Design

‘I don’t believe in trends in design’

Akshat Bhatt was 13 when he first saw an architect’s drawing board. He was fascinated by the tools, tackles and colourful stationery. This attraction, along with his engagement in music, led him to explore his individuality. “Music was more accessible than architecture. By the time I was 17, I was convinced it was either architecture or music,” he says. But an architect was born.

Bhatt graduated in 2002 and after a short stint in London, he established Architecture Discipline, a multi-disciplinary design studio that addresses the space between practice and theory. Speaking about his practice, Bhatt says, “We engage in dialogues between tradition and modernity through an intensive discourse on design. We are a sustainable design practice that engages with regional contexts by using construction technologies.” The studio is engaged in the design of building typologies such as town halls, hotels, schools, offices, residences, and sound and video production studios. “Buildings are integrated from conceptual framework to the tactile experience,” he says.

Today, Akshat strongly believes in design for evolution and regional expression, and progressive construction practices to create positive environments. Speaking about design influences and role models, he says the works that move him deeply are the rooftop extension in Vienna by Coop Himmelb(l)au and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Bhatt also admires Laurie Baker for his contribution to architecture as a community, and Renzo Piano for a consistent career graph and sheer poetic forms. Speaking of his recent project, the Make in India pavilion at Hannover Messe 2015, Bhatt says, “We were commissioned to create a pavilion with maximum presence to present a new, bold, progressive India. The pavilion showcases the magnitude of India’s potential as a manufacturing and investment partner, and positions India’s advancement across industrial sectors on the bedrock of its rich culture and idiom. History and memory are the two vital aspects of the design strategy.”

The pavilion’s geometry is rooted in the Navgriha and Vaastu principles, representing India’s profound tradition of peaceful progress. The Chakra, deconstructed to create a four-petal flower form, invokes nostalgia. Each petal transforms into an exhibition pod, with vibrant displays of data, infographics and installations that illustrate the vast range of opportunities the country has to offer. Elements have been extracted from material memory. Indigenous materials such as brass, wood, textile and metal evoke the country’s legacy of craftsmanship.

On designing homes, he says, “If you can afford to engage a professional designer, choose wisely. Allow them enough independence with a transparent budget. I don’t believe in trends. There are solutions, some appropriate, some not, some timeless, others not. As a designer, it’s my job to create timeless, healthy and enriching environments. Luxury has little to do with fancy materials; it has a lot to do with light, air and space. These are timeless,” says Bhatt.


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Printable version | Jun 11, 2021 5:05:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/homes-and-gardens/design/i-dont-believe-in-trends-in-design/article7161652.ece

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