News Input by Kamal Prabhakar UK Head Hello Mumbai News
The Impact of COVID-19 on the future of interior designing
Recovering from a global pandemic necessitates innovative design thinking, especially in places where people may come into close contact with one another. As our personal bubbles have enabled us to co-exist under testing circumstances, the landscape for interior designing will need to adopt to the ever-changing needs on social distancing in commercial stores and offices.
Plexiglass and non-porous materials, like copper, bronze, and brass, will now get their time to shine as integral elements in safe workspace design. Not only will these germ-resistant surfaces and materials make it easier to clean surfaces, but it will also cause germs to dissolve at an expedited rate. We will need to create smart buildings and offices using AI technology to manage the flow of people as well as mange the operational costs of running a commercial building. I think we will also see a lot of touchless technology, more surfaces and finishes that can be easily disinfected, as well as less dense open plans as we rethink dynamic seating.
Office redesigns aren’t limited to just commercial spaces—residential design ideas may become more similar to commercial design, as more people work from home on a temporary, or even permanent, basis.
With that being said, the focus of commercial office spaces will centre on collaboration and increased social space, as those are two elements that can be difficult to replicate in a work from home environment. Meeting rooms and desk configurations will also be getting makeovers in layout and material (think cubicle, but make it chic).
Speaking of working from home, the way that residential spaces are designed will expand to incorporate not only the physical experience but the virtual experience, too.
Lighting, acoustics, and striking the perfect balance of personal and professional will continue to be front of mind as the necessity of having a flexible, sometimes multi-functional, working space at home has made itself clear.
Current Challenges and the Future of Interior Design
These uncertain times have come with no shortage of challenges: the way we shop and work will never be the same, and as designers, we have a new list of considerations to keep in mind when designing spaces.
What keeps you motivated in this challenging environment?
My upbringing and education experience has made me more resilient and given me the strength and confidence to achieve whatever I set out to do. It also taught me to hold my work to a very high standard. The current global crisis has shown me how to be resilient, have the strength, confidence and continue to develop high standards that are extremely valuable assets to survive and thrive through this pandemic.
Although there is no clear path forward, we can still do work to turn challenges into opportunities. The more diverse I am able to develop my design skill set is, the more well-rounded I could be as a designer to attract new clients.
Every space in the world is being redesigned right now, giving interior designers the opportunity to give our homes, offices, and stores new purpose.
Change can be scary, but it also presents us with the opportunity for growth. We are adaptable and will come through this stronger, and more conscious, than ever before.
Brief Introduction of Rachna Gupta and professional Journey :
Rachana launched her own designer brand “ORAANJ” in 2004. This venture helped her develop her entrepreneurial skills and understanding of how to run and manage a business.
Rachana’s education and work experience include a Post Graduate Diploma in Interior Design with the British Academy of Interior Design from London. Her gratitude for the design progression and the position of not only an appealing form, but also the indispensable purpose of a space has helped her to grow her own unique design style. Add to that a few years of knowledge working in home staging & furnishing model homes and her ability to create practical, generally appealing spaces has evolved. She prides herself on emerging designs that not only reproduce her client’s private style, but also work well for their lifestyle.
She is the founder and editor of the interior design blog, Oraanj, which has been showcasing inspiring interiors and adorning tips and ideas for the home for more than 2 years. She firmly believes that our surroundings have a deep impact on the soul so she has made a promise to create beautiful places for people to live in that is practical and modern.
What drives you to design?
I love to help people create a space they’d love to spend time in. It is very fulfilling to watch a non-functional and out of character house being gradually transformed into a vibrant and inspiring home.
I think people underestimate the positive effect an inspiring space has on their mood & lives. I love working with clients to help them find their style. Nothing makes me happier than coming home to a space that speaks to me and I love helping my clients achieve that feeling too!
To me, good design realises the potential of any space. It involves considered choices teamed with a sense of bravery. As a designer, I have a strong understanding of how interiors come together, from the architecture of a space to the furniture and soft furnishings that fill it. Colour palette, material choice and finishes are all equally important – each element is essential to creating one cohesive look that is both resolved and innovative.
From where do you draw most of your inspiration?
Mostly from my client’s needs. The more the needs and the tighter the time schedule the more I push my limits, the more I create. Sounds bizarre but it actually works!
I draw most of my inspiration from the places I go and see. It can be from even staying at a hotel on vacation. It is during those times I get to see how others design spaces and their functionality and from there I can take my experience of “living it” to know what works and doesn’t work in a space I design.
Tell us your biggest design secret:
I never develop a design scheme around one single item in a room. Much like a good TV show, even when there is a star, the supporting cast is critical to the success of the project.
I started solo on a small scale and very happy and proud of where the business is today. I am a free thinker and self-motivated and look forward to new challenges.