Challenges faced by Indian Architects and Designers
The Indian Architecture and Interior Design industry has witnessed a great paradigm shift over the recent years. With India’s booming economy and globalization, Architecture and Interior Design has grown exponentially not only in metros but also in tier-two cities. The young generation is following global design trends, and thus there is an ever growing demand for spatial designers and consultants.
In the contemporary design environment, use of new materials and technologies have reduced a project’s turnaround time significantly. New 3D rendering technologies, parametric software and innovative materials have eased a designer’s vision into becoming reality. However, with such momentous breakthroughs, we face fierce challenges. In this article, we would like to present three dire challenges faced by Indian Architects and Interior Designers today.
Finding the Right Product
Today, our clients are well travelled, and are exposed to new technologies and innovations. With such variety in the market, finding the right product becomes like finding a black cat in a coal cellar. While most of the times we enjoy researching about new products and innovations, many of these are not available in India and may take months to import whereas; others are not suitable to the Indian climate. For example using a wooden countertop, as exhibited in northern European countries is aesthetically pleasing and accentuates luxury, but is unsuitable for most Indian households using various oils, spices in a multi-course cuisine style of cooking. Use of large glass facades and wide skylight is another example of design challenges we may face with our projects in India. Educating the client of these challenges and creating design which optimize the building’s lifecycle is the way forward. Further, we at Aum Architects always try to promote indigenous products and promote local craftsmanship.
Competition from Consolidation
As per one of the articles on an eminent Architecture and Design Portal (https://www.architectureanddesign.com.au), many firms have been consolidating local Architecture firms since the last decade, resulting in the creation of global firms on a huge scale, such as WSP, Jacobs, Aecom, Arup, HDR, Meinhardt and GHD, many of which have significant architectural practices within. These companies scale up to mirror their clients globally, entering and controlling new markets. Their scale allows back-office efficiencies, more diverse expertise and sophisticated processes. On the other hand, Chinese construction companies have taken over well-known firms PTW, HBA and Wilson, in order to vertically integrate their supply chain.
It’s about time that independent practices specialise, collaborate and educate themselves and dwell into modern and innovative Architectural techniques, increasing their quality of design and services. We believe in such a scenario, collaboration will be the key to success.
Transition to Digital Age
As the millennial generation begins their foray into the world of architecture, there appears to be a growing chasm between them and the previous generations of architects. The former generation needs to accept new technologies like BIM and Parametric softwares and inculcate them into their practice. Today, Architecture is not limited to public buildings and corporates; design services are available to everyone alike, thus promotion Architectural Communication and Project cataloguing requirements not only for the industry but for potential clients. Further, Global Architecture and Design platforms like Architizer, Archello, Houzz etc have created global communities which interact between each other, exchanging design ideas and collaborating for innovative and interesting projects. It is imprudent that we as architects embrace this change objectively in our practice.
These are some of the challenges faced by our community of designers today. We shall discuss further pain areas like government policies and client interaction in our upcoming articles.