Friday, April 11, 2014

Working with Glass

Surface Reporter, India's 1st 'Material-centric' magazine for exterior-interior products & projects, shared the experiences of the veterans in working with glass. The spotlight was on Aashish Karode & Sushil Karer, Principal Architects, Design Atelier who too shared their experiences of working with Glass. Here is excerpt from this feature:

Our design has always endeavored to work with craft, light, air, water, natural environment and technology as if they are materials in the construction of space. The use of glass to delineate the inside allows the exterior or outdoors to seamlessly penetrate the inside spaces becoming one aspect of the “whole” thing. The user are always able to register this as the major move by the architects, that actually enliven the spaces to be more than just rooms, and the form to be way more than just building construction.

The use of glass comes with multiple challenges in practice and these are not just about fragility as a material. Constraints of size and transportation, lack of highly specialized converters for operations involving combinations of glass. Lack of specialists with application and process knowledge, Weather resistance, Conversions in specialized applications like underwater, Safety, Deflection and Performance in solar applications are the major challenges we face in practice.

Glass manufacturers could provide clear graphical and numerical information and samples kits for architectural practices. They also need to develop local Application centres where special sizes and special applications can be methodically developed for architectural applications with reasonable costs and time bound project deliveries.

Design Atelier is a well known architecture firm based in New Delhi. Spanning across Architecture, Campus Design and Master planning, Housing, Hospitality, Retail and Workplace Design, the firm has developed around 250 projects till date. Their most notable glass projects include Indian Oil Refinery, Panipat, Athena, Gurgaon, Bhai Twins Corporate Tower, Noida and Lohia Group Corporate Tower.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Shaping Spaces

Design of a retail space now builds consumer loyalty and reflects what the brand stands for, in an environment of convergence of limitless sub-cultures of internet, grand fantasy and face-to-face connections in stores. In an article, published in April' 2014 issue of Retail Today, Aashish Karode ask the consumers to be prepared to find an ultra-futuristic whimsy store with a window display of inspired vintage and romantic furnishings with oversized, backlit chess pieces, rendered in plastic film, within a 2,000 sq-ft hair salon!

Aashish Karode is a principal with Design Atelier Urbis, a New Delhi, India based famous architecture firm. He writes, "We are witnessing far more nontraditional and diverse approaches to design, locations, and offerings being cross-pollinated between various formats of retail. Contrary to glitzy marbles and granites of yesteryears, there is now a co-mingling of high brow and low grade materials - such as marine-grade plywood, raw packing creates and exposed or impressioned concreate. Using these materials showcases rather simplified lightwood interiors to subdue the users with a true feelings of free flow and weightlessness while also combining ultra-luxury high end furniture with display cases made from shipping crates!

Retail stores, according to Aashish, now balance the changing and ever more complex environment of physical stores, online presence, creative calalogues and radical marketing. Not only are there multiple selling streams and real estate spaces to contend with, but there are also the demographic range of their customers who have widely differing aspirations and choices to consider.

Global influences, local context, realty prices and discerning consumers are leading the revolution of design in retail. The drastic changes seen in departmental stores that are becoming boxes to hold several in-stores and pop-up stores, makes brands compete to create their own alluring environments within. Therefore, brands design their own space within a larger shared space! Read full article in Retail Today, April' 2014 issue.

Creating Memorable Hospitality Designs for a Truly Exceptional Guest Experiences

The design for gathering places for leisure and recreation should be memorable because these are the destinations that people return to time and again. A truly exceptional designs not only ensure exceptional guest experiences but also enhance the brand. A memorable guest experience by its definition is not common; it is not typical; it is unusual, if not unique. If two hospitality centres located at cities of two different countries look the same, then the experiences too are not different.

Design Atelier, therefore, believes that each project is a signature design, differentiated by architectural elements, finishes, furnishings, accessories, lighting and art to create style, image and an inviting ambiance. And, a professional interior design should not only ensure that clients have a memorable experience but also makes a positive impact on them. Meaningful, memorable and original experiences influence the way customers perceive a brand (or an organization) and feel about the 'space'. Adding little details together will help designers creating something of far more value than you would without them. These little details motivate customers to come back over and over, pay happily and recommending everyone they know to you.

Designing and creating big is easy and everyone can do it, but it is concentrating over little details that differentiate one space from another and that influence customers to choose one over the other. Attentiveness cost nothing, nor do personalization and consideration.

Design Atelier creates interior environments as memorable experiences, with original, personal & thoughtful design aesthetics.