With India becoming a global force to reckon with, it was inevitable for it to feature prominently on the international design radar. Recent years have seen an advent of foreign architects either working on various projects in India or establishing their studios here. As brands working closely with and for designers, Dr. Art + Design and Design Matrix Magazine decided to bring together few prominent people from the industry to understand the impact this is having or could have on the Indian design ethos.
An effort that is empowered by the Pidilite Knowledge Series, the Design Discourse had a prominent list of panelists to discuss and give their opinion on the topic – Foreign designers: a part of Indian design development. The panelists included Ar. Aaron Schwarz, Ar. Ajay Nahar, Mr, Anuj Munot, Ar. Kamal Malik, Ar. Ninad Tipnis, Mr. Rohit Saxena, Ar. Sanjay Puri and Ar. Vivek Bhole. The discourse was moderated by Ar. Conrad Gonsalves who not only is highly respected in the fraternity but is also senior enough to have an unbiased view of having seen the development firsthand.
An interesting insight from all people on the panel was seen, with questions and inputs from the audience, which included architects, designers, students and other related people from the industry. The discussion began with the builder involvement in bringing the foreign designers in and how does that help a project and then moved on to the relevance of their working in the Indian environment.
Anuj Munot and Ajay Nahar began the discussion giving a builder’s perspective and Kamal Malik, with his strong sense of Indian identity raised the question of whether the foreign architects can identify with the Indian ethos and how does that reflect in their work. Aaron Schwarz felt that we as Indians don’t value our own positives and don’t take pride in our work, while Ninad Tipnis, Sanjay Puri and Vivek Bhole shared their international experiences while Rohit Saxena gave an insight on the working environment in an international studio. It was interesting to note the audience jumping into the discussions asking the panel relevant questions and sharing their experiences and points of view as well.
The evening ended with everyone agreeing that to meet the international challenge, we need to uplift the standard of our education and in have a system in place where the practicing architects can hone their skills as well.