The Sindhian

Ar. Sandeep Nagpal Interview

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Alchemy Design Studio is a Mumbai based research oriented and design-centric interior and architecture firm spearheaded by Ar. Sandeep Nagpal

Transforming spaces from drab to fab is an art that needs the right education and experience and this is what Sandeep Nagpal does as proprietor of his architecture firm, Alchemy Design Studio.

“Since early childhood days until mid-school, I always liked to channelize my energy into extracurricular activities. Somewhere that chain got broken when I let the pressure of excelling academically take over my life. Even though that was going well for me and I got admitted into computer engineering at a college of my choice, I knew I had lost that curious and playful spirit of mine.”

However recognizing that his true calling was elsewhere, Sandeep took a leap of faith and chose to enroll himself into an architecture program at The IES’ College of Architecture and followed it with a Master’s program at SUNY Buffalo. “After 7 years of rigorous architectural education and 3 years of professional practice at various architectural firms, the last one being one of the biggest ones in New York city, I headed in a direction which I had ruled out from a very young age. I decided to join the construction wing of my family business since that has a symbiotic relation with architecture. However, consciously or subconsciously I found myself constantly inclining towards design.”

The turning point came when he was designing a health food cafe called Fellas, which he jointly operated with his cousins. “This was the first concrete step in an allied field, which was that of interior designing and I decided to take the plunge and build a team under the label Alchemy Design Studio.”

The word Alchemy stems from a branch of science via which base metals were turned into gold owing to the chemical procedures they underwent. “Similarly, when it comes to our studio, our design skills and methodology are the equivalent of those chemical procedures, which help up-cycle materials from their native or raw form into a surreal product.” Apart from their own office, Alchemy Design Studio some other projects designed by the firm include Sindhi restaurant in Mumbai, Farmers’ Café, Fellas Cafe and a home-run jewelry Studio, Midas Jewels.

Sandeep is inspired by the sum of all the experiences, people, and spaces he is surrounded with. “In the design world, Nari Gandhi, Peter Zumthor and Frank Gehry have definitely left an impression.” In his free time fitness and travel are his top activities. “If you have a curious mind and a restless soul, you could look at multiple avenues to channelize your creativity and pick up skills. There’s only one lifetime after all.”

This story first appeared in The Sindhian Jan-Mar 2019 here: Sandeep Nagpal

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