Saurabh Dakshini founded Studio Organon in 2006. The practice was built on, and continues to be informed by, these core beliefs: 1) every design limitation is an opportunity; 2) the Studio’s own identity should shape but not overshadow the project and; 3) the strength of a project depends on its ability to engage with the “local” – a cultural construct that is always in-flux.
The Studio is deliberately small: it consists of a team leader, three assistant architects, an in-house project manager and a draughtsman. This size allows the team to build intimate relationships within itself, so that it can better understand client needs.
The portfolio of work is diverse, ranging from a 600 sq.ft. retail store, to a 19,000 sq.ft. school building. As the team opens itself to different types of projects – including bars, cinemas, and schools –the approach remains constant. It always begins by interrogating the category the project belongs to, by asking questions like: how can a restaurant be more than just a place to eat, or how can a staircase become a central feature of a building, rather than just a device for mobility. Turning what is “given” on its head allows the Studio to explore ideas of its own ongoing interests: democratic design and non-designed spaces as interventions, for example.
In each project, finding design solutions that engage the “local” is always central. This involves using locally available materials as much as possible and capitalizing upon the skills of Indian craftsmen and makers. However, beyond this, it also demands an interrogation of what being “Indian” means in the current context. This approach informs the Studio’s often non-traditional use of materials, re-consideration of what counts as “craft,” where aesthetic and mannerism align to function and performance.