Award Winning Architect Krupa Zubin's collectivist approach to design

“At Work” with Designers, by Architects Collective, is a narrative of hope towards a meaningful future for architecture & design. It articulates critical questions concerning the academics and practice of architecture through recognized practitioners in the country. 

When it comes to listing down our favorite industry mentor, a constant on our hallowed list is that of the talented boss lady, Ar. Krupa Zubin. Along with Ar. Zubin Zainuddin, heads ZZ Architects, one of the country’s most acclaimed design practices. ZZ Architects Have Been Reinventing India’s Luxury Design Industry – Currently, this dynamic design studio is working on some very interesting projects all around the country.

We recently got an interesting chance to speak to the architect & interior designer Krupa Zubin to reflect upon her guiding principles as a piece of advice to young designers & share the collectivist approach to her professional practice.

Let’s see what she has to say-

  1. Which project has given you the most satisfaction on completion & any particular reason why?

The fact that we have had the opportunity to diversify our portfolio since the inception of ZZ Architects has broadened our perspective. Every project comes with its pearls and perils. Thus, every project is unique and fresh and the journey from its inception to finish is always satisfying. We do bespoke projects and a client-centric approach is important to us, and seeing the happiness of our clients is the validation and satisfaction for us. We try to imbibe traces of the client’s personality within our design sensibilities to create something unique for each client. 

  1. Tell us about your most demanding interior/architectural work?

We are lucky to have great clientele who have trusted us with their dream projects. I think private homes are a personal journey for every client and are certainly demanding. For both architectural and interiors projects

We enjoy the diversity and the challenges each project brings along :)

  1. How do you “manage” project constraints or creative blocks?

I always take the project constraints as a challenge to constantly evolve and refine. The advantage of having a diversified team of individuals allows me to have a unique perspective. Discussions with my partner, team and clients are the best way to come to new solutions and personalized approaches.

 A good movie, a cup of coffee, travel, and reading always inspire me and fuels my creative need. When it comes to creative blocks a short pause is always helpful.

  1. In your opinion, what are the three most important principles to keep in mind while designing?

Practicality and functionality married with timeless aesthetic and high-end quality. 

That makes it 4 :)

  1. What part of the design process do you enjoy the most?

Each project being unique you can never say what the outcome would be. It’s the process and the journey that matters the most to us. The exchange of ideas and perspectives creates a whole new direction.


  1. How do you add sustainable elements into your design?

Human behaviors are contrived of their perceptible surroundings and we understand our role as a designer in shaping our culture and transforming behaviors. 

Sustainability is a way of life and cannot be applied in fragments. As designers, we have always taken the responsibility of building a better world for our clients through our work. Smart use of technology, using local expertise and craftsmanship, space-sensitive approach to designing, meaningful use of resources and integrating sustainable approaches is a conscious effort in our projects.

  1. Every customer has so many demands & wishes. How do you present your design to your customers to bring them on board?

Our approach is tailor-made, unique, and personalized. I believe in being transparent with clients on their requirements and expectations. I always listen to their needs and empathize with them to understand them better. We are lucky to have clients who trust us completely and we always include them in all the stages of the process.

  1. How did you build confidence in your designs and your own creativity at the start of your career?

ZZArchitects was founded by Zubin Zainuddin and me with the philosophy of letting good design be the sole purpose of being in the field. It has always been important to both of us to be personally involved in everything we do. We are honest sounding boards and critics when it comes to helping each other and the firm stays true to its purpose of being what it is today. 

Each project irrespective of the scale has always been as important and gets all our attention. In the beginning, we designed a staircase for our house which received an award from the prestigious IIID (Indian Institute of Interior Design) that gave us a lot of recognition and media attention. Gradually we got acknowledged and projects started coming in. We enjoy every day at work with our team. :) 

Even today our team believes in the same philosophy, and it helps to work together with a unified approach.

  1. What skill sets are essential for young designers in interior design?
  • Firstly, you need to be passionate about design.
  • Think creatively and be creative.
  • Be observant, apply logic and possibility for what you are trying to materialize. 
  • Hone your skills.
  • Empathize with dreams that people have.
  • Be a good listener.
  • Grow constantly and try to acquire talent.
  • Let tech help you.

  1. What advice do you have for young designers starting their careers?
  • Have faith and believe in yourself.
  • Be open-minded. 
  • There is always something to learn from- diversify, take inspiration.
  • Diversify; take inspiration from cross-industries. 
  • Stay constantly hungry to learn.
  • It is very important to enjoy what you are doing.
  • Don’t follow trends.
  • Be yourself and be authentic.
  • Don’t look for instant gratification, it will come with time. 

Check her out @krupa.zubin, @zzarchitects, and at ZZ Architect’s site.

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