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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Poetic Mould


By Savitha Hira
Photography: Pankaj Anand & Rajesh Vora; Courtesy SRDA

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When each participant takes a few steps forward, far-reaching changes in the stimuli-response equation can transform into path-breaking design diktats...

It is a given; to work with a mindset governed by predispositions; a comfort zone born out of habituation rather than logical reasoning; and many a time, flow with the innate pressure to perform, irrespective. In such commonplace scenario, breaking out of a preconceived mould is no mean feat. It demands exemplar courage.

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Where even the slightest shift in one’s comfort zone at times needs cushioning; a paradigm shift requires guts. Guts that businessman of 25 years, owner of Ispat exhibited, when he assigned his new 3500 sq. ft. plus office premises to architect Samira Rathod, to mould with her offbeat sensibilities of design, into his envisaged workplace.

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Her design has never been about conventionality. In fact, her design is more about a home-grown approach set amidst the multi-dimensional imagery of a personalised comfort zone. It could mean one thing now and another a moment later; devoid of fuss and frolic; yet tangible in its candid influence, quietly reaching out to a range of receptivity.

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What you see here is an office but appears more like an overly spacious den-kind-of work space – homely, warm, with a touch of quirkiness that proclaims its individuality. As if the designer wanted to repeatedly reinstate how she has accomplished this differentiation - in treatment, in material play, in spatial configuration, through distinctive touches of her signature furniture and products.

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The envelope in plywood follows a philharmonic path; the use of ply, veneer, frosted glass, composite marble, the pastiche effect on the walls and ceiling, beautifully exposed wood grains... call your attention, akin to different musical notes combining in an exquisite rhythm to constitute a symphony.  The imagery even extends to the actual placement of a large free-for-all conference-table with a central electric-point-access axis that simulates a large piano in a philharmonic orchestra!

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With the tectonics for the office following a design vocabulary that flirts with atypical material application and flaunts its mechanizations (butt joints, wood grains, floor joints, overlaps, etc) in a aesthetic born of function, it is ultimately about sensitizing the soul to the comfort level it seeks and feels satiated with. Only, Samira has, in this attempt at wrapping the office into something else that is effectively un-office like yet respects the hierarchy of the conventional office, kind of teed off towards the excessive. A little more subtlety, reminiscent of her earlier examples of restraint, could perhaps have evolved into a more diametrically evolved effort. 

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6 comments:

  1. We are not told what business the office is for, as after all, design is about expressing the identity of the client. It seems strangely indian in the use of wood, but I must disagree with the its use on the ceiling - especially knowing the cost involved. Many old indian buildings used wood for the ceiling but in a very decorative form through carving and inlays. To use flat veneered (I assume) panels undermines its qualities and characteristics. Look at John Outram's ceilings for Rice University in Texas.
    In response to IAnD's discussion thread: How easy or difficult is it to break free from a conventional mould? How successful is out-of-box design thinking?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well, I disagree with Anthony Sully. Just because it is India does not necessarily mean that a wooden panel has to be ornate. IMHO I do not find any thing wrong with this wooden looking ceiling being flat panelled. Certainly it doesn't go against the tradition of India. Like the Romans did in the olden days to have fluted columns to "hide" the gaps of stone /marble joints, in India too ornament was used in wood to partially conceal the joints. With modernism creeping in, technology has given seamless joints. Why not make use of it. Probably i would agree if the interior was an adaptive re-use of a heritage Indian building with lots of wood. What we find here is a modern Interior. Again IMHO the wooden panels go very well with the other interior elements found in this interior. And veneer is not all that costly.

    I agree that what business this office is meant for should have been mentioned.

    PRSS

    ReplyDelete
  3. Beautiful, clean and lovely light and space!
    Very nice! I enjoyed it.
    Thank you.

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  4. Shahrizan Amir HamzahOctober 8, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    I agree with Mr Sully. Without knowing the office function, we cant tell.

    To answer the first question, from a personal standpoint, I break the mould but the client puts it back...
    In response to IAnD's discussion thread: How easy or difficult is it to break free from a conventional mould? How successful is out-of-box design thinking?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Aundrea Ali Artist/ E-commerce/Home Based Business OwnerOctober 1, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    Fantastic, Elagant, Functional, . Just brillant! Aundrea's Art Zone. Loved it!

    Aundrea Ali
    Artist/ E-commerce/Home Based Business Owner

    ReplyDelete

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