In a conversation with Vikas Bhadra, Andrea Andreotti, Design Head at Ultraconfidentiel says “Architecture and design is much beyond an amalgamation of con-“temporary” materials alone. It should lead to creation of timeless urban environments where people can recognize themselves and not just be cathedrals in the desert, only driven by the economic growth.”
In a world getting increasingly globalised the dominion of design keeps expanding its sphere of influence. Designs incepted in certain part of the world traverse through time and come to form in not just in its birthplace but across the world. Such design movements are powered by architectural firms and design experts who work in tandem with each other.
Andrea Andreotti, Design Head at Ultraconfidentiel an interior design firm specialized in Design & Build projects for interiors, architecture and products design serves as a wonderful example of this synthesis. Among different projects Ultraconfidentiel has designed till date, is the famous Amazon Blink Fashion Studio and office spread across 45,000 sq.ft in Gurgaon. This project executed in 2018 was awarded by Forbes among the 25 most spectacular work spaces in the world.
An Italian by birth, Andrea heads the design operations at Ultraconfidentiel which has French design coded into its DNA, primarily because it was started by a French couple Amaury Watine and Stephanie Bonduelle. So how does this translate into a global design arena and especially India where Ultraconfidentiel operates apart from Colombo and Lille.
“In every project, I try to establish an emotional connect with the end user because design has to find purpose beyond its defined engagements. And since the world is changing very fast, design must adapt, be resilient and tell a story to engage people’s emotions to increase sharing and interaction,” says Andrea.
“Ultraconfidentiel ,” Andrea continues “was the pioneer of the Design & Build model in India. The French DNA remains, but in recent years we are acquiring an international dimension that allows us to make a difference in the Indian market. The core-design remains European and this added-value is surely the key to the target of customers who want to work with us. We are working on incredible projects in Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore where the essentiality and sustainability of design are changing the way we see the workspace of the future. We have recently completed in Mumbai – BKC, TCG/Haldia Petrochemical Headquarters, an incredible space where the high-end value is a perfect combination of complex shapes and minimal approach.“
The idea of design and architecture itself keeps evolving and new tools come into play. A contemporary designer has a lot of new age literature to look at, study and ponder over “I don’t want to let myself be over-influenced by digitalisation trends and innovation,” says Andrea, “but I want those tools to be a medium to express my vision of why we do and what we do. Establishing this clear vision helps me to filter immense amount of information that technology gives me and select the most relevant to best express myself and the needs of our customers.”
Design is about form and function and it is also about inheritance of ideas through ages. Ideas which live, breath and thrive in a contemporary India “Actually, Indian culture is extremely rooted in design,” says Andrea “and for this reason, I consider Indian artisans as the true designers of India, they serve as a very strong inspiration for me and our team. For instance, one of the creative processes that most excited us in recent years was to make ‘essential’ the different features of the Indian heritage, more so, because we also work with Indian companies which do not want to lose their original traits and values.”
The essence of contemporary architecture accross the world is prominent. Many percieve this as a sign of devlopment, Andrea begs to differ. “Architecture is slow, it is out of step with our times. The use of con-”temporary” materials and designs that are obsolete after a few months or fewyears is not the right path. One of my goals here in India is to transform the interiors into a ‘cool’ but timeless urban environments, where people can recognise themselves and not just be cathedrals in the desert only driven by the economic growth.”
Traditional Indian culture has utilised nature to good effect and as I execute more and more projects across India and the world, I have come to realise the essence of nature is at play everywhere. The pulverization of the boundary between inside and outside is already becoming a global trend and will be one of the characteristics that will characterize our future projects. Bringing “urban life” into work spaces, natural materials and nature itself will change the way we perceive indoor environments where we spend more than 80 per cent of our days.”
Andrea Andreotti,,Design Head at Ultraconfidentiel