Every year we see some developments in the field of interior designing, with the industry growing bigger and the products chased on and off the floor by changing styles and technology. Tracking all these trends can be a hassle. Furthermore, the styles and the variations of the furniture is more than any set of eyes can manage. But to keep in touch with the trend focusing on the interior design industry we went to Metalwood, a design studio and workshop based in Patan Saugal specializing in architecture, interior design and furniture craft. Their work can be seen at Evoke Café and Bistro, The Local Project Nepal and Sam’s One Tree Cafe to name a few. Metalwood’s designs reflect some of the most imaginative yet minimalistic designs out there. We had a chat with the team behind Metalwood made up of Niraj Joshi, Nim Joshi, Jitendra Shrestha.
TNM: When did you come up with the idea of Metalwood and what was the process behind the idea?
MW: It’s been more than a year since we started Metalwood, we all had different backgrounds but we were working in the same field which is why we had had a lot of run-ins with each other. That’s why we thought of creating a team and working together. We had similar interests and different capabilities, so it made sense. We were a bit confused about what to name our company, we knew that we would be working with various metals and woods, the orders had been coming in from various clients so we needed a name. In that context, we just put the things we work with together and came up with the name Metalwood. We focus on raw beauty of the metals and we don’t mix it with kind. What we look for is neat and tidy designs. However, we have to always acknowledge the wishes of our clients as well and we always make sure that the end result is satisfying for them and us. Our clients will have the firsthand knowledge of what is happening because they are present through the process so it is much more personal to them than buying a readymade piece of furniture. We are a client based company and also involve our clients in the designing process so we can input their ideas as well. Yes, it will take more time than buying a certain furniture but the end result is personalized.
TNM: What is the creative process of Metalwood?
MW: It is the standard process than we follow that most companies do as well. We meet up with the client and go to the site. We hear to their demands and follow up by checking our resources and time and then we start. We make sure to communicate with our clients from time to time and keep them updated till the process is completed.
TNM: Tell us more about the design of your office?
MW: This space is designed as a showroom cum office style. So, when the clients meet up with us, the catalogues won’t be the only things that we have to show. We have this office designed in a contemporary way so it is easier for everyone to communicate with each other, we don’t have cubicles and doors as such inside this space. We have designed it as simple and minimalistic as possible.
TNM: What are your future plans or strategies?
MW: Growth and expansion is definitely in our plan for the future. Also we have been planning on renovating shipping containers and transforming them into showrooms, restaurants, and also for accommodation purposes as well. The trend of turning containers into these kinds of spaces is a huge trend all over the world and since it is very cost effective, it would be beneficial for our market as well. Expanding to create a bigger workshop won’t be easy. Since, we have to do a lot of supervision, the workshop and the office needs to be easily accessible but the problem of land can create difficulty if we had to locate the workshop elsewhere from the office. There would be timing problems and management problems because of the commute. However, we are in search of an easily reachable land nearby for the expansion.
TNM: What is the scope of interior designing and furnishing? How has the scope changed through the years?
MW: The scope of designing has always been there, but now it has increased manifold. People have their own visions for what they want their house, or offices to look like in terms of furnishing which gives us plenty of work. The demand has increased substantially with the years and we are trying our best to fulfill that demand through precision and expertise. But the capacity and timing are aspects to be managed.
TNM: How is Metalwood different than other interior designing companies?
MW: Our USP would be our belief in simplicity in the products we design and make. We have minimalistic and rustic designs with no fancy carvings and designs structured into lights and structures of the simplest of artificial substances. The name Metalwood clearly depicts what we do with all the finished products as well as the photographs we take of our space. We are so much into minimalistic designs that we don’t even have carvings on out products. We didn’t have enough space initially, we had half of what we have now but we had the land surrounding the space then. We made a metal structure and put together the space we have now.
TNM: Were there any obstacles as such initially or in the present and how are you dealing with the challenges?
MW: First of all, we always have a hard time finding people with the skills that we require. We do supervise our workers but it takes a lot of time doing that. On top of that we don’t have any Nepali masons that we can hire on a short notice and finding the appropriate masons is difficult. We do have space now but still it is still not enough.
WORDS:SHREYA SANGROULA | PHOTO:PRITAM CHHETRI