Architect Brijesh Shaijal began his career at Sanjay Puri Architects, following which he set up Briijesh Shaijal Architects (BSA) in his hometown, Manjeri, in the Malappuram district of Kerala, in 2005. A decade of practice, scores of projects and numerous accolades later, BSA evolved into Design Art & Culture, branching out into Calicut district. “DAC emphasises design practices that deviate from the norm and has carved a niche in the fields of architecture, interior design and urban design. The firm has done pioneering work, recognised for retaining authentic heritage augmented with contemporary models in architecture,” says the B. Arch from BLDEA’s Dr PG Halakatti college of Engg. & Tech, Bijapur. The vision was to preserve traditional art forms and cultural ethos by blending them with modern principles.
Shaijal started off with mostly residential projects, and gradually moved towards commercial ones. Lately at DAC, they have been stepping out into the realm of urban design and public projects — such as the Karaparamba School, a government project. The evolution in terms of projects is the result of a change in design philosophy and marks a shift towards architecture that empowers social change. “What has become increasingly important to the practice is contextuality, inclusivity and building for social change, which is why we branched out into public projects,” says the architect, a firm believer in the phrase ‘quality over quantity’. The firm would also like to create a sense of ownership of public spaces, by designing projects that resonate with the social context — which, they believe, will contribute to a better design environment.
DAC is currently working on projects in Oman and other countries. “We think that making connections and sustaining them within the architect fraternity will complement the kind of design practices we indulge in respectively, by opening up doors to mutually benefitting collaborations,” says Shaijal. The staunch supporter of global networking within the architecture fraternity also feels that every designer should set a value to their work and make sure they get the right remuneration for it. “Too often, architects who are just starting up tend to forego remuneration in order to get more work,” he rues, “but according to my opinion, it is a cycle that will be very hard to break out of.”

Looking Back

Different projects have impacted the practice in different ways. Uber-luxurious residential projects like the Hidden House, Calicut; and the smaller, but just as luxurious Kiora Amorez jewellery, Calicut; or the Clarus Jewellery in Perinthalmanna have made a difference in the scale of projects the firm works with.

Looking forward

Shaijal and his team are quite excited about the Karaparambu School project, being one of the first major public projects the firm has taken up, and one they are immensely proud of.

 

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