A conversation with Nikita Chellani, Lead Interior Designer at Roar
How long have you been working in the industry and what sectors (if any) do you specialize in?
Nine years – Commercial spaces, Retail and Hospitality
What are some of your key achievements from the past year? (both personal and professional)
A significant accomplishment in the past year was the completion of Jaipur Rugs showroom, characterised by its exceptional architectural roots. Having a supportive client who placed unwavering trust in our creative process was truly gratifying. Now, as I travel globally, hearing people discuss the showroom warms my heart. On a personal note, being referred to as a mentor by a junior designer at Roar is a rewarding achievement, allowing me to share my wealth of experience and knowledge.
What are some of the key learnings you received being part of the industry that you did not know before you joined?
In my experience, what truly matters in the industry isn’t just design skills – anyone can excel in design. It’s the soft skills that count: people management, patience, and handling on-site situations. Facing stress, managing demanding clients and deadlines, and maintaining a positive outlook are daily lessons. Distinguishing assertiveness from aggression is another vital skill acquired through experience.
Any specific projects (completed) you would have liked to have been part of?
The Royal Atlantis in Palm Jumeirah stands as such an iconic hotel in the skyline of Dubai and it would have been great to be part of some of the amazing F&B outlets in the hotel.
Who do you consider as a mentor in your career space?
Pallavi Dean – Creative Director and Founder of Roar. Before joining Roar, I pursued my master’s in design in Italy. In that year, Pallavi collaborated with Artemide and showcased her lighting design at Salone – Milan Design Week. I proudly shared with my friends that this remarkable piece was crafted by a UAE designer. I’ve always admired her design skills, work ethic, and, above all, her personality. Each day at Roar has been a learning journey where mistakes are embraced, fostering a supportive atmosphere where you are always pushed to achieve the next milestone.
What branches of design would you like to explore next?
I hold a master’s degree in graphic and interior design, and approximately a year and a half ago, I began exploring pottery as a hobby, infusing my creativity with clay. My aspiration is to establish a small pottery studio, leveraging my interior and graphic design skills to craft unique clay and ceramic products for home and office spaces.
In two lines, what’s your take on the current design industry?
The current design industry is thriving, with a strong focus on user-centric and sustainable design, driven by technology and a growing demand for visually appealing and functional products and experiences.