Ranna Parikh Architect & Interior Designer, Ahmedabad
During my school days, in the early 70s, I first experienced how lifestyles and design are interlinked. Growing up in Kuwait, I saw first-hand the way oil and riches affected the Kuwaitis as they moved out of their single-level mud houses and tents to dazzling sky scrapers, and how that, in turn, affected their lifestyle.
I have been in the field of interior design for almost three decades now and have witnessed a variety of styles, new trends in aesthetics and the emergence of new technologies. If we talk about the evolution of design in the last five years, these changes are at various levels. The internet has affected interior design to a great extent; there is more exposure and clients demand and accept with ease newer thoughts, styles and ideas. Designers delight in this! However, there is a downside to this. Somewhere in the globalisation of spaces, we miss the local flavour.
Over the past few years, one comes across spaces that are so universal, that you could be anywhere in the world. There is no local connect on any level, be it climatic, cultural or sociological. Also, these are the times of instant coffee, instant noodles, and people expect the same of interior design too. What was an art and understanding of spaces has now become a gathering of different furniture items, lights, waif finishes, electrical fittings and putting them together in an aesthetic manner. But newer technologies have given us several options when it comes to materials.
If you look at early shade cards, only I5-20 shades were available. Now, one has over 5,000 shades to choose from along with a variety of textures. Same is the case with laminates, veneers, lighting, fabric etc… The simplicity of the past is now replaced with lots of play, with different textures and materials creating new sense of aesthetics. This allows designers to experiment. New software have also transformed design — hand drawing and sketches have made way for Google sketch ups, CADD, 3Ds, and walkthroughs, giving clients an almost surreal feel of the space before it is created.
As I look towards the next five years, I see things getting better. After having our fill with all things global, one will come back and embrace local flavours.
I see interior designers taking the lead in creating green interiors, keeping the environment in mind. As is said, life comes back full circle. Keeping the local context in mind will return too. That’s why it warms my heart when I see a swing in a modern residence, so what if its in stainless steel!
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