CHENNAI: In Nalini Radhakrishnan’s spacious home in Kalakshetra Colony, the sounds of drilling, children playing and dogs barking fill the air. Her office is connected to her house. Her grandson comes running down the steps, and she crouches by him, speaking softly. Just then, one of her assistants approaches her, and she directs him, before crouching back to spend time with her grandson. “I’m glad my work and home are here in Chennai. This way, I can spend a little time with my children and grandchildren, and also do my work easily,” she says.
We are surrounded by podiums that will be given to the Madras Court, and Nalini is careful to ensure that they are perfect and ready in time for delivery. With her company InterScape, Nalini is responsible for the design of the High Court museum, the Egmore Museum and the museum at the Tamil Nadu Police Academy.
“In 2003, I saw a tender in the newspaper to design the Egmore Museum. I immediately took up the offer, because I knew I wanted to do this. I’ve always wanted to create something that will go down in history after me because everyone has designed bathrooms and bedrooms,” says the grandmother of three.
InterScape was started when Nalini was approached by a friend for assistance. A graduate in Interior Design from SIET Chennai, Nalini jumped at the opportunity and started the business.
Drawing inspiration from the Louvre and Egypt Museum, Nalini designed the showcases for the Bronze Gallery and Contemporary Arts Gallery in Egmore Museum. The objective was to bring out the beauty in the pieces through the design, she explains. She has also designed displays for old weapons at the Police Academy. “They wouldn’t let us take out the weapons, not even to the next room, so I brought all my people, they sat in the museum and designed everything,” she says.
But, Nalini juggles her job as an architect and designer with her job as an event planner with her company, Media Mix. She founded the company in 1996, initially for name-brand launches. It slowly grew into a wedding planning business, focusing on logistics coordination.
Nalini explains that in both her design and planning business, she tries to give the client that which they feel they have made themselves, and something they can appreciate 20 years down the line.
Nalini is an avid shooter, golfer, dancer, singer, and music and fashion enthusiast. She won the Femina Super Mother-Daughter Award for Entrepreneurs with her daughter, Lavanya earlier this year