Transformation of a living Space….What is a Living Room?

As mentioned in my earlier post, I have began with a research project based on the evolution of design. Here is the description and introduction of what exactly led me to choose the subject “What is a Living Room?”

I had a hard time refining my research question or you may say narrowing it down from a larger frame to a to-the-point, crisp and meaningful output.

I enjoyed reading through the books on history of Interior Design and discovering the answers to my questions before reaching the end.

I started with my study seeing around me the changes that are taking place in the design style and to know more about where is the current global minimalistic style of interior architecture coming from. I wanted to know what Indian design style was and where has it disappeared. As I started reading and researching, it came to my knowledge that design styles have been evolving. Especially post World War, the style of design changed thoroughly. The designs focused on function of any object, space or product instead of the on face beauty. Designers produced designs which were simplistic in nature. There were people who accepted the minimalism with open arms and there were people who refrained from accepting. This change was readily accepted by the majority of population and thus kept on evolving throughout.

I have been observing the change in the trend of designing a house in India. While looking all around myself I often wondered how has the basic layout of a house changed since a recent past where there were boundaries which formed various spaces for every different function that had to be performed. I also came across the change in the function of a living area since childhood – from how a place of receiving guests formally, it had become a space for family get together and soon became a common place for dining and living with the latest trends of incorporating the kitchen as a part of it.

 I also noticed that in the present scenario, a living space is  marked by the placement of sofa sets and tables and some other informal seating furniture. Everywhere I went, the modern living area is marked by similar pieces of furniture. Moreover, in the present culture, the financial well being of hosts is judged on the basis of the grandeur of the living space because practically that is the only space which comes in contact with the guests of a house.

All these trends led me to think from where did the idea and term of a ‘living space’ evolve. I also thought that in what form any place as a living space existed since the medieval period of interior architecture. If they at all existed, what were the functions that happened in that space. It occurred to me that the changes that are taking place are due to the modernization of people, their way of working and being a part of their family. Having this thought, it became interesting for me to think that if the changes in the ideology and works of people have affected the form and function of a space then how could it possibly change with the future.

As I am personally interested in working with the open and closed spaces inside a house which governs the flow of natural light and wind, I wish to research, understand, predict and develop an ideal living space concept for a family living in 2030, keeping in mind the possible changes that could take place with the changing ideology and activities of the people, considering the hypothetical hobbies, professions, life style and resources of the assumptive family members. I also wish to study the need and type of furniture that can be used in a living space.

For carrying out this research, a large percentage of data for my research will be taken form the live case studies of various houses falling into the following categories based on the family type:

  • Designers’ Perspective – Houses currently being designed by renowned architects and designers
  •  Joint family residence
  • Couple’s Residence
  • Single occupancy Residence
  • Nuclear family Residence
  • Bohra/Muslim family residence
  • Christian family residence

Taking up this research is giving me immense pleasure at every step I climb on. There are new academic and factual discoveries everyday that are so interesting that they make my day.

I will continue posting a lot about my research soon. Graphical representations, conclusions and reflections will follow them soon.



“Architecture Lacks Reflection”

It was interesting to become a part of the ambitious and dignified Mediating Modernity Conference that happened on the 24-25th January, 2013.

Initially, while preparing for the conference and looking into the projects that various artists and designers were going to present, I could not connect with the content of the conference. I had no clue of what exactly was going to happen and how is it going to help me in any way. The only thing that I could tell to myself was, “things seem meaningful, let me see what it brings up”.

My least level of expectancy, a little bit curiosity about the term ‘Modernity’ and happiness in arranging and being a part of the organizing team for the conference, led me to have some excitement to attend the conference. This excitement also emerged after looking into the professional level of organization.

The conference mainly talked about modernity related to gender, culture and architecture.
The thing that struck me in the conference was an interesting phrase used as a comment by Prem Chandavarkar , “Architecture lacks Reflection”.

I found this phrase interesting because seeing the kind of large scale work happening around me in architecture and interior design specially in township and office building sector, I have an opinion that instead of looking into the individual activity of a person for designing and without taking into consideration the minutest detail of what the place is being designed for, the architecture now focuses only on the function and requirement of the user. The concept development and the designer’s insight lacks to a greater extent. I have myself seen that innovation in design is happening at a much diminished level and the majority of designers and architects merely combine various elements of different architecture and design works to produce an amalgamation of all these works in a new form.

