Ar. Shirish Beri graduated in architecture from the School of Architecture (CEPT), Ahmedabad in Jan 1974. Instead of pursuing higher studies in the U.S he opted for living and working in the mountains near Kolhapur (with his father and brother's architectural firm in Kolhapur) from June 1974. He felt that after studying architecture for 6 years, it was necessary to uncondition oneself and unlearn rather than spend two years learning for master's degree abroad.
Ar. Shirish Beri’s works, which strive to address his life values and concerns, have been bearing a distinct mark on modern Indian architecture since 1975. His works have been widely published and have won him a number of national – international awards and recognitions, including Arcasia gold medal twice, the highly coveted J.K. Great Master’s award, and the A+D Hall of fame award.
He has been invited to chair and give talks, slide shows and conduct design workshops in various professional and educational institutions here and abroad. His books (Spaces inspired by nature & Wanderings and ponderings), exhibitions (Search for wholeness &Urmi ), and two films (The unfolding white &Uru – the space ) on his life and work have been received very well globally.
What do you feel is the greatest challenge when it comes to designing for environmental sustainability?
The greatest challenge that I see in designing for environmental sustainability is the lack of our basic inclusive, holistic attitude to life itself. Unless we truly feel ourselves as an integral part, as a minuscule strand of this wonderful web of life, we would not feel that true empathy and caring for everything and everyone around us.
What is your ultimate goal when it comes to your work?
The only test for the success of my design is whether it has added positive value to the quality of the life of the user… whether it can inculcate some goodness in our spaces and in our lives.
What do you want to be remembered for?
It is not necessary to remember me. If at all, then as a good human being (and then a good architect) who feel that oneness with all of nature (including humans), empathize with them and help in improving their existence.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
To be able to live in unity and in harmony with this LIFE.
Answers to 3 & 4 would overlap and merge.
The project you will never forget?
There are a number of them, which have a very special place in my conscious and unconscious mind. Each of these projects is remembered for different reasons.
Which message do you want to give to upcoming Architects?
Do not design in isolation, without relating/responding to Life as a whole. Let’s not confuse a good life with the number of goods we have.