Lifestyle is getting a Reboot
Realty+ talks to Architect Prem Nath, Founder of Prem Nath and Associates on the design sector transformations in current COVID scenario.
According to you, what are the major challenges that architects & designers face in Work from Home (WFH)?
The concept of Work from Home is new to our country, and the field of Architecture & Design is more of a collaborative kind, the best outcome is via team work and pooling in best resources – it is not a practice that one can always do in isolation. However this pandemic is such and the lockdown times are the times which has challenged one to go beyond, think out of the box, adapt to the new environment and that is what is being done; Once one has adapted to the new work system,
I do not see it as a major challenge, thanks to all the technology and tools available today, with the fast speed internet, multiple data sharing platforms, visual and tele-communication apps (and all this at virtually no cost or a affordable cost) and most work being done on software – it is not that great a challenge to WFH;
W with many corporates already in process of taking policy decisions to enable 50%-75% of their business employees/associates to work from home, the challenge that one may face is to Adapt to the new system, to Accept the realty and move forward and be Inclined to actually show ones skill and performance, during the demanding times – these are those intangible yet important hurdles one should cross.
How will Architecture & Design change post-COVID-19?
As an Architect it is my job to foresee the future – the Future of Architecture is not smart cities or smart homes – except the communication facilities, the so called ‘automation’ is useless to us – what is required is sustainable work spaces, sustainable living – one that uses natural resources, one that allows natural light and ventilation (not air-conditioning not artificial lighting) that promotes eco-friendly living and creates healthy environment – Sunlight is one of the biggest healers – it also enhances body’s immune system; so I strongly feel that the architecture shall change towards Architecture with Natural Habitat.
I also foresee that not only homes shall be now planned with small home-office space to WFH even the way we design work spaces & public spaces shall change now – even once the lockdown is over, the pandemic doesn’t yet get resolved, so for a few more months people shall yet practice Social Distancing.
People shall now be more Hygiene Conscious – leading to positive and may be drastic changes in the work / public spaces – all things (like the sensor based urinals & taps) shall now be planned touch free, along with other utilities, the Sanitizer Dispensers shall now be part of specification, more over thanks to the reduced income & recession – spaces too shall be designed more compact, more economical.
The Work Culture shall also change – after this Biggest Ever Stint of Work From Home, henceforth ‘over the table’ Meetings, Conferences, etc. shall all drastically reduce and more Webinars & e-Meetings shall be held – thus this too shall affect the work space design; let alone, probably the good old Hand Shake shall now be greeted with “Namaste”
What are the positives to emerge from the Crisis?
The positives to emerge out of this Crisis is that the ‘Lifestyle is getting a Reboot’. It was too much of a fast paced life that, the global citizens were living; life got expensive, with all that fast travel, high-end living, hotels, malls, luxury cars and so on – and all these got expensive year after year, without any major upgrade and people got extravagant and spent beyond their limits thanks to the lucrative EMI and finance options.
This is the time for ‘Zero Correction’ – post this pandemic, people shall emerge out of this hype and start living a life of Contentment – lifestyle shall get a bit slow paced and more local centric, i.e. interdependency between nations and interdependence between states and cities shall reduce.
People shall be more inclined to look for locally available resources and jobs, also with reduced workloads, the work force shall too be optimised and efficiency be enhanced; it is high time, one understands the value of health & hygiene and realise that prioritising technology and fast-paced life is not going to help in future such situations; the world shall learn to care & be more compassionate not only towards one another but also towards Mother Earth and to live more sustainably.