Be Fearless and Rooted in Peace - Architect Maitreyi De, Infinite Creations
Maitreyi De is an Architect and Interior Designer, who loves to draw inspiration from nature and be in sync with it. She works with her husband and business partner, Ar. Arunava Maji, on projects of varying scale. She is of the opinion that one should "remain grateful for varied experiences and respectful towards differences".
1.What is the meaning of your name "Maitreyi" ?
The word “Maitreyi” literally means “one who befriends”. The name is associated with the philosopher wife of Rishi Yagnyavalka of Vedic Era.
2. Please share your education journey with our audience.
My father had a transferrable job with the Central Government and I have studied in 7 schools throughout my life, the longest stints were at “National Public School”, Indiranagar, Bangalore; where I spent the formative years of my life and thereafter at “Carmel High School”, Kolkata till Secondary Level and at “Rani Birla Modern High School for Girls”, Kolkata for Higher Secondary Level. I did my Bachelor’s in Architecture from Jadavpur University, Kolkata.
Informal learning has never ended and I believe I am always a student, ever evolving my understanding, a work in progress.
3. When did you decide you wanted to become an architect? Was it a childhood dream or a choice made after Engineering entrance exams?
I loved to make line sketches as a kid, Maths and Geometry were my favourite subjects as a child. Being a single child in a Cosmopolitan environment, I would spend long hours alone observing nature or everything around me...So, I guess the seed was sown in my childhood and slowly grew within with time. After taking up Science in Higher Secondary, it came as a natural choice as Architecture encompasses Art and Science.
4. Which companies did you work for before venturing out with your husband and business partner to start Infinite Creations?
After college I first had the opportunity to work at Sannon Sen and Associates for about a year where I came in touch with Late Architect Ved Sannon who had worked with the legendary Le Corbusier during the planning of Chandigarh.
Thereafter I had the opportunity to work with Architect Dulal Mukherjee who mentored me for about 7 years in a huge range of projects from Commercial, Residential, Institutional to Heritage Structures and also in Pavillion Structures as well as Interior Design. It is an association that I cherish and am grateful forever as it was a great opportunity to watch the Maestro at close quarters and learn from him at every step. The biggest lesson I learnt from him was to never ever give up. Even at a ripe age he still sits at the drawing board making detailed sketches to explain his designs. His awesome presentation skills, his tremendous zeal to learn and his unique design approach ceaselessly inspire many younger generations of Architects.
The name Infinite Creations came to us in 2012 as I began transitioning from a regular job to the Consultancy Sector with small projects. My husband and college classmate Arunava Maji left his job with Agarwal and Agarwal in 2015 August after which we took a small retreat and then began working slowly together from our home office. Currently we have a rented office space at Katjunagar where we operate with our team.
5. Tell us about a few projects of Infinite Creations?
We are working on a range of projects in Architecture as well as Interior Design which are at various stages of Construction, Sanction or Scheme Developement.
Some key Projects are:
Ganesh Singh Estate at Kanglatombi, Imphal
Factory at Guwahati
Resort at Baruipur Uttarbhag
Commercial and Residential Development at Durg, Chattisgarh
Ved Vidyalaya at Imphal
Ved Vidyapeeth at Kolkata
Interiors for Khetan Financial at Eco Centre,Saltlake
Interiors for a few residential apartments
6. What are the usual inputs you seek from your clients for interior design projects of residential or commercial space?
We seek a project brief from the user end to outline their specific requirements from a space. We need to know number of users, various functions to be carried out in each space type.
We try to interact with the users to gauge their mind set and develop the space in an optimal eco friendly way.
We also try our best to provide possible sustainable solutions within budgetary allotment to the particular project.
7. What is your source of all the creative ideas for all your different projects as all clients usually want unique designs? So how does one practice creative thinking?
Every client has unique needs which vary greatly and we try our best to understand and comply with these space needs of every user. We try to optimise the space usage and finishes suggested vary as per the budgetary limitations of a client.
“Necessity is the Mother of Invention” and we would like to add on the word innovation to this oft repeated adage. With every project we are continually working to evolve our design capacity to the next level, it is a continuous and ongoing endless process. Creative thinking is to remain open to different possibilities and then select the optimum one. One has to accept that there is always scope for improvement.
8. You have been a member of Glad2baWoman Business Community. How has been the experience?
Glad2baWoman Business Community has truly been a God Send for me. It is a wonderful motivational platform and its concept of “Together we grow 15 to 50” is completely in sync with what I have been taught by various teachers throughout life.
It has given already given me some referral business in this short time frame of a few months. We have been receiving quite a few queries online too which have not yet converted but are a boost to our confidence. The mentorship efforts of Sundeep Tibrewal is truly commendable. The support of fellow members is an unwavering source of sustenance and growth of this Community and the camaraderie developed is an added bonus.
The social media online platform provided by this community is a greatly effective tool to reach out to a wide audience and also gives us a scope to express and share our perspectives from time to time through interesting articles as well.
9. What does women empowerment mean to you?
Women empowerment to me means to be fearless, rooted in peace within and work in the world to best of one’s abilities without being affected by accolades or failures...to be able to take the challenges in one’s stride and remain grateful for varied experiences and respectful towards differences.
10. You must be multi-tasking home and work responsibilities like most working women. So how do you unwind from all the stress?
I love listening to soothing instrumental music. I practice surrender and gratitude through every breath to centre myself. I love to pause and take a walk, simply look at the sky or nature. These come for free but are priceless as they have immense healing powers if you can connect.
I love to read and watch humourous stuff...I am an avid fan of Shibram Chakroborty, Narayan Gangopadhyay,Sanjeeb Chattopadhyay,Nabaneeta Deb Sen...I also love reading works of “Jerome.K.Jerome” and watching “Charlie Chaplin” movies.
11. Three unchecked items from your wish list?
To work professionally to further explore and evolve with cutting edge technology, the various indigenous techniques and materials of construction architecturally and in interior design.
To work towards sustainable living in complete sync with nature in different aspects and levels of human existence.
To express some ideas through writing or other creative ways and transmit hope to those who feel hopeless.
12. How can someone connect with your organization ?
We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Address:3rd Floor, North Side, E/30/2, Katjunagar, Kolkata-700032