Abir Pothi presents Room For More Art — a series of features on interior designers across geographic boundaries, discussing with them the nuances of their profession, their methods of sourcing and projecting art into their work, the challenges they face, and a whole lot more perspective.
‘Art is a connecting element between spaces to achieve unity, balance and rhythm’: Sonu Varghese
The principal architect of the firm Mirror Window, Sonu Varghese has been part of a team working out of Central Kerala for the last seven years now, after he graduated from the B.Arch programme at, GEC Thrissur in 2014. They have been executing mainly residential projects, which include planning, renovations, interior modulations and landscaping. With 20 residential projects and a few commercial projects in the bag, they also have an incubation project for young architects called ‘Turning Lane’.
Nature and art are indelible facets of work for Varghese and team. The habitat where they work predominantly has a tropical climate, so they often try to incorporate the landscape into exterior as well as interior work. But as far as incorporation of art goes, Varghese does not believe in simply adding it into void spaces without forethought. He says they design and plan an entire project keeping art in mind and feel any artwork — be it painting, sculpture or more — adds character to an overall space.
While situations like renovations do not always give one all the freedom to pre-decide artistic factors, art can also be included into space designs based on what is emerging. There are multiple ways to do so, like merging art with the design, or then looking at something that stands out as a focal point of attraction. Varghese says art should be unique and not repetitive, so for most projects he prefers to opt for custom designs, hiring artisans and giving them a rough idea of what is needed. With freedom of output, they come out with magic, he professes, and adds that while there is no problem buying artwork after the design stage, one should just be mindful that it vibes with the final output. He also insists that character of the one who uses the space is very important to choosing the art, as some may be interested in minimalism or abstraction, while others may prefer a certain kind of flamboyance.
Some samples of his work: