Thursday, 12 April 2018

Design Dialogues 2018

January, 18 Mumbai:  The 4th edition of Design Dialogues organised by Washrooms and Beyond Magazine was held on January 18, 2018 at Taj Santacruz, Mumbai, attended by over 200 architects, interior designers, and allied professionals from across the country. 

Launched in 2014, Design Dialogues is an outcome of the publication ´s annual thought platform for creative designers from India and abroad. It has been more than just a gathering of information, disseminating it among the architects and designers fraternity. A commitment to act as a platform to instigate discussion around design, construction and urban habitation issues facing the country and positively influence the industry as an agent of change.

The first session of Design Dialogues began with the welcome address by Sheital Shetty, Editor & Publisher of Washrooms & Beyond Magazine. She said, “This year in design dialogues we have moved out of the niche areas like bathrooms and kitchens to dwell into other subjects like lighting, sustainable design, and surfaces amongst others. She also thanked the architects and interior designers for their support.”

Anurag Yadav, Consulting Editor, Washrooms and Beyond said, “Design is a field where even the best learn something new every day. Every designer is a lifelong student of architecture and design in that sense and welcome fresh ideas.”  He appreciated the positive response of the industry to the well researched and incisive content of the publication and spoke about the Group’s publications  purpose of focusing towards niche segments of the design and construction of the industry. He also thanked the fraternity of architects and interior designers for supporting this initiative.

Panel discussions

Panel discussions held on different topics proved very insightful, educative, and informative.


 The panel discussion on “In the Light of hospitality-How guest experiences can be influenced by Lighting,” was moderated by Yatin Pandya , Principal Architect & Proprietor, Footprints E.A.R.T.H. He described light as a gift from nature and as an a element that is also a reminder of time. He described light as a celebration, an omnipresent presence and a cultural direction.  Light is something that demarcates space  and creates rhythm, scale manipulation, and perception of depth. Light enhances  colours manifestation in many ways.

Kapil Surlakar, Founder and Director of Light@Work Design Consultants Pvt. Ltd said , “Choosing the appropriate lighting system for each area is a challenging task. In India, there is a challenge of using the natural light perfectly along with artificial light, which can influence guest's mood and hotel's atmosphere. The concerns of lighting include expenditure and if spent correctly for the right kind of lighting in a building it can do wonders to business bottomline. Lighting should be versatile and adaptable to meet every expectation of guests and value to design.”


In the panel discussion on, “Rethinking Surfaces – the choices between glitz and elegance,” one of the panellist, Suhas Nalawade, Principal-design cell, STELLAR design studio said the approach towards the projects should not be deciphered as A, B and C. A becomes the plan, B becomes the elevation and C becomes the material. It has to be looked in its entirety as a package. The whole approach should start with an idea case that is specific and differs from the residential to commercial architecture. Surfaces should not be treated as a separate objective, it is an object by itself.”


The third panel discussion on Sustainable Design – Cost Vs Benefit was moderated by Nitin Saolapurkar, Principal Partner, Saolapurkar and Associates. He said sustainability is practised by most either knowingly or unknowingly in most of the architecture projects. Sustainability requires a very integrated design approach where a building or project requires being sustainable where all the promoters and stakeholders come together and work out on a cost for a sustainable solution to the project. It also means the optimum use of the energy in the environment, reuse of the wastage for the building and for particular purpose.

The session threw up new meanings and definitions of sustainability as designing for the present needs consideration of material for the future. In sustainability today the focus is on the building. The panelists were of the opinion that there should be keener focus on  people instead. How sustainability effects people which should be the primary aim so different design options could be churned out, opined Nejeeb Khan, Founder & Managing Director, KGD-Architecture.


Renowned architect and academician N. Mahesh, ‎Principal Architect of Iyer and Mahesh Architects moderated the panel discussion on “Luxury washrooms – Does it hang on expense or design?”

The session threw up the idea that luxury is never simply about how much money is spent. It is about the wise and comfortable use of proportion and scale, meticulous installation, well articulated and unique use of materials. “A dream bathroom goes hand in hand with a real lifestyle factor that guarantees a higher quality of life. it’s all about feeling which comes at an expense and cost providing comfort and elegance, cannot marry everything here,” said  Siraj Hasan, Principal Architect, Siraj & Renu.

Bandna Singh, Director & Partner, Positive Axis said , “We have to look at context, location and social situation of the building and its  users. The definition of luxury bathroom in Chandigarh could be 15’X20; bathrooms, whereas in Mumbai even a 7’X10” area could be all luxury. Luxury is basically about wellness. The size of the house, the element of natural light – all adds to the overall ambience of the washrooms. Luxury is not only about outward appearances but environmentally it has to be sustainable and energy efficient to be rtuly worth the definition.”

Rupande Shah, Founder, & Principal Architect, Rupande Shah & Associates said this term luxury has become very popular in bathrooms. It comes with a certain cost and having said that as responsible designers we have to concentrate on the aesthetic element of space rather than sheer wastage of natural resources.”


Crompton and WATERTEC were the Gold Associate Sponsors for the event.

Design Dialogues 2018 proved to be an exciting cerebral churning for the professionals involved in it. The audience participated actively came forward to freely share their ideas, suggestions, and creative inputs in the question and aswers tim after each session.

 This year, Design Dialogues again enabled a coming together of the finest minds from the designer fraternity to present, share, and discusses a large canvas of professional inputs and experiences.

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