Ar. Manish Gulati, Principal Architect, MOFA

Ar. Manish Gulati

"There is no single written philosophy to M:OFA but it is an open ended, constantly evolving work in progress, guided by a vision that drives it to excel in whatever it does."

Manish Gulati, Principal Architect for Manifestation of Fluid Architecture (M:OFA), has graduated from CEPT, Ahmedabad in 1999. After three years of work experience in Retail, Exhibition and Event Design, he set up his Architectural and Interior Design practice in 2002 in New Delhi along with his wife as a partner, Tanushree Gulati, a civil engineer and alumnae of the same institution.

The name M:OFA was formalized in 2007 as the practice expanded to include Urbanism within its expertise. Starting from a pure architectural practice, today, the firm is dealing with projects of infrastructure, urban design, environmental planning, product design and even interaction design through multiple analysis, strategies and systems all designed to give the best design solution to every project.

Under the stewardship of Ar. Manish, who is an explorer and a keen observer, M:OFA works with an underlying goal of excellence and innovation. Conceptual thinking, art, technology, innovation and creativity are few of his inherent qualities which keep him driving. Crafts, sustainability, planning, infrastructure, indigenous practices/systems, technology and its application are some of the influences that the Think Tank tries to integrate in design and research.

Apart from having a scientific bent of mind, Ar. Manish was always extremely good with fine arts. His childhood is dotted with days filled with all things creative. Intuitively, he was already on this path and it came together to him as a realization in high school when he understood what Architects actually do. "I knew that this felt more right than anything else I had ever known."

He says, "What still keeps me going on is that as a Designer, by giving enough thought to my research and creativity I feel I can make a difference. It is one the fields where I have always felt that we as professionals can accomplish anything, with our knowledge and interest in almost everything around us. To me, design is everything and solution to any problem in the world can be achieved through good design. It is this drive, that inspires all of us working with M:OFA to accomplish something new through innovation every day."

"Having named the practice 'Manifestation of Fluid Architecture', it was always clear that there would be no single written philosophy to the practice but it will be an open ended, constantly evolving work in progress, practice that would be always guided by a vision that drives us to excel in whatever we do," added Ar. Manish.

Talking about the inspirations he gets for his projects, he explains, "When you observe the world around you; its hues, textures, psyches, people, diversity, landscape, all become a part of a collective consciousness. The next stage is abstraction or flowing....everything excites me, energizes me and I am forever willing to learn not scared of walking of unknown paths.....observation, intuition, and this sense of exploration is perhaps what led to many a unknown paths and projects... Also our own aspirations play a very important part in all this. We are a very driven firm; we look at design intrinsically and push ourselves and others to think out of the box. Collaborate, Innovate."

Ar. Manish is completely agreed with the statement often said that Architect and Architecture are greatly influenced by the context and their biographies. "Architecture is going back to its basics....people...all styles, technology, trends and movements are receding in the background somewhere as mere tools as they always ought to have been.....Across the world people are embracing their individual context. Be it Australia, Asia, Africa, indigenous practices and languages are coming up across the world mixing with technology, people, issues....It is a very creative time to be practicing Design...."

He informed that various design faculties, along with professional from various fields be it, scientists, economists, and engineers, are all collaborating with architects to provide better solutions to the world every day. "It is this modern renaissance that we feel very lucky to be a part of where the design sparks all around us are creating these grand symphonies that we are enjoying constantly while working on them simultaneously. Understanding our own roots, context, economies, need of the hour and a very sincere desire to be a part of and contribute towards change, we at our end are exploring and understanding from our own context and evolve indigenous architectural and design expression + solutions."

Ar. Manish shows willingness to work on such projects which make him think, relook, and redefine the basics. He feels that if one changes the smallest cell then everything around it gets changed. To know, understand and experience Architecture as a whole there is no categorization in the type of projects, everything is design whether it is the design of a city or a single dustbin within it, they both need to function efficiently, simultaneously through the virtue of their design. Hence he suggests all to keep learning and absorbing more from everything around while constantly evolving design, not as a subject to discuss over cups of tea but as an everyday practices frequently as breathing the air out and in.

For him, Mantras of a successful life are "never quit in the face of adversity, courage to take risks, immense passion and perseverance to keep walking the path, come what may. Walk alone, walk against the tide, against conformity and cliché's but walk for what you believe in....everyday. Being a strong non-conformists it helps him to question his own notions keeping the thoughts and the mind fluid constantly."

Ar. Manish believes that the present, always is constantly it is still unraveling...keeps forming newer impressions and experiences every day. It's extremely important being a designer to start afresh every day as becoming static and appreciating one experience would lead to getting trapped in it preventing from moving beyond and further.

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