Architect Rooshad Shroff set up his eponymous design practice in 2011, after working with Zaha Hadid Architects on diverse projects, such as the Dubai Opera, a seven-tower residential complex at Farrer Court (Singapore), and the Zoerkler Tower in Vienna (Austria). Notwithstanding his education and professional experience as an architect, Shroff has been always interested in design across segments — interiors to product design, landscape design to visual merchandising. Rooshad Shroff (the practice), while remaining dedicated to the realisation of interiors and buildings, also operates in areas beyond the traditional boundaries of architecture, including furniture, product, fashion and graphic design.
One of the earliest projects Shroff handled was as a local architect for luxury shoe brand, Christian Louboutin. It taught him important lessons in luxury design — and also paved the way for a niche specialisation. Subsequently, he worked on the luxury giant’s Bangkok store as design architect, where his love for craftsmanship was evident in the yantra tattoos embroidered on leather, which are part of the decor. “The practice is very interested in handmade, artisanal work. It is quite a key aspect of our work, as these crafts contribute to the bespoke quality that we strive for. We also believe in problem-solving, and our approach is process-oriented — never mind the outcome. It’s what I would tell my fellow designers, too. There’s nothing wrong in making happy mistakes,” says the young achiever, who has received an undergraduate degree in architecture from Cornell University, and obtained Master’s in Architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. When asked about how he sees his practice contributing to a better design environment in the country, Shroff is characteristically modest. “I don’t know about impacting the country, but I do think that recognising and engaging with local artisans add a level of sophistication to our projects. Most importantly, gives them a unique Indian identity.”

Looking Back

The practice is too young to have path-changing projects, says Shroff, but Christian Louboutin is a milestone, because it marked the studio’s foray into luxury retail design. It educated him on the finer details connected with the luxury niche, and also marked his studio’s entry into this specialised segment.

Looking forward

There are a couple of projects currently under way that represent significant scale shift for the practice, from 2,000sq-ft to 25,000sq-ft in size. One is an interior design project for the Phoenix Group in Bengaluru, while the others are landscape assignments for a few Mumbai-based realtors.

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