Saturday, April 30, 2016

Working in Multinational Global Design Firms for Dummies

"Welcome to the real world" was the line that started my career in global corporate design world which when said with the right tone of enigma, optimism and pointless positivity can convince a hardworking earnest young minion just blessed with a student loan to choose the right pill (yes welcome to the real world, free will and choice exists and you are going to pick that one there). It especially being said by a cross between Philip Johnson-Corbusier, a giant dodo in red socks with confidence of an early-rising-chest-pumping cockerel, can also immediately disarm any misconceptions that his/her intellect or power of reasoning earned through years of academic engagement /investigation is going to be anywhere near useful...keep the skills, those we need the rest is a fluffy pink cotton candy that purely helped you get our company's attention. After this, phrases of "have you watched Karate kid?", "it builds character", "it's like playing the piano" and last but not the least, all of us Islanders' favourite "keep calm and..." were concerned, conciliatory burps that formed an important percentage of the atmospheric composition in the (smart) building.
But one cannot deny the exposure one receives here! Exposure to rotten human nature, horrible coffee, overwhelming sense of hierarchy, pointless repetitive tasks, confused acronyms and other big and small things that make up the anus of global capitalism. Now some of you may find use of this rather crude anatomical metaphor in bad taste (anus and taste too are not great combination to use but I am trying to represent the very pulse of private multinational global enterprise that does it's fair share of lobbying/**s licking and may well be the best one I presently have at my disposal).
So there I was finally "in the real world"...in some bumhole, learning from experiences and trying not to get shit over myself.

"Let's keep it simple" if effectively asserted on a team of designers for clients, ones with loads of money, inversely proportional attention span and an even shorter patience to engage. This often asserts an overall retarding influence on projects. For readers not from my field to comprehend this retardant quality, imagine a city, say imagine Venice with all its history, contradictions, complexity, multiple ownership, tenancies and everything else that constitutes a rich dense juicy urban space with promises of equally enriching experiences...never mind this is already getting too complicated and I personally have no idea or patience on how to salvage that sentence, so forget all that, let's keep it simple...And that is how this truly gem of a phrase can be unleashed (!) to tactically assert pointless ill informed authority and transform all reason to resemble a shriveled penis. Now some readers may for a second time take offense at my surprisingly placed word of inappropriate anatomical metaphor but believe me I am not trying to play a Guerrilla Warfare of Inappropriate Anatomical Metaphors (or G.W.I.A.M. as my company would call it within 3 days of its discovery, with its dedicated team in a dedicated department run by a dedicated cheerful fellow photographed against a umber brown background in compliance with graphic standards dedicated for that specific department).

"Let's take a step back and play a game!" if said with enthusiasm of a 10 year old that has just seen a giant ice cream van distributing free ice cream, has the super power to influence entire swathes of suburban deprived communities (demographic make up: NIMBYs, Luddites and Plebs) in giving up their rights to properties and paving way to greater common good of men, women, children, migrants, refugees and elves. Now to be asking a 70 something to pick a card from a deck, representing his/her home crumple it into a ball and fling it far away, or asking a single mother to throw a dice and comically jump around on a small map of Bullwinkleshire, or ask an unemployed homeless youth to simply leave, all can sound physically demanding but it does soften the bludgeoning of redevelopment and turns it all into a comedy fest that professionals and victims alike can look back on and smile with nostalgia of those good old times with funny characters! ("character" said in manner of a UKIP voter describing Nigel Farage) And to conclude these festivities with a planner in robotic voice giving necessary disclaimers and conditions for a gentle CPO (compulsory purchase order) nudge always contributes a textural richness of a well wrinkled nut-sac. Now this is the third time some of my sensitive, readers may find my comparison of community participation process to a scrotum, an inappropriately ballsy decision, but here too I ask for patience and sincere apologies as never before have we witnessed such promise of fertile change that will transform lives from suspiciously limp organs of design initiative and goodwill for all mankind. Believe me I am not "writing you in my balls" ( it's a Greek phrase that is frequently used in serious formal conversations, eg EU negotiations, though in this context I would specifically advise the reader not to combine the image of a wrinkled scrotum and Wolfgang Schäuble as that may derail the point of this paragraph)

