Forces of Change - Interview with Vidhi Sharma

We are excited to share that our Creative Director Vidhi Sharma was recently asked to be interviewed for the leadership segment of OnOffice Spring 2022, an architecture and design magazine. The theme, Forces of Change, explores Vidhis personal design journey as well as question the future of workplace design and the role Vidhi hopes to play in this future.

OnOffice: Can you share when your interest in design began?

Vidhi Sharma: This may sound like a cliché answer but growing up I loved rearranging my bedroom and dolls houses. I enjoyed the process of experimenting with different layouts; I guess at the time I didn’t think anything of it. However, as I grew older, I started to become aware of my natural attraction to design. I enjoyed consolidating an idea to look good whether it was interiors, fashion or simply a presentation for school, everything had to be visually appealing. I didn’t take this attraction seriously until I attempted a couple of degrees, from pre-law to education, I struggled to engage with the content as they just didn’t feel right. At the time, interior design wasn’t as readily available as a degree as it is now, so I didn’t know if it was a feasible path to go down, adding to the challenge of putting my finger on what I wanted to do. It finally clicked when universities started to introduce spatial design-related subjects. From then everything started to fall into place.

OO: What was your experience like starting out in the industry and what tips do you have for those just entering the design world?

VS: Really hard. It was pretty much The Devil Wears Prada but swapping haute couture for CAD. Being completely transparent, there were tears, late nights and a lot of second-guessing whether or not I wanted to continue in the industry. Looking back, I can now appreciate how much I learnt along the way, which brings me to my tip for those just entering the industry. Don’t take the short cut. My foundations were formed on the long route and have shaped me to become a strong and knowledgeable designer. It is easy for aspirational designers to get swept up in the pretty picture of the design industry, but it is fundamental to understand how to support that pretty picture.

OO: What excites you about a project?

VS: For me it’s the story and the people in that story. Each project is like a fairy-tale, a custombuilt environment for people to live in. To see people happy and succeed within that 'story' or environment that you have designed for them is an unbelievable feeling and one I can't describe. The payback of this is incredibly rewarding and makes me really happy.

OO: What inspired you to take on the role of creative director at Modus Workspace?

VS: Becoming the creative director of Modus was a natural career progression for me after my years in the industry. However, I really wanted the role as I felt that there was a knowledge gap in the industry. I wanted the opportunity to bridge this gap through mentoring young designers, guiding them through the whole process by giving a bit of my own experience back. Ultimately, steering young creatives away from taking shortcuts.

OO: What impact do you hope to have on the world?

VS: Wow, big question! I don’t know about the world, but certainly within the working world I would love to have an impact on the ways in which workplaces can support a variety of individuals, especially within big corporate organisations. Office landscapes ultimately need to support wellbeing, and improving education on neurodiversity within the workplace for example is essential to better the working environment. It wasn’t that long ago that people didn’t know what it meant to be dyslexic or to have ADHD. It's very sad that these individuals faced scrutiny for their abilities, but in reality, they just needed help navigating their talent.

OO: Where can we follow you and keep up to date on your latest projects and work?

VS: Both the Modus LinkedIn and Instagram pages are great for keeping up to date with all in-house activities and exciting new projects we're working on. So, I would recommend giving them a follow on @modusworkspace!
To read more from OnOffice click here.
Take a look at some of Vidhis projects here.