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Exploring interiors

Design is not just an external embellishment. It's a matter of cultural identity

THE EVENING was designed to be an informal meeting of people with designs on everything from pins to homes, pianos to planters. And so, the event was called Ideastalk. Indian Design & Interiors (IDI), a glossy from the Media Transasia Group, and Spectrum Institute of Design (SID), jointly hosted a programme at the Oberoi that included a talk on Interior Architecture — Exploring the Future by Mumbai-based architect Brinda Somaya. "If every architect took up the responsibility of restoring at least one building, we would have restored thousands of beautiful buildings," said the charming woman who has spent several years in Bangalore too.

Local designs

"Design is not just something that should rest in the hands of a few of us, but in the hands of the millions of people who have a strong cultural identity," said Brinda. When her firm was asked to take up reconstruction work in Gujarat following the earthquake, the team encouraged the local people to beautify their own dwellings. The result was a place that mirrored the long-practised art of decorative designs. "In today's fast pace of life, we often leave out the protagonist, the very person who is going to live in the space that we create," she noted.

So what should one look at while designing a house, more specifically, designing the interiors of a building? Geometry, lighting, colour, material, and the elements make up the five factors that go to define a space. IDI, the niche interiors magazine, showcases in its pages several homes, public spaces, and institutions that have sensible and aesthetic interior design. Said IDI's editor Suneet Paul. "Bangaloreans seem to have a keen eye for beauty and functionality. The number of housing projects coming up in the city is a clear indicator of the growth in this sector.

Many of Bangalore's product designers and architects are featured regularly in our magazine."

Immense scope

It is the realisation of the immense scope for interior designers in the present housing scenario that has brought Delhi-based SID to set up shop in Bangalore. Speaking about the need for shorter architecture and interior design courses, Inder Jit Arora, founder of Spectrum Institute of Design, announced that SID had just started admissions for B.Sc. (Honours) degree in Interior Design and Architecture, and to its one and two-year diploma courses. SID is an ISO 9001-2000 certified institute, an offshoot of Spectrum Paints. Apart from its Delhi branch, SID now also has branches in Bangalore and Hyderabad. It plans to set up its centres at Chandigarh, Kolkata, and Chennai soon.

Bangalore may now be known for its uninspiring glass-faceted offices and huge but dull BPO centres, but it is equally well-known for its designers and architects who have created spaces that are sensible, beautiful, and viable. Many of the architects and designers present at the IDI-SID event have done exemplary work in their own fields proving that good design can transform the most mundane spaces into happy places. During her slide show, Architect Brinda spoke about a parent in a school that she has built in Gujarat: "When he wanted to punish his child for some reason, he just asked him to miss school that day!" This school, with its airy spaces and walls with beautiful jaali-work, is an example of how good building design can add to joyful learning for students.


The future of interior architecture? It rests with the young people who emerge from design institutions. Hopefully, they will be taught not just about floor space index and how to get around building bylaws, but also how not to forget that the house is just part of the larger home called the city. For more details about Spectrum, call 51285385. E-mail: Website:


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