"I will get him, to get her, to get him to, to get him to do it" can be an excruciatingly long phrase depending on the number of hierarchical links all the way down to the last minion, but if delivered and executed with precision can allow for entertaining the idea of one contributing useful work and playfully back pat the team for WE having done a great job. This if done with right amount of positive social initiatives and enthusiasm bordering on orgasm can successfully camouflage the obvious relationship of the author of such a statement being a harmless looking hairy mole like tumour outgrowth that sticks around and in some instances may even provide comical relief but is difficult to determine its true purpose in your life. Now yet again (fourth time!) my politically correct liberal right leaning readers may find this metaphor of a hairy mole/wart tumour like outgrowth unwise as it asserts negative connotations towards the handicap or appearance of a hairy mole wart tumour like outgrowth but I have to point out that such a combination of hair, mole, wart, tumour, comic relief and uselessness is naturally impossible to exist given that not only have I invented a whole new anatomical condition but also embedded it with qualities of comic relief and uselessness. In retrospect my point of such a condition really existing may get defeated if the reader brings up Jeroen Dijsselbloem.

"Ok lets be practical" or "but who is going to pay for it" or "financial feasibility" are all multiple avatars of one unreasonable idea that is to be presented as a scientific process that employs the power of cutting edge analysis, prevalent market cases, projected growth....and a small white elephant in the room the developer's profit. This small white elephant in the room can vary between 25 to 150% profit off the total cost of the project which is A Given (pronounced Uggh-even), or also known as the Supreme Force or numerous other abstract terms of Divinity that make any questions raised to challenge this number an aberrational blasphemy. This concoction of mysticism, cutting edge science and one cuddly Dumbo contains within it the sublimity of well rounded flatulence that skillfully balances the sweet and sour notes, journeying its audience through feelings of despair, intrigue and pleasure. Now once again (fifth but hopefully the last time) a well intentioned, free market, go-getting, reader may point to my comparison of the field of financial feasibility and market assessment to...fart...yes I say it again...a fart not completely appropriate, but I have to point that l no longer have any apt anatomical metaphors remaining and have had to transcend this to a whole new anthropological platform of small day to day activities that connect humans and form the matrix of civilization. Similar to the way we in London are held together striving for day to day existence by the farts of George Gideon Oliver Osborne, son of 17th baronet Peter Osborne and Felicity Alexandra Loxton-Peacock, who clearly is a self made hardworking striver with a BA degree in History.

"Good Jaab" can sound bit of a cliche given the generosity and how generally it gets used, right from expressing gratitude to someone being able to bring coffee without spilling it to instances where someone averts a global disaster of epic proportions, but yet if done with a sense of earnestness one could use "good jaab" as a potent replacement to employee raises, increments, bonuses or anything involving really doing anything more than exclaiming "good jaab". By now the handful few readers who survived this read through inappropriate metaphors of anus, penis, balls, hairy moles and farts of the field of design within corporate environments and are hopeful that all this is going somewhere or you deserve something useful for your time, patience, energy then I promise not to let you down...here...Good Jaab!!

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Europan 13

My second attempt at Europan. 
This work was for Europan 13, done in collaboration with Koen Schaballie.
The site was Libramont in Belgium.
The results were announced yesterday with a jury report for our site stating "Initially, examination of the projects did not give rise to any enthusiasm from the jury members.After reflection, it seemed that the underwhelming quality of the proposals revealed the difficulty in meeting the requirements of the programme. The members of the jury indeed deemed the requirements to be too restrictive as regards the required density of the site, leading to the authors of the various projects having to accomplish a task akin to “squaring the circle”."
Leading to the Jury members selecting no winners, no runner ups but a special mention for a project that deviated from the brief.
Despite not winning, I am extremely happy and proud of the work a 2 member team working efficiently and closely over a span of 6 weeks was able to produce.







Sunday, September 28, 2014

Soft Opening





Couple of weeks back we had a soft opening of a second restaurant designed by me. This being a" soft opening" is a trial run for the restaurant team to test the menu and get valuable feedback on the interiors. The bar and additional feature lighting is still yet to come, but budgetary constraints can very often give rise to interesting phasing strategies!
If you are around West Hampstead on West End Lane, then do drop by in Toomai (Pan Asian Restaurant) and feel free to drop me a feedback of what you think.

All photos courtesy of Sachin Mulane.

I will be posting my own photos and drawings made for the project as soon as the restaurant is completely finished.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014