Nikita Chellani currently works as a junior interior designer at the Draw Link Group’s Dubai office. Her first experience with the world of design was an internship at WA International in the summer of 2009 while still in high school. “At the age of 16, I knew that I had a passion for design and I wanted to pursue it further,” starts Chellani.
Her first job was a six-month internship with Interior Impressions back in Mumbai as a part of the university programme. “Working in close contact with the designer was a great opportunity to learn directly from her.”
This experience helped her build confidence, giving her a necessary boost for what was to come – the refurbishment of the Kempinski Hotel, Mall of the Emirates.
“Having just graduated from college a month before, I was put on to a fast-moving project based directly on site, where every new obstacle required an immediate solution to complete the targets set up for each day. This meant that any decisions I made were being implemented in the real world, which was a different challenge from just creating fancy concepts on a screen,” says Chellani who is now working on two residential projects, Rosemont Hotel and Apartments Dubai, Al Furjan Hotel Dubai, Xiamen office in China and a five-star hotel in Deira.
For her, it is crucial to bring in the sense of the region and locale within the spaces she creates. “I believe it is important to do so because that is what will bring a recognition of the culture to your project. Sometimes it might just be a subtle play of texture and use of material that can bring the same magic,” she says.
When it comes to design influences, Chellani anticipates that technology will continue to play an even bigger role in the future. “People are focusing on being more minimalistic with their designs but trying to give their consumer the best possible experience, which is the right profile for a technology-based solution,” she says.
She also feels there is a movement away from being more formal in design to a more artistic and informal essence.
“People all over the world are starting to appreciate the spirit of raw art such as graffiti, murals and street art, to give some examples, all of which I love, as I feel they bring warmth and a personal touch to any atmosphere. The coexistence of technology and creativity will be an intriguing collaboration, one which I am looking forward to being a part of,” concludes Chellani.