“Serene and peaceful with always a drop of serious playfulness,” is how French-Canadian architect Dominic Dube describes his work. There’s a beguiling simplicity in this response to our questions, simplicity that is based on deep philosophical thoughts. For instance, he knew “it was all about manifestation” when he started his practice. His love for architecture itself has sprung from pleasant childhood pursuits: designing and constructing furniture in the backyard of his home; dismantling his 10-speed bicycle to re-paint it the way he wanted; sketching the dogs on his father’s native island…
While formal education is represented by a degree in architecture at Laval University School of Architecture, Quebec, Canada, Dube’s sensibilities are informed by a multitude of things: mainly, people, moments, culture, art, and travel. In fact, the last is how he made India his home, first in Ahmedabad (1993), then in Auroville (1996), and now in Bengaluru (2003), from where he runs award-winning DDIR Architecture Studio along with Inge Reick. The studio’s vision is the integration of architecture and design with art (nature), technology (structure), life (light) and culture (spirit).
“I’ve come to architecture now,” says Dube about his journey, “earlier it was only homes for close family members. There was, I remember, the reshaping of a cemetery where I designed a beautiful Christian chapel and re-did my family cemetery… Small but of great consequence to me as these are very important subjects to reflect upon, almost philosophical — which are seen even now in my thinking process,” reveals the architect who seeks equilibrium in everything. In addition to architecture, Dube and his team are parallely working on international competitions, which have always been “a great force” for the prolific architect.
While the nature of his practice may have changed, the attitude with which it is run remains the same. “What I realised through passion is the way I have integrated art and culture into all design processes and for always a greater accomplishment…,” says the architect who pinpoints travel as the root for his philosophy. “I have once said how it is important to become the place you live in, and to live in many places is always a plus to one’s philosophy,” says the design-practitioner who feels one can’t make mistakes as long as one travels and is genuine. Though Dube is not clear about how his practice will contribute to a better design environment, he hopes for one thing: “The path I am walking on and the research I am doing is about manifesting world peace. I hope with this attitude it can contribute to something…”

Looking Back

Among the many projects Dube has designed, his last project, the Hyde Park Library in London, has been memorable. Another project is the Christian chapel he designed while reshaping a cemetery. Both these projects are “rich”, often referred to philosophically.

Looking forward

Dube looks forward to Ephemere, a journey (in the form of an artistic book) through the last ten international architecture competitions undertaken at his office, revolving around how the absence of materials is reaching “The Divinity of Space… Like Space for The Grace…,” says the architect.

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