I design brands and brand experiences
My job title?
Designer/ Founder - Studio Sky
What is your typical "day in the life of a designer"?
I've been working from home since the pandemic, so I'm usually at my desk by 9.30 am. After that, it's a mix of calls, presentations, and 'doing' time. I have a mini team at Studio Sky, and a few external collaborators that I work with, so a lot of my time goes into coordinating with everyone and doing project reviews.
On some days, I switch off the world and just go into a state of flow. It allows me to create something meaningful, or solve a niggling design problem I've been dealing with. Days like this are very satisfying because I manage to achieve a LOT! On other days, I'm out for a site visit or a client meeting.
Every evening, I review and revise my to-do list for the next day, so that I can start with a clear plan. I experiment a lot with my schedule. Last year, I was waking up at 5 am to get a chunk of quiet work done early. This was very productive, but I found it difficult to sustain.
Right now, I'm trying to fit in more time where I work from a coffee shop or friends' offices. More time for workouts. More time for long walks. More time to read. More time for 'nothingness'. Anything that keeps me away from my desk longer. I find that time away helps clear mental clutter.
Design principles you live by?
Show up. Discipline is everything.
Break everything down into mini bite-sized pieces
Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.
Explain it to someone else (Basically, get out of your own head!)
What problem can't you stop thinking about?
At the moment, I'm thinking about Accessibility and Inclusivity. We're working on a Way-finding & Signage Design project for a large University, and we're thinking of persons with mobility and vision issues, colour blindness and dyslexia. We're trying to create solutions that don't put a person with a disability at a disadvantage. This is a new area of study for me, and I realise there are very few benchmarks to learn from.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Don't compete. Collaborate.
I actually read this somewhere. It's a really simple statement, but it changed my entire working methodology.
When is "Design done wrong"?
Urban design, in India. Large architectural spaces, like the new Metro stations that ignore the environment they're placed in and don't really have the 'user/ commuter' at the heart of it. Also, they're eyesores.
What skill do you wish you picked up really early on?
Developing a thorough design brief, and scoping out a project in detail. I was never good at this, but I've learned this along the way. I'm still learning.
Design tools you can’t live without? (Physical and/or digital)
Adobe Creative Suite
iPad + Apple Pencil
My yellow Lamy pen
What’s in your bag?
I carry light – A little notebook and pens
Earpods (I either read or listen to stuff while I'm waiting/ in transit)
a snack (I tend to get hangry!)
Books you highly recommend for anyone pursuing a career in design?
Rework - Jason Fried & David Hansson
Thinking with Type - Ellen Lupton
Two Designer friends you admire and we should talk to!
Trusha Sawant - I've been collaborating with Trusha for a few years. She's a versatile illustrator and designer and makes everything look effortless.
Nishant Wazir - He's deeply intellectual and curious. I love how he looks at every problem/ project from a million different perspectives.
Where and What did you study?
Srishti Institute of Art, Design & Technology (Bangalore, India)
Where can people find you?