Rashid Rasheed is a well known name in the architectural world. His expertise lies in architecture, interiors and graphic designing. Mr. Rashid Rasheed is the co-founder and partner of SR Designworks , an architectural firm, which also specializes in interiors and landscape planning. Experts in residential, commercial and institutional projects, SRDW has designed a number of leading structures in schools, parks, residences, offices and hospitals. this company has become a reliable brand name for its clientele within only two short years of its inception. With his practice and understanding, Mr. Rasheed talks about the field of architecture and design inPakistan.
Q. Tell us about your educational background.
I did my Bachelors in Architecture from National College of Arts in 1992. I started out as intern in Designer‘s East in my final year of bachelors and later on I became a partner. I started my own firm in 2007 with Saad Khan who is also a partner at SRDW. I wanted to start my own firm because it was a step forward in the business field. I am also a member of Pakistan Council of Architects & Town Planners (P.C.A.T.P) and Institute Of Architects (I.A.P).
Q. how does the concept of “interior designing” in its technical nature differ from what the common man understands of it?
Interior design is connected with Architecture. It’s the inner design of the room. Many people call interior decorating interior designing. There is a difference. Interior design, as the name implies, is how you design the interior of a space with windows, doors and other fixtures; and decorating is how you design the room with accessories, upholstery, carpets and so on.
Q. Presently, who proves to be more lucrative clients for firms like yours: corporate, commercial or housing/residential projects?
Well actually all of them. New corporate, commercial and residential buildings are being built every day. Even though architecture and interior is not a proper industry but there are so many business opportunities that every one can have a share of the pie. It’s open for anyone who has the mind and can work hard.
Q. Are there any training centers required for interior designing?
There should be good training institutes but unfortunately there aren’t any inPakistan. Courses taught at local institutes are not of quality level. One more thing which I have observed is that students lack enthusiasm for learning. I have been asked to be a jury member for different thesis or student projects; an opportunity which gives me constant chances to meet architecture and design students. These students are not keen on asking questions or having discussions. They are merely studying for the sake of getting a degree. Even teachers are not what they used to be. Most students who are architects/designers go abroad and don’t want to say here. In terms of profession, architecture is not taken as seriously as medical studies or engineering in Pakistan. Anyone can easily be a part of the architectural council but the caliber of a professional who has just graduated and of someone who has worked in the field for a decade are very different. No one notices or appreciates that.
Q. What are the major requirements to start the business of interior designing?
Anyone could start this business with a pencil, drawing board and a PC. The only thing you really require is hard work. There are numerous opportunities in this business. One just has to be smart and hard working enough to grab the right opportunities to flourish in this business. Architects and designers should be good communicators. Listening to the client and giving feasible design solutions to turn the client’s ideas into reality is what a good architect or a designer should be able to do.
Q. What are the major factors that should be kept in mind while doing an interior design?
Good communication skills should be developed with the client. the budget should be adhered to. One should be able to meet deadlines and one should have a smart practical viable design theory.
Q. What difference have you seen in the culture and living trends in terms of residences, hotels and corporate offices, if we compare today’s interiors with 5 years back? Is there any change in the lifestyle?
With the passage of time, living trends have changed. People want a more westernized and modern look and feel in the architecture and interior. If you visit villages, the aesthetics used in their houses are still attractive. Unfortunately, now we don’t appreciate that kind of natural elements’ beauty. Life styles have changed; our culture has become a mix of many other cultures. Modernization is gradually taking over our roots. Internet has become the new mode of socialization. People have become alienated from there neighbors and friends. And all these choices are reflected in one’s lifestyle as well as what one chooses his living space to look like.
Q. Do you think that there is enough competition in the market to improve this business or more players are required in the market?
Yes, there is plenty of competition for big projects. There is always competition, and like I said earlier there is so much work with every passing day that anyone who has the zest and creativity for architecture and design can enter in this business. And for someone who is hardworking and talented, business prospects are limitless.