A legendary brand “MARLBORO”. After the Switzerland team of Marlboro, we were the only agency globally who had designed every single inch of Marlboro.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
SK: We like to play more with the fusion of various materials. Our first preference is always green materials as a responsible design studio we owe a lot from this environment and it’s our turn to give it back. Hence most of our designs are metal, fabric media etc. D’ART believes any platform or technology becomes affordable only if you can drive volumes. Therefore as D’ART, we are very lucky that we are blessed with clients who have volumes in abundance.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
SK: Most of the times the way most of the design agencies get the brief from clients is not a justified document. When we get a detailed brief from the client that rejuvenates our excitement for work and yes that is the time where we feel ourselves most creative.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
SK: The first few questions that we ask and that turns out as our design research before that we don’t initiate any design project within our design studio. Q1 – Why are we designing this? Q2 – What is the purpose or objective of this design? Q3 – The purpose or objective of design is built for which kind of end-user? Q4- Where are the present gaps and how our designers can fix it?

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
SK: As D’ART the first few feel that we take is as follows 1. Client skin is my skin so that I can feel the same pain. 2.“Empathy is the biggest asset feel” without which we can’t design anything for clients 3.Rational between the heart and brain defines the final and correct feel of the project.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
SK: We are never in the race of creating the WOW designs. The only intent that we work with is to solve the problem of the client in the most simplistic way possible.

FS: What makes a design successful?
SK: A design is engineering to drive the desired output. We always check this equation (Drive “X” output) again and again in our design projects. Therefore mostly we find the success rate of our design projects climbing up.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
SK: D’ART always believes that the design is a co-creation process. We never keep our clients out of that process of designing. Therefore at every single macro and micro stage, both client and us judge the project together to ensure that the final result becomes “Turning dreams into reality”

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
SK: We owe a lot from this environment which is already disturbed and polluted. We as a design studio is highly fortunate to sit on the position where what we design becomes a mandate of production on a massive scale. Hence at D’ART ensure to maximum play with green material and also ensure the process that consumes less energy and creates maximum output. This is how we try to contribute to the environment.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
SK: As Alvin Toffler said the world will witness the last wave before the end “THE THIRD WAVE” – “IDEA WAVE”. We all are in this stage design idea comes like a bubble, makes money and burst. Future designs will be. 1.Phygital – Right Mix of Online and Offline 2.Design Adaptability – Space/Climate/People/Culture 3.Multi- Utility – One utility will be a dead design 4.Flexible & Scalable – Diverse yet cost-friendly 5.The notion of tech in it will be built-in. 6.The design will try to build all 5 senses in every piece of product.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
SK: Auto Expo – Automobile Biggest Show In India – Client UM Global. We are looking forward to doing an exhibition in the UAE market soon.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
SK: Design inspiration comes from brand ideology and market research on consumer taste. More brief and diverse exposure to national and international clients portfolio feeds creativity in us. TED talk shows are the true inspiration for us.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
SK: Our style is “Less is More”. The more we have tried to keep things simple and functional have majorly resulted in a win-win situation, which truly drives & justifies the common objective of all related stake owners of the project.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
SK: We live in New Delhi, India. India is extremely rich in its cultural heritage that allows us to weave a few patches where ever possible in our design projects. There are practically not many pros and cons because of the age and era that we are living in is the same – The Digital Age, the challenges for every individual is almost the same.

FS: How do you work with companies?
SK: Master Retail Agency – 1 to 4 years contractual basis.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
SK: The designer needs to have empathy and if one has empathy then soon after the client brief the reaction from his or her side will define whether you proceed further or not.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
SK: Research And Design, Research and Prototyping, Research and Rollout, Research and Performance Audit, Research & Improvise, Research and Final Design.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
SK: Laptop, Phone, Gaming Room, Vertical garden, Kitchen

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
SK: My day consists of 14 to 16 hours of working, catching up flights almost every alternate day. It so happens that I meet my kids after week. Life is super busy but regrets “I love my work because the design is my passion”

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
SK: The world has changed so fast in the last 5 to 10 years. Whatever we learned in the past does not apply today. Try to unlearn and try forecast & somewhere in the middle of both lies the real answer.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
SK: The clients look at you with a very narrow perspective of design only. The only way out is to show yourself as 360 service provider to gain that respect, trust, faith for your self.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
SK: Don’t try to design, try to understand the problem and help to solve it.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
SK: Empathy with your client

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
SK: The software we use are SketchUp, Revit, 3D Studio Max, Autocad, V-Ray, Photoshop, InDesign etc and the equipment is VR {virtual reality} platform that dramatically transforms design collaboration and communication experience

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
SK: Blesses with an excellent design team, yes the fun of working is in only real tight deadlines.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
SK: It depends on projects – 24hours to 1 year or more even.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
SK: How can you make us look different, unique & attractive in the market

FS: What was your most important job experience?
SK: Designing the school for blind people.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
SK: Adidas, Exxon Mobil, Marlboro, BlueStar, Hitachi, Cargill, Castrol, Studds, Mithashi, TVS, Singer, Godrej, Shell, Polaris, Red Chief and many more

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
SK: B2C format where we get to study consumer behavior and that becomes the most entertaining part of the project. Design for humans and drive their behavior to do something, that is very interesting to watch.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
SK: In a very short journey of four years, serving 8 countries, significant share in blue-chip clients in national & international markets. We have a vision of expanding D’ART in more than 200 countries with our global alliances by 2030.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
SK: Definitely as a team.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
SK: House Of Red Chief is the upcoming project that will change the way people look at footwear and apparel retail stores.

FS: How can people contact you?
SK: Email at info@dartdesign.in or call on +91 9818817555

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
SK: Our View on Market looking at COVID19 We have crossed the threshold of 2020 with the euphoria of strength & have all the necessary resources to deal with these crises. We are blessed to be with the industry which has weapons to combat COVID19. Innovation, diverse adaptable yet digitally integrated teams. The burning need of the hour is to change this notion of negative perspective towards this situation. This is an era to evolve, expand, resize finance, deep thinking on planning. Lastly, people who don’t agree with us “At times Taking a Step Back is as Necessary as Moving Forward”


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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