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My Experience at NMA as an Interior Architect

Sugandhi Mehrotra


With Architecture and Interior Design being a well-defined profession, it was difficult for me to establish myself at a threshold where I felt myself equally split between the two not because of my educational qualification but because of the fact that Interior Architecture as a profession was in the process of defining itself.

Confused by my peers sharing their frustration at being constantly underestimated at work, it felt a little odd in being accepted unconditionally by NMA as a person of value.

It feels different here.

Towards the closure of my learning at college, I’d started to feel myself different from others in terms of perceiving nature and its delicate role of rendering emotional textures on us. But where were I to go with this thinking? How was I supposed to find appropriate ventures to invest myself at the right place with right people? I hadn’t known.

Sitting at NMA for my interview/discussion, scrolling through the project report of IIT, Gandhinagar, a competition won by NMA, I was startled to witness how they’d managed to design for the users, that is, ‘the students’.

Housing without air conditioners in a hot climate region with spaces consciously designed to enhance collaborative learning. In that very moment, I was pulled away to a space where people at NMA crafted spaces responsive to nature and laid emphasis on its emotional thread.

It’s almost been a year now. I feel I’ve become a better thinker.

My engagement with vigorous design exercises in spaces and visuals and involvement in on-site execution has not only been progressive but has also sparked more anxiety to reach where they are so that I can see myself contributing significantly.

I more than appreciate that people at NMA are more like mentors and this is what makes the work environment conducive to learning and self-development. They seek for perfection and enable you seek it with them.

Their design approach has resided in my mind like a plant, such that if I bloomed, a part of my roots would always savour their thinking and working patterns.