Nupur Gupta and Anupama Dalmia co-founded Alchemy, a studio offering full range of interior architecture and design services, almost 15 years ago. Gupta and Dalmia talked to Guardian 20 about their journey in the industry and their design philosophy.
Q. Alchemy represents one of the most rarefied and lofty partnerships in the design arena in India. Today you have completed 15 years of Alchemy. In a nutshell share with us the journey.
A. Time has wings and it’s true for us. A journey which started at our very own apartment , with baby steps 15 years back has culminated with our store Alchemy, showcasing our creative endeavours. We started with a bit of apprehension combined with oodles of enthusiasm .There on, there was no looking back and soon we were creating grandiose furniture for many a home ,all over the country. When the hub of home decor shifted to Mehrauli ,Gurgaon Road in Delhi, so did we in 2012. Now at the CRC Design Centre, we were more established and ready to take on the big step of Consultancy for high end homes .The best part is that designing is an evolving process, there is so much to learn and experiment that each day we start with a new challenge and palette .Our passion and love for all things beautiful makes it an immersive and a stimulating journey full of excitement and fulfillment.
Q. In today’s highly competitive and creative Interiors domain, alchemy stands tall. What have been the lucky elements?
A. Since our inception Alchemy stood for reinvention, a breakaway from the general looks out of a catalogue. I feel what makes Alchemy unique, is the design ethos behind the brand. We stand for hand crafted luxury. In this age of globalisation where the world is at your fingertips, we believe that being indigenous brings out the best from the past, enhances our present and preserves the future. Our design style has been always contemporary and modern but the inspiration is Indian. Traditional crafts have been used liberally to create bespoke and iconic collections.
Q. How has the Indian palette evolved in the past two decades?
A. The last two decades have been revolutionising in the space of interior and furniture design in India. Where a local carpenter would initially suggest and make our furniture which had a colonial hangover, we have come a long way indeed. Global exposure and influences through the Internet , social media and travel have made the world a village . Design sensibilities have grown from local to global. We are now not only privy to the best but can afford the very luxurious and high-end pieces too, due to economic liberalisation and growth of Indian consumer class. Homes reflect a lot about an individual and family… A new Indian home could stand tall amongst its contemporaries in any part of the world.
Q. You are involved with an NGO founded by you and Anupama. Share about your work?
A. We believe we are the change we seek . Just as we have learnt and honed our skills, as we got opportunities, we believe that every child in our country should be enabled with education so as to realise their full potential and dreams. In tune with this vision we have started an NGO “Seekho Sikhao” where the ethos of mutual teachings and learnings empower government schools and teachers to enable holistic development of underprivileged children in rural villages of Uttar Pradesh. The eagerness of the children to learn and hope with confidence with which they look towards us, is a constant motivation for us.
Q. How do you both adeptly and adroitly manage to execute work life balance with grace and ease?
A. “Talent wins games , but teamwork and intelligence win championships”- Anonymous. The above quote very advertently sums up our mantra for success .Passion to achieve the very best have helped us achieve our goal. But for us too the balancing act has been difficult at times but resilience and support from the people around us has made us pull it through. We trust each other implicitly and work on each other’s strength without feeling threatened .Being childhood friends also help our relationship to stay bonded and connected.