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Partnerships in Design - An Interview With The Partners of Thought Parallels Architecture

Thought Parallels is an award-winning architecture firm based out of Calicut, Kerala. The urge to be relevant, an absence of a monotonous style, and attention to detail in design defines the ‘thought parallels’ design ethos. We caught up with its leads, Nikhil Mohan & Shabna Nikhil, who kept it short and precise when it came to answering our questions. We got insights into their approach to clients, importance of research and analysis and how their partnership is built on the foundation of mutual trust and respect.

Picture courtesy: Thought Parallels

What is the story behind Thoughtparallels ?

Tradition and Modernity are not opposites, but rather parallels, hence Thoughtparallels. The fundamental thing that we got hooked on to is the shear act of creating design without any strings attached, without fear, without monotony.

How and when did your partnership come into existence?

We officially founded Thoughtparallels in 2014.

You (Ar.Nikhil Mohan) worked on a variety of projects before Thoughtparallels was born. How would you compare and contrast between then and now?

Apart from the cumulative years of experience in this field, there is no contrast or comparison between now and then. It has always been a wide eyed admiration on inquisitiveness towards the world of design- the ever elusive, slippery hard to catch fish.

In your project Lightness of Being an extra effort has been taken to make the massing, experience and overall ambiance seem lighter than it actually is. We can see an intelligent use of materials, spatial planning and site context. What was your approach while addressing these factors?

These factors are always a forethought before any design initiates. There is an attempt to have an acute awareness of the act of seeing, thinking and creativity which we feel is necessary for a sensible project.

Your practice seems to revolve around the foundation of research and analysis. Do you find any

difficulties selling this to your clientele?

The complexity and intricacy of a project is one thing, explaining it to them to their understanding is

another. Effortless communication is a necessity in a good practice.

For our readers how are roles between the two of you divided? When one says creative director how does this role fit into your practice ?

In a creative endeavor, the role of my partner as a creative director is to recognize, nurture and protect a good idea, which she does with conviction.

What is your take in partnerships in the field of architectural practice?

Like in any other field, partnerships are premised on trust and respect for each other. As long as they are intact, partnerships will thrive.

What projects are you currently working on ?

We are working on many projects at the moment, but the only criteria of doing the project is that it

should help us climb the creative ladder.

What other firms or architects do you follow and look up to in the present day scenario ?

There are some really potent and creative firms out there. But we purposefully avoid getting influenced. Getting influenced is like looking through a narrow window. We want to be in the open.


A: Nikhil Mohan & Shabna Nikhil

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