As the winners of the 2013 Design is … Award Market Award, Shaw Contract Group winning firms interviewed as part of a section of Shaw Contract Group blog which will last a year. Throughout the year, readers can learn more about the 48 winning projects and the individuals who perform them. These are their stories.
Shagufta Anurag, Founder and Managing Director of Space Matrix, talked to us about influence from travels, vibrant colors and designing for your location.
When did you decide to pursue a profession in design?
I always had an inclination towards design. I initially started my career with the aspiration to be a fashion designer but soon changed by mind after some coaxing from my father. It was a good decision and I have no regrets. I love what I am doing now, which is very important to being happy and successful.
How did you find your love for design? Is there anyone who played a major role in that?
Throughout my career and early design school days, I’ve been influenced by my travels and day-to-day experiences. A series of arches, a flight of rugged steps, the texture of a mossy wall are all clues stored away towards a bigger creative inspiration for me.
For me, great design is intuitive, inspirational, and practical, yet poetic in its approach. It has a quality which leaves little to be said. Design creates experiences — visual, spatial or tactile — for us to enjoy. I have strived to imbibe these aspects in my work, and the quest continues.
Did you ever stray from this path or think about changing course?
Once I made the decision to enter the design profession, I stuck to it. Running a business is difficult; and today I do multiple other things that involve making Space Matrix a successful company, but design remains my true passion.
Tell me something that was unusual about the project.
Here we created a collaborative work environment and we pushed the boundaries by introducing vibrant colors instead of the traditional timber palette used in many law offices. This helped give them a modern, up-to-date look.
How do you think interior design is different in Singapore than in other parts of the world?
Interior design needs to be localized to respond to the needs of the user as well as the climatic and economic environment for which you designing. Local construction, knowledge and availability of materials will also impact the final output. Therefore, yes, designing a project differs based on location and it is the duty of an architect or interior designer, to understand these nuances and implement details flawlessly.