A workspace can make all the difference, especially when you're starting out. Flexibility, cost efficiency, and building a trusted network are key to growth; just ask architect Sandhya Naidu Janardhan. Within three years of joining the Ministry of New, she took over 'The Barn', a private office for 10 where she could get the most out of everything coworking has to offer.
The Barn is a private office within the Ministry of New that offers you complete privacy while getting access to our incredible network of members, events, and more.
"Growing the team at Ministry of New is one of the best decisions I have made in the journey of our organisation. While working solo it was very helpful that I had fellow coworkers, so one never really felt alone."
What was your first impression of the Ministry of New?
The very first time I walked in, I immediately felt great creative energy. The large volumes of spaces flooded with natural light, and at the same time the intimacy of work and social spaces were very attractive to me. Being new to Mumbai, it was easy to meet like-minded people and I have made lifelong friends here. I was also able to seamlessly move from a single desk to a four-person private office and finally to 'The Barn' where my entire team worked out of; removing a lot of the stress of running a business.
Tell us a little bit about Curry Stone?
We at CSDC work towards enabling marginalized communities to address issues of their immediate surroundings through design-based solutions. Our team is a mix of designers, architects, artists, community partners, economists, and finance professionals, all united in a common cause- addressing inequalities using design and technical tools
Operating in India since 2016, CSDC operates as a true collective of social design practices, architects, civic planners working collaboratively with communities in need. It unites design practitioners and communities in a common cause: addressing inequalities using design and technical tools.
What was your journey like, going from a single membership to a 10-person Team Room?
Growing the team at the Ministry of New is one of the best decisions I have made in the journey of our organisation. While working solo it was very helpful that I had fellow coworkers, so one never really felt alone.
After spending a year working from a single desk in the Gallery, I started hiring for the studio and we graduated to a room of five. Within a year of that we had moved into the biggest team room available! The biggest comfort was not having to worry about looking for a bigger space. As our studio grew, the Ministry team had the right space waiting for us.
What was it about the Ministry of New that really supported your business? What were the benefits you experienced?
Working here gave me the opportunity to focus solely on building the studio from scratch, without having to worry about finding a bigger space as the team grew, or about utilities and housekeeping, which freed up my time and energy for the studio's projects. It has the warmest, most helpful and patient team that made our three-year stay and the transitions within that a seamless journey. The professional environment and services here were ideal for when we needed to have internal meetings or with our partners and clients.
The office existed beyond the four walls of our team room, as we occupied the many spaces available for smaller team meetings or just quiet reflection. It was the ideal space to nurture a young organisation like ours. I also love that it is pet friendly so I could bring my adopted puppy Nemo in with me every day!
Ministry proved to be the perfect space to make new friends and build a healthy and happy social life, especially for someone absolutely new to Mumbai!
What does the future look like for Curry Stone?
The future looks full of new challenges and opportunities for us to grow. The pandemic has shone more light on the glaring disparities in the living conditions and access to basic health services in the high-density communities we work with, issues we were addressing right from the beginning. While the pandemic and the consequent lockdown may have slowed down our work, we are learning how to adapt and continue moving forward as we look at completing these projects with the communities and handing it over to them in the coming years, and taking on similar work in the near future.
Before you go...
What is a daily ritual you have?
Going for a walk with Nemo every morning, especially during the lockdown.
What do you always have on your table while working?
A bottle of water, of course at MoN it was fancy water with lemon and mint ;-)
Favourite dish to eat?
Panki chutney and shrikhand from Swati Snacks, or a salad from Kitchen Garden by Suzette.
Best thing you've read, watched or listened to lately?
The best thing I watched in the lockdown was the Netflix series Unorthodox.
What newest trick your puppy Nemo has learned?
He has finally learned to head straight to the loo, to his pee pad, if he needs to answer nature's call in the middle of the night. Hallelujah!