While her brother Bimal Patel is the architect for the Central Vista project in Delhi, Canna Patel is the interior designer. The project includes the Prime Minister’s house, so we ask: what kind of interior décor has Narendra Modi asked for? Is he going for bright red, orange and yellow Gujarati hues, with Kutch embroidery and Bandhni drapes? Or does he want an international look? “I have signed a non-disclosure agreement for this project, so I cannot get into the details” says Canna, diplomatically. But then she adds: “The client has always had a major say in all the projects I have done and this is no exception.”
We are at CEPT University, for the release of Canna’s book, Meaning is More: Interior Design for India, and the crowd mills around her after the formal launch and book signing session. “I must say hello to everyone. I have not met most of the people here for a long time, work has kept me so busy,” she says.
Priced at Rs 3,500, the coffee table book is exquisitely designed, with photographs and visuals on every page. This is Canna’s first book and she started work on it in 2019. The Covid lockdown that soon followed should have provided an ideal opportunity to finish it, but she says: “I got so busy with the Central Vista project. The book had to wait,” she says.
The book is launched by Canna’s former teacher and thesis advisor Mira Mehta, now Professor Emeritus at CEPT, who says: “The charm of the book is that it is written in the form of stories. It is not a dry catalogue of Canna’s projects. It uses a systems approach and details the thought process that goes into interior design.”
Produced by Navjivan Press, Meaning is More is the 18th book published by CEPT University Press since it was established in 2016. Speaking at the launch function on Friday, CEPT Provost Tridip Suhrud said that CEPT is the only university in India to have its own press. “We know authors have a choice of publishers, so we are glad when they come to us. We need another ten years of staying power to establish ourselves.”