A talk with RNDSQR
05.11.20

A talk with RNDSQR

Photography by Joel Klassen
RNDSQR is a dynamic Calgary-based placemaker that uses design as a tool to promote collision points and collaboration. Its work philosophy is based on creating well designed and simple homes with unique details, at a reasonable price. Design Lead Majida Devani told us about the founding principles of the studio, the importance of personalisation in order to make a place feels like home and the key role of sustainability.
RNDSQR is a dynamic Calgary-based placemaker that uses design as a tool to promote collision points and collaboration. Its work philosophy is based on creating well designed and simple homes with unique details, at a reasonable price. Design Lead Majida Devani told us about the founding principles of the studio, the importance of personalisation in order to make a place feels like home and the key role of sustainability.
A talk with RNDSQR
A talk with RNDSQR

How did your passion for design and architecture develop?

I was raised in a family of designers: my father is an architect, my mother is an artist and my brother was a graphic designer, so I have always been exposed to this kind of creativity. I would say that the first time I realized I wanted to become a designer was in middle school. I loved colours, materials, fashion and drawing. I wrote a small paper about interior design in the 7th grade and when my dad read it, he said architecture gave him the foundation to design anything. Since that day, I wanted to become an architect.

What’s the history of RNDSQR? When did you realise it was time to found your own firm?

Over 10 years ago, I started a design company called Building Bloc Design (BBLOC) and I was also the Lead Designer at my husband’s residential development firm Beyond Homes. We built unique spec infills in Calgary, Canada. We’ve always believed that good design doesn’t have to be expensive – it has to be well curated. Our mandate was that everyone could have well designed homes at a reasonable cost and we soon realized that land prices dictated that of our houses, not the design. That’s when we ended up creating RNDSQR.

There was a need for people to have things that were different in the marketplace: quality of product, lifestyle, living in a modern home, having a smaller footprint, engaging with the external environment and caring about the simple things. People wanted a custom design, but not a custom cost. Now we design and build simple homes with unique details, located in mindful communities in the inner-city.

On what principles is based the practice of the studio?

RNDSQR builds inner-cities through thoughtful placemaking. We use design as a tool to promote collision points and opportunities for collaboration.

A talk with RNDSQR
We’ve always believed that good design doesn’t have to be expensive – it has to be well curated. Our mandate was that everyone could have well designed homes at a reasonable cost.

What kind of relationship do you engage with your clients? How do you face the always growing demand for projects personalisation based on personal wishes and needs?

I am lucky that RNDSQR is my main client. I create what I think is needed for a RNDSQR consumer. As the demand for our homes increases, I get to incorporate previous clients’ feedback in order to evolve our products.

What place does sustainability occupy in your work?

Sustainability is always important when we design or build. The environment is fragile and we do what we can to preserve the earth, whether by using low emission products, getting Green Build certified, creating a smaller environmental footprint, or using better recycling systems to reduce waste.

What can never be missed in order to make a space feels like home?

I think you can make any place a home if you put your own personalization into it. Mine is all about warmth and texture. That’s why I always use at least one Mutina product in my projects.

A talk with RNDSQR

Do you remember the first time you found out about Mutina? What did strike you the most of our company?

I started using Mutina products over 10 years ago. I found out about the company while I was looking for a subtle yet textured surface for a custom fireplace, and fell in love with the range of colours, textures and sizes. The designs are unique, modern and thoughtful. I think that Mutina works on its products the same way I do with my projects, with a lot of care to details.

Do you have a favourite collection? Why?

I love all the collections and I have used most of them, but my favorite at the moment is Lane by Barber and Osgerby. The colours are so rich and the earth tones are beautiful. They remind me of a modern interior brick. They are absolutely stunning.

If you decide to expand and open a new venue, where would it be and why?

The health situation has made us think about how we design and what the future of spaces look like. Until now, much of our work has been in Calgary and Winnipeg, but if we were to expand it would probably be in California. People keep telling us that there are great opportunities for our work and the weather is a plus!

A talk with RNDSQR
A talk with RNDSQR
A talk with RNDSQR
We use design as a tool to promote collision points and opportunities for collaboration.
A talk with RNDSQR
A talk with RNDSQR
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