Article is written by Mridu Sahai Partner at Studio Archohm
The world we live in is full of contradictions and challenges. It has its blessings and its boons.
The modern world has significant advancements in technology, medicine and transport. But we are surrounded by excess everywhere – our population is exploding, there is overabundance of visual mélange, things are over designed and overused, extra focus is on the excess, while the affluence is ostentatious, simultaneously there is overconsumption of our spaces; to add to this, we have a habit of obsessively hoarding clothing and possessions and are indeed crumbling under all that clutter.
India needs a lifestyle and architecture diet.
We need to hold back in order to navigate through these unusual times. We need to become more resilient and more authentic in order to not get swayed by every fad that comes along. It is a good moment to look at what has stood the test of time.
Modern Architecture is about Rationalized Decision Making
As contemporary Indian architects, we are deliberately designing spaces with sensory deprivation, as we feel that if we are able to provide that in our chaotic urban context, we have built a haven for our clients, a breather for the dwellers, a visual oasis for the city.
This modern and minimal architecture approach gives maximum power to the spatial quality of space making. It rejects decoration and promotes rationalized decision making, making architecture long lasting and versatile. And therefore, it is hard to do.
It may be unfathomable but to be restrained is tougher to practice than it seems. Simple rules apply in space making as they apply in living one’s life. To get rid of the excess and focus on the essential.
It is hard to choose. It doesn’t mean sacrificing things, but truly prioritizing them.
Modern Architecture is about Conscious Living
This focus makes us purposeful as we garner what is truly important to us, in Japanese organizing consultant Marie Kondo’s terms – “what sparks joy” and what doesn’t.
Yes, in Japan, you do have professional tidying experts because less is still more!
Simple and clear. Less cluttered is more freedom.
Being minimal and simple is a state of mind, a way of living that add more meaning to one’s life – a true luxury, in today’s world of distractions and complexity.
On every project, we attempt to bring this notion of conscious living into architecture and design. We prioritize the ‘essence’ of space making and focus on light, volume, ventilation and materials. We choreograph a conversation between these tools to create meaningful relationships within the space, to reveal the innate character of architecture.
Contextualizing is perhaps the most important element of design. It dictates how one treats the space. From climate to site, design decisions are made in tandem with these vital elements to create purity in architecture.
One practices restraint. There is a certain austerity and ascetic quality in this approach. It requires courage and has almost become a luxury. Luxury is conscious living. Luxury is the ultimate privacy. Luxury is collectibles – that tell a story. Luxury is originality. Luxury is about creating experiences.
If we want to live in the modern world, we must take the luxury of being able to live simply.