Archi Talk with ARSHAD FARUQUI

What did you want to become when you are a child? What motivated you to become an architect?
Always wanted to be in a creative field, it was either advertising or architecture. But I was always inclined towards architecture. Arch. Habib Fida Ali (late) was a big inspiration for me I and always admired his work. I was fortunate enough that my first and only job as an architect was with him.

What is one memory you have from childhood?
Playing with Lego, Building houses and different forms with it.

What kind of projects were you doing when you first started as an architect?
My interest has always been towards residential projects. Although I worked on mostly institutional buildings when I was working for Arch. Habib Fida Ali (late), But when I started my own practice, I am mostly doing residences. For the past few years, I have started working on office interiors and landscaping as well.

What was your favorite project and what did you do to make a success?
It was one of the first projects I did when I started my firm Copper and Steel. It was an extension of an existing house, which was designed by Habib sb.
The success was the collaboration and understanding with my client. As it is very important to do any successful project. We made a great team as, we shared and discussed ideas about materials, finishes and other details. After few years, he moved out from his portion and his brother took over this space. He asked me to redo the portion. It was fun to revisit the project after many years and do it all over again. The collaboration with the new client was very exciting.

How many projects can you expect to be working at once?
I have a very small practice, and prefer not to take on more than 10 projects at a time.

What style architecture do you love most?
I prefer simple, straight line, uncluttered and timeless architecture. I prefer creating spaces and experiences.

Are you enjoying your profession? If yes then why?
One has to enjoy what they are doing. I like multitasking and enjoy working on different ventures. I am practicing architecture, interiors and landscaping. I am also involved in teaching, working with copper crafts, designing fountains and furniture.
We also have a small publishing house with Photographer Amean J. We have so far published 4 books and are currently working on 5th. I curate and participate in exhibitions, and I am a founder member of Pakistan Crafts Council, Black Olive Publication and Pursukoon Karachi.

What’s the best thing about your life right now?
Without any doubt, my family.

What is the one thing that you are proud of?
Copper and Steel and the freedom I have to involve in other ventures.

What is your message for young Architects?
Follow your dreams and never stop learning & exploring. Life is full of surprises.

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