Ask me if I have always wanted to become an architect, I’d say that I’m not sure. What was I sure of then? I always loved design and by becoming an architect I’ve been able to continue my passion for design. We all draw inspiration from creativity that we admire, be it art or architecture. Although “architecture” is both the process and the product of planning, designing, and constructing buildings and other physical structures. The art of object, space and human interaction is the essence of design in architecture. This article should be a good read on the former; the subject of design.Until a decade ago, design as a full time profession would never be accepted in the same ranks of a doctor or an engineer, but today design is the identity of any product or corporation you can think of, it’s everywhere and we have designers for everything; graphic designers, fashion designers, automobile designers, product designers, web-designers and in my case, architects and interior designers. There are a few factors that are common to all of them and if we can learn that, we can bring out that designer within ourselves.
“It's not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” ~ Steve Jobs.
A gorgeous dress you bought that doesn’t fit you or a fancy living room chandelier that you hardly switch on. When designing something cool or buying something designer, always stick to the purpose. Get the OK looking sofa cum bed for your small apartment which will work better than the fancy looking leather couch. Its ok to select an apartment a larger kitchen and average views than vice versa. So its worth spending more on the imported basmati rice for the biriyani even if you have to serve it in earthen clay pots to balance the budget. It will taste better than it looks. In my profession our design process revolves around how beautifully people can use and interact with a space more than how beautiful it looks. Ofcourse, we do make our designs presentable but that’s mostly secondary. Usability, combined with presentation makes any design great.
A place for everything and everything in its place.
Imagine wedding buffets. One round plastic plate, 15 dishes and by the time you pick up your fifth favorite dish you are confused where to place it while the mutton pieces are already marinated in paneer gravy. Now imagine the same buffet with one of those 5 pocket disposable plates. You pick five dishes, enjoy your food, dispose it and get another plate for round two. Life is so much easier then. Our homes are always a clutter as we don’t define specific spaces for specific items A meticulous planning in defining spaces goes a long way in improving a good design, whether it is toiletries or electrical spares, insides of your refridgerator or your newspaper and mailbox, once you create a space you stick to it and you will be surprised at how “organized” and “neatness” are compliments for a good design.
A refreshing design is all about change. “Kaveri” is now “Kaziranga” with not only a change in name but also in content and newness. I’m sure that many of us were looking forward to read it because of this change. Cook something new today, wear a tie to office, change the position of your furniture, sell the old dining table on OLX and buy another 2nd one for the same price but bring that change in your design, your décor, your lifestyle. People cannot resist noticing and a fresh design always scores in getting attention.
“Value addition delights the unsuspecting people”
When a design goes a step further to add more value even if it isn’t necessary, we appreciate it, remember it, cherish it and talk about it. It’s like the extra “sukha” after your pani puri quote, serving toothpicks with your dinner bill or the handsanitizer before it even the spare buttons with the shirt you bought last. Next time serve your guests tea, biscuits and your wi-fi password (they’ll be delighted), place a stool next to your shoe rack to sit on or a few comics,books or magazines on your centertable décor. Its all about that little “extra”. Value added design builds loyality and connects with others on a social level.
“Inspiration and networking”
Every skill is a culmination of inspiration, learning and sharing. The more we read on a subject, discuss and share, we become good at it. I love reading about architecture, travel new places, play with other’s ideas into my design and the best part is to interact with other architects and designers I know which makes me realize how much more I can learn and better I can become. I’ve learned much from fashion designer, artists, musicians and even business men, all have a unique perception about architecture and it helps me look at my work from a whole new perspective.
I always carry a diary or a sketchbook with me. It’s a childhood habit to make notes and observations on areas of my interest. It helps if I have a good magazine subscription or maintain bookmarks on my browser and in this case even writing about design. When given the task of designing something new I always look for inspiration around me, recollect these 5 factors and start working on my design. One thing leads to another and thereby ideas flow in effortlessly, but the most important thing is to start. I believe anything that you love, loves you back. Spend time in appreciating a good design, you become a fine observer of details over time and before you know it, it becomes your natural talent.
“Ask me if I have always wanted to become an architect, I’d say that I’m not sure. What was I sure of then?... I love design.”