Interview with designer Ketan Jawdekar (KJ), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design The Urban Foundry Restaurant and Bar.

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Interview with Ketan Jawdekar at Tuesday 19th of April 2016: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
KJ : The inspiration for this restaurant came directly from the site itself. The designers were invited for the site visit while it was under construction. It is located in the IT Park as a part of F and B hub on the ground level. Contrast between modern architecture of to be finished IT park and the raw feel of under construction premises appealed to the designers. Creating interiors around unfinished site and recycling construction material was the key decision. Industrial interior was thus evolved

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
KJ : Restaurant decor is a highly challenging area of design. The aesthetics chosen need to appeal to the patrons and stay fresh and interesting over time. Creating a collaborative restaurant that will adapt to different needs of patrons of all age groups was the most challenging part of the design. Utilising existing construction elements and molding them to achieve the effect of an industrial premise was the whole concept while going back to the drawing board.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
KJ : The project was conceptualised when it was in the construction stage. Designing started in 2015. The actual construction of the project started in October 2015 and got finished in February 2016.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
KJ : Miss Elham Mirza Ismail , our associate designer and project manager has worked extensively on this project.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
KJ : When something is designed to be themed, it needs to have consistency in totality. This is the thought process behind The Urban Foundry, a rugged all day bar and cafe that sends you straight into the industrial vibe that it has managed to pull off, ever so immaculately. TUF is conceptualised as a chill out joint that blends into its surrounding and neighbouring infrastructure, yet contrasting it, with a feel that makes you jive with a rustic foundry ambience. Loud industrial design from ceiling to floor, this place has incorporated its concept into everything that they have put into place. Every detail has been actuated with industrialization plugged in, subliminally if not loudly. From container bars and cutlery, to tables that have been suspended from the ceiling with the help of chains and clamps, they have taken the design to attain the next level of global appreciation. Also one of the key features in The Urban Foundry, is its fixtures all over, that have incorporated the magic of kinetic energy in movement. India has been warming up to the design language for the past 4 to 5 years, that many speak, globally and TUF is a place that introduces exactly this idea. A multitude of ventures in this field have attempted at creating this idea, but have not carried out it the way this team has.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
KJ : The Urban Foundry is a multifunctional restaurant and a bar. It acts as a co working space, a meeting place, a restaurant and a high tea joint in a day. A place where startups meet investors, entrepreneurs, writers, artists meet, discuss, debate and evolve with creative solutions. It is a place where friends meet just to chill and hang out. Community table allows new collaborations. The restaurant adapts to all such conditions and the restaurant becomes a celebration place in the evenings.Exposed bricks and half plastered walls were kept as it is. Bracings in metal were added to existing columns to give a feel of jacketing. Ceiling was designed with MS trusses and the metal mesh to hide services and get the feel of an industrial shed. Flooring was designed in concrete finish vitrified tiles with a break of decorative tiles. Bar gets a feature of a container. Edison bulbs and old switches act as decorative elements and the industrial gears and blue prints of project adorn walls.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
KJ : The most important decision was to use existing site in its unfinished state and local construction material to create a complete contrast with the modern architecture in the vicinity. Creating ambiance with a raw look to suit different needs of the patrons and to create suitable moods at different time of the day through natural and artificial light was challenging. Subtle addition of feminine touch to balance otherwise masculine decor needed much attention while designing this restaurant.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
KJ : Awards like A'Design Awards are of utmost importance for the Designers and Architects. It is a scale to judge our own talent as well as is a learning process. Competitions not only give us the global platform but also help in boosting moral. Recognition of talent and the achievement is like a jet pack to take off in the professional stream.