Rooshad Shroff© HelloIndia

HELLO! 100 Most Influential: Rooshad Shroff

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Jeena J Billimoria

Why he matters: This award-winning designer, currently at the peak of his career, has been the brains and executor behind a massive number of projects across the globe, his keen eye earning him praise both in India and overseas. We decode one of the most celebrated names in the design circuit today.

It was only natural that Mumbai native Rooshad Shroff would step into the world of interiors. After all, he comes from a family of architects and designers. It’s in his blood!

Armed with an undergraduate degree in architecture from Cornell University and a master’s from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, Shroff honed his skills at the famed Zaha Hadid Architects in London and REX + OMA in New York, returning to Mumbai in 2011 to set up his private practice.

“What you bring away when you’ve trained under the likes of Zaha Hadid are the rigours of working, an attitude of constant investigation and multiple iterations,” he says. “She looked at designs through all scales and didn’t focus solely on architecture. It’s what I try to emulate within my practice.”

Celebrating Indian Artisanry

Covering all aspects of the design spectrum, from architecture to interiors and bespoke furniture, his studio has carved out a niche for itself based on the philosophy of integrated design, with a special focus on artisanry and high-end luxury.

“As an architect, you’re trained to ideate and create environments, as a result of which you cultivate a constant awareness of your surroundings,” says Shroff.

For him, exploring the gamut of design is just one half of the job, the other being an acute awareness that extends to every sensory experience of a space. Keen to preserve, renew and raise demand for Indian craft, he explores new ways to integrate it in his projects.

Collaborating with artisans from Jaipur for marble carving, Delhi for woodwork, and Mumbai and Lucknow for embroidery, he meshes them with a modern aesthetic.

“We work with artisans to push the boundaries of techniques and processes, allowing them to experiment to create new pieces. The essence of workmanship isn’t tampered with, but it has to adapt to evolving aesthetics to survive,” he elaborates.

Creativity At Its Finest

Since 2013, Shroff’s firm has showcased its work at several prestigious exhibitions in the country, like India Design and the Raw Collaborative, and at London Craft Week and Ambiente (both in 2019) on foreign shores. He’s also undertaken a solo exhibition at Mumbai’s famed art gallery and auction house, Pundole’s, while his studio forayed into the design field of visual merchandising, having been commissioned exclusively by the luxury powerhouse, Hermès, to enhance their boutique window displays in Mumbai and Delhi.

Earlier this year, he was one of the creative minds behind the wondrous inaugural exhibits at the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre. While costume expert and author Hamish Bowles curated ‘India in Fashion,’Shroff was the associate designer on the project along with Patrick Kinmonth.

If honest beauty is what you seek in a space, Shroff is the man who will deliver with certainty. His very own office at the prestigious Horniman Circle is a clear reflection of his vast talent and penchant for beauty, and is something to behold.

Cover Photo courtesy: Pankaj Anand

To see who else is on the list, grab the copy of HELLO! India’s August 2023 issue right here!