Answers to questions clients frequently ask to Clean Slate Design.

(Please make sure that you read through the entire content before meeting us.)

1.What do Clean Slate Designs do?

We are architects/designers who primarily offer services related to architectural design. We mainly design buildings, but, we also deal with interiors, furniture, products, accessories, as well as graphics if it is interesting.

2. Do you have branches elsewhere?

No, Not yet

3. Do you design for free?

Sorry we don't. ( Unless it’s a rural based school project for a Non-Profit ).

4. Since when have you been practicing?

Ar. Aarti Thakkar since 2014, Ar. Manas Rajkumar since 2011, Ar.Javed Hussain Chaudhaury since 2013. We founded clean slate designs in the Mid year of 2014.

5. What style of architecture do you practice?

We are constantly searching for a language (style) of our own. As of now our designs can be broadly categorized as Contemporary.

6. Do you Practice, Traditional Assam / North Eastern Architecture?

Sorry we don't.

Many have asked us why we don’t practice traditional architecture, being a practice based in North East. Here in North East many practice pseudo – traditional architecture in the name of Assam type housing style. We don’t want to be another mindless firm following that path. We sincerely strive to be a practice that essentially deals with, space, light, and the other elements. Moreover the primary principles that governed the existence/continuation of the traditional style of architecture have changed over the years, namely the Climate, the Condition of the Land, the Construction Materials, the Construction Techniques and also the Lifestyle of the People.

7. Can we see any of your built works?

We can guide you to our projects that are under construction. But regarding our finished projects, we prefer to respect the clients’ privacy and let you access only the documentation of the project (photographs or videos of our project available with us or on the internet).

8. Do we have to travel down to your office to meet you?

Yes. That way you’d get to see how we work.

9. Do we need to take an appointment to meet you in your office?

Yes. We have set aside the morning half of the office hours purely for designing and its in the afternoon half of the office hours that we meet our clients to discuss project related matters. Hence it is necessary to take an appointment in advance (by mail or phone) to meet us.

10. What time is the best to reach you on the phone?

We prefer calls only on weekdays between 10:00am – 7:30pm. In case we were unable to pick your call during these hours it may be because we were in a meeting. In such a situation kindly reach us afterwards or leave a message.

11. When do we have the first meeting?

If the client is comfortable with our ideas and working style we give them an appointment for a meeting in our office. We usually meet the client in the afternoon session (between 2:00pm and 7:30pm) as the morning session is assigned for designing projects.

12. What should we bring when we come to meet you?

It would be advisable to bring

a) Copy of the sketch of the site dimension.

b) Detailed brief/requirements for the project.

c) A few photographs or video clips of the site would be helpful too.

13. When do you visit the site?

After our first discussion for the project (which happens in our office) we would let you know a comfortable date by which we can visit your site.

14. Do we have to pay you for the first site visit?

Yes. We do charge a nominal fee (+ actual travel fare) for our first site visit if the site is outside Guwahati city limits.

15. What services do you offer? How much do you charge for your services?

Please refer our services and fee statements for details. If you don’t have it already, do contact us for the same.

16. Do we have to pay, you an advance before starting the project?

Yes. The amount depends on the project. (Please refer our services and fee statements for details. If you don’t have it already, do contact us for the same.)

17. When do we get the ‘services and fee statement’ from you?

We usually send the ‘services and fee statement’ to the prospective clients only once we have had a detailed discussion (over the phone) regarding the project and choose to take it to the next level. It is necessary that we learn the project brief before we can send you the ‘services and fee statement’. Do give us a call on the numbers given in the contact and request for the same.

18. If we are comfortable with each other’s ideas, what are the details required before designing our project?

1) Total Station (Digital) Survey in CAD format. (We would give you instructions on points to be considered during the survey of your site)
2) Details of the site (we would give you a form which would have to be filled up by the client and returned to us)
3) A copy of the land deed document(s).
4) And, of course, detailed project requirements.

19. When would you start designing our project?

We take up only a limited number of projects each year to maintain a certain level of quality and as a result, we usually have a waiting list of projects/clients. We would add your project to this list and take it up based on the schedule. Kindly contact us to know the present waiting period.

20. How does the whole process of designing happen?

When clients contact us for their project, we make sure that we send them a link to this website or a mail that contains a gist of this website’s content. If the clients are comfortable with our ideas of architecture/design mentioned in the details sent to them, we call them over for a meeting in our office after which we visit their site. After the site visit, we give them a list of points to be considered when they get the digital survey of the site done. (This is to ensure that there isn’t any error regarding the site details.) Once the survey details are obtained we call the clients for a detailed discussion regarding the requirements of the project. During this discussion, we note down all details regarding the project. (This would be a session where we take the client through their requirements right from the entry gate to the backyard of their proposed project.) As the next step, we sit with these requirements and prepare a core concept which would give a direction to their project. Once a basic layout is ready, we call the clients for the next meeting, which would help us both finalise the design. If the clients have communicated well during the first two sessions it has been our experience that the clients approve what we show them at this stage. As soon as the meeting is over we strengthen our design based on the outcome of the discussion. The next step is to finalise the project based on the final presentation. After which, we carry on with the detailed drawings for approval/construction.

21. Who would design our project?

We both (Ar.Aarti Thakkar and Ar. Manas Rajkumar) make sure that we are available at the office for all the major meetings as the design is developed together by us. (Ar.Javed Hussain Chaudhury looks after all urban level project/ project management for high rise buildings) Once we both feel that project has reached a certain level of detail, one of us take up the responsibility of the project. It could be either Ar.Aarti Thakkar or Ar. Manas Rajkumar depending on who is relatively free then. The clients since then on would interact with the person handling the project. However the project would be designed by both of us and together would be involved in every stage of it

22. Do you give us several options of designs to choose from?

No. As explained earlier, if the clients have communicated well during the first two sessions, it has been our experience that the clients approve what we show them during the first stage itself. When we detail their design, we work out several possibilities and ultimately show the clients what we think is the best for them. If the clients have helped us understand them completely, we would be showing them what is best for their project.

23. Do you take up Construction of your designs?

No.( Only Turn Key project are take for premium Interior Projects.)

24. Do you supervise your projects?

We do not offer regular supervision or bill checking as clean slate designs is small studio/ firm that concentrates on design solutions rather than the execution of their projects for the time being. But, we do offer timely visits at various stages (depending on the scheme chosen) to ensure that the construction is as per the finalized design.

25. Do you handle Renovation/Extension/Conservation projects?

Yes. If its challenging as well interesting, definitely we will do it.

26. If we already have a plan ready from some other source, would you detail/ design the rest of such a project?

No. We prefer to start the project from the scratch to ensure the best from us as Architects.

27. Do you do Elevations alone?

No. We do not believe in the logic of ‘Elevation design’. We believe in a practice where the project is designed as a whole and every element has a meaning as well as a role in the perfect working of the design.

28. Do you design considering Vastu?

No. When a house is designed, we give ventilation (light and breeze) utmost priority. Spatial management, circulation, aesthetics as well as other design parameters are also not left behind. This is what vastu is supposed to be. But vastu nowadays has been misinterpreted and taken to an unhealthy commercial level, tapping the fear factor of the layman. So in this context, we would like to let you know that we do not render our services to those who need vastu considered for their project, as we have distanced ourselves from such ambiguous beliefs or practices.