[ar&de] is an architecture practice based in Kerala, India that engages in the research, design and promotion of quality urban design, architecture, interior and product design.
The firm was founded in 2013 and has engaged in projects of various scales and types since its inception, such as furniture, residences, workplaces, retail interiors, educational institutions, hospitals, factories etc. At the heart of its work, is the acknowledgement that design has a significant impact on the personal and social life, interpersonal relationships, relationships with values, objects, environments or systems and the very future of the individuals and organizations it designs for and therefore requires to be meaningful and rigorously thought through. This is in addition to being experientially rich, uplifting, functional and appropriate for its contexts. With every project, the practice tries to question the status quo while also acknowledging and appreciating a great deal of history and tradition associated. The central intent of the practice is about adding value and we are constantly striving to harness the possibilities that designed spaces provide to enhance the quality and performance of the lives of the organisations and individuals it designs for. Projects reflect a concern for the wider contexts, society and the environment.
All projects at [ar&de] conventionally start with a lot of listening and in-depth conversations with clients and stakeholders involved in the project, as well as background research and analysis. This often leads to questioning and reformulating the client brief itself. Creative conceptualization of a response to the project is often driven by the numerous questions we ask ourselves in the specific context of the project and the overarching questions which drive our practice as a whole. The creative exploration of possibilities through an iterative and collaborative process is aided by an effort to visualize, simulate, prototype and test, as much as possible.
[ar&de] is a recipient of multiple national and regional awards for Architecture, Interior Design, Product Design and Writing, such as the IIA and IIID Awards For Excellence, the Young Designer of the year award by the Indian Architect & Builder magazine, IBD Awards and have been featured on the Merit List as well, among other achievements.
The practice was founded by architects Aabid Raheem and Sehla Ahamed and is driven by the efforts and energies of numerous architects who have been and are a part of the team.
While both of them are graduates of the MES School Of Architecture, Kerala; Aabid is a postgraduate in Advanced Architecture from The Bartlett, University College London and Sehla is a postgraduate in Interior and Spatial Design from the University of Brighton. Together they bring to the table the experience of working at offices in different parts of India, including that of Pritzker winner BV Doshi, as well as the UK. Aabid is a founding trustee of Coearth, an NGO focused on socially and environmentally responsible architecture. Aabid has also been actively involved in academics and was the founding Head of Faculty at Avani Institute of Design. He also often writes and speaks on architecture at various events. Sehla enjoys teaching art and craft to young children and also makes hand-made products and fashion accessories for friends.