I have a feeling that the basic idea or a concept lacks or shifts due to various constraints like work accomplishment deadlines and various budget constraints and also that architecture is now more of a business-oriented field. I have come across very less designers who have a justifying thought process for developing any space.

After listening to this remark by Mr. Chandavarkar, my own ideology about the same was ignited again. Whenever I come across works where I feel that the work is completed or done only for the sake of it being done, or I do not find the answer of why has something been done, I make it a point, that whatever I design or work with, will always be justifying either the concept of design or the function. I always get an inspiration from such non reflective works that my work will have to reflect my thinking process and my design idea. I make it points that even if I am making a wall, I have to question myself if it is required there, how would the people using it behave or how would they think, instead of forming spaces conventionally.

In my opinion, reflection on architectural practices brings out a new style of architecture. Looking back in the history, I could say that whenever there have been changes, due to a different ways of thinking or perspectives which may be called reflective thought, there have been revolutions, new styles and forms have been created.

I, as a part of my research project is working on modernity and while going through the ‘A History of Interior Design’ By John Pile, I came across the way design has evolved and become minimalistic in its nature. This evolution has been happening due to the continual changes and reforms of the way people have started looking at things produced by designers.

I could conclude by saying that any innovative, successful and functional design is the result of studying human activity for the space or product for which it is being designed and the play of spaces and materials to capture the natural elements like light and air inside a space and looking at the smallest of things with a different perspective instead of following what the world follows.

This is the only way to make a difference and to get back to innovation and see your own reflection in your work.


Searching for a dormant state!

Ever since I completed my first semester at Srishti school of Art, Design and Technology, I had been feeling out of possession of my passion, my interest of being an Interior Designer. Once after completing the semester, I knew what I did not want to do. I was continuously questioning to myself – ‘What was I here for?’ While doing whatever I was doing and by continuously trying to connect my learning to ‘something’ that I wanted to do, something that had to be more productive, something that should have made me think deeper in terms of design and something that was to deepen my knowledge and give me a platform for doing it in-depth what I had done, I discovered that I did learn how to conceptualize or in fact, what conceptualization is!

As I was continuously trying to get myself involved in the kind of work that had to be done in the memory lab by incorporating my learning into a form, towards the end of this lab, I could judge that my passion, my vigor for what I get the visions of – of designing spaces, of designing furniture, of coming up with innovative ideas and working on it, of facing the problems while trying to execute my idea and then working on it to manifest what I thought, of acquiring a vision of any thing and work to get the final output, are being lost by me somewhere.

I knew I had to take a back, to stop, to think about – not what I wanted to do but am I really happy? where is this taking me? what after this? should i continue the same way that i am? should i give a chance to something that can come my way and interest me to forge towards it?  And then, while thinking through for days, I after a long time sat back on my laptop and glanced at the subscribed e-newsletter by freshomeInstantly all my thoughts passed by and my passion for design got its way back in my mind.

I thought to myself that the coming term, I will use for productivity, for working on something that would direct me through the procedure of design thinking and development.

While thinking through, I chose to take up an individual research project, where I can see the trends in the change and evolution of interior architecture in India and can come up with a design thought and research on  a defined space in a house.

I also chose to take up designing furniture for kindergarten kids.

While working through these two projects, I feel that I have got my inspiration back. This has been brought back to me while once again coming in contact with the kind of work that I always wanted to do.

I now know, that I have to work on the same things that I did to get a finesse in my work because fine finish lacks to a great extent in whatever I do. I realized my weaknesses of leaving things in a state where they can be called completed but not finished.

Every day there are new confusions, new thoughts and new decisions. All the thought processing happening in my mind, refrained me from writing or getting things out on paper. This process had surrounded me only by thoughts but then I had to come out for action.

There is a vibrating and thought radiating state of mind which is wandering around in all the activities that are happening and trying to find a dormant stage where the mind is still and the heart is rejoicing. The state of satisfaction and confidence…..(will be clear with my further blog posts)