Our own Marcie Incarico sits and chats with Atul Bansal – the charismatic Founder and Co-owner of innovative design firm, Sheila Bird Studio – in the second of our series of Mix Sessions podcasts.
Atul begins by telling us about his influential business. “We cause trouble, we create spaces that people want to hang around in, fall in love in, have affairs… basically spaces that people want to be in. They used to be called offices or places of work, but I do think that area is changing. We get paid for having fun, essentially.
“I went to a really privileged boys school in Winchester. I realised that what I could do was to draw – and my whole life is really about drawing for a living. I’ve been lucky, all my life, to find openings and people who like what I do.
“How we work is really important. We’re a small business – and we’re really proud of that – and that’s never going to change. Our business plan is to employ lots of people who are really excited about what they are doing. We create teams around projects. At the moment we have around 150 people working with and around us – even though there are only five of us physically in the studio. That way, our clients are never going to get a ‘house style.’”
Listen below to hear more about Atul’s fascinating journey, his views on Manchester as a cultural heavyweight, the emergence of co-living, their Heart Space experience at Mix Design Collective and the issues surrounding the British High Street (and much, much more).