Manish Gulati says that forms have inspired him since childhood. Analysing, reinterpreting and rebuilding those forms became his passion. During his travels, he absorbed as much as he could and shaping the cities of tomorrow became his goal at a very early age.
He graduated from School of Architecture, CEPT in Ahmedabad, and commends the institution saying that, “the education system at CEPT focuses not just on architecture but also on multiple fields of art and sciences and also on the overall growth of every student.” He feels that the experience at CEPT encouraged him to freely explore his style and developed his keenness to infuse architecture with all the knowledge he acquired from other fields like graphics and event management.
Designing and planning events and exhibitions spurred him to fine tune his unique creative style. This was further reinforced by the practical knowledge he acquired while working for an event and exhibition design firm. Manish feels that his exposure to multiple mediums, exhibitions and conferences has enriched his perspective. He also learnt valuable lessons in project management .
Manish started practising architecture in 2002, based in New Delhi. Out of the box lateral thinking and conceptually enriched solutions to every design issue, has been his approach towards architecture and design. M:OFA Studios was formed in 2007, with a global vision in architecture, urban planning and landscaping.
Previously known by the name of Studio GSA, M:OFA – Manifestations of Fluid Architecture, is a firm where architectural realms are redefined beyond the rules of regularised grids, dimensions and principles. Architecture in this context becomes a more fluid expression continuously throbbing with life. Here the walls bend, column grids twist and the floors rise up and fall responding to ever changing energy fields created by the life form it houses.
Architectural box melts into a fluid, leaving a void to adjust the continuous paradoxes of the modern lifestyle. Manish states that, “at M:OFA, architecture is treated not just as a beautiful inhabitable space that fulfills the mundane needs of day-to-day functions, but as a living medium that changes, adapts itself and responds to every change around it.”
Manish feels that the architectural medium is a storehouse of energy where the energy resources are conserved and recycled to sustain itself.
M:OFA has a dedicated team of highly qualified, trained and determined architects and planners. The vision of the company, religiously followed and endorsed by the team members, is to have a holistic approach to every project.
Asked about some of the interesting projects executed by him, Manish says that there are plenty and that every project is unique, each one more interesting than the other.
“I don’t ever repeat a design. Unless a design is unique with its own strengths, I don’t consider it a worthwhile project.”
M:OFA has many great projects in its portfolio. Institutional, recreational, residential and other infrastructural projects have been executed to perfection and comprehensive architectural services handled with ease. Tony and Guy Salon in Gurgaon, ITM School of business at Gwalior, NIFT Kangra in Himachal Pradesh, Amphitheater 3000 in Gwalior— are a few well-known ones.
“Indians have always had a great design sense, which is still evident in traditional arts and crafts in unspoilt form in various pockets of India.”
Manish points out that architecture in India is changing rapidly with a lot of young designers wanting to experiment, at the same time understanding their professional responsibilities. In his opinion, “architecture is no longer restricted to brick and mortar and various forms of art and sciences have exerted their influence, making it a lively, interactive thing.” He further states that architecture gets affected by the changing socio-cultural environment, becoming a part of it.
Unfortunately, two centuries of colonial rule drained out our original art and India went through its dark ages. Design in India became heavily influenced by the West, without understanding the context in totality.
Design principles replicated in shallow form mixed with patterns of the past has resulted in this strange architecture that is alien and confusing, and visible in most of our cities.
Manish Gulati has his sights set on becoming a part of the global map of design.
His outstanding body of work in the field of architecture and design, holistic approach, unique and fluid designs honed to perfection and professionalism sets him apart from the crowd.