This Independence Day- Celebrating The Indian Design Industry
Realty+ in conversation with Abhishek Chadha, Founder & CEO at “KariGhars”
What is the social responsibility of a designer in contributing to the economic growth of the nation?
With architectural production becoming ever more beholden to the needs of capital and the building industry, the role of the architect & interior designer is changing. It sits squarely on the threshold where the private interests of the client meet the public effect of buildings: visual, programmatic, and environmental. For some designers, the responsibility in contributing to the economic growth of the nation may be curating spaces that amalgamate various design philosophies while maintaining an equilibrium with their clients. For others, it can be how they revamp the skyline of their city barring any inhibitions. And for most, it can be designing establishments that are in sync with the building council norms. As for me, the role of a designer in society is ever-changing. With the growing needs of capital & the building industries, Architects & Designers need to evolve with time.
This Independence Day in what way can designers bring economic independence to our craftsmen and Indian handicraft?
When we started out, resources were limited & we had to make do with whatever existing technology we had at our behest at that time. The craftsmen we worked with, in the initial years, are with us to date. Trends may come & go in the design industry but authentic Indian handicraft will always be in demand. Firstly, awareness of what you are selling to the customer is of prime importance. As interior designers, clients instill faith in us & we should justify it by dispensing that information to them. To give the craftsmen economic independence, we as designers need to give them due credit. Nowadays, hand-made products are considered to be a fashion statement and an item of luxury. Through the ages, handicrafts made in India like the Kashmiri woolen carpets, Zari embroidered fabrics, terracotta, and ceramic products, silk fabrics, etc. have maintained their exclusiveness. These crafts carry the magnetic appeal of the Indian culture that promises exclusivity, beauty, dignity, and style. As designers, we need to preserve such a rich cultural heritage bestowed upon us by our ancestors. Pandemic or no pandemic, stand in solidarity with the skillful hands that form the second largest workforce in India after agriculture. The government of India should adopt an equitable growth model for them, which in turn strengthens the economy & safeguards their cultural identity.
What initiatives are you taking to promote local Indian manufacturers?
From inception to execution, conceptualization to curation, we at The KariGhars cater to the customized demands of our clients. We create luxury residences that reflect the owner’s personality, passion, and style. All the products that we choose to implement in our designs are homegrown & made by local Indian manufacturers. We need to respect the craft traditions in India which are essential in contributing to a sustainable & green future. We are doing our bit by bringing in sustainable fibers and upholstery in our interiors – silk, jute, khadi, linen, etc. Switching to Indian made lights, upholstery, plywood, veneers, glass, mirrors, tiles, floorings, artwork for walls, home décor elements, home furnishing, the list is endless. For any commercial organization, the brand is its most valuable asset. When a brand sells in the global market, irrespective of where it is produced, sold, or ultimately consumed in the world, apart from royalties in technical fees, the owner of the domestic firm enjoys appreciation in the valuation of his brand. It is our prerogative to uplift our local manufacturers & aid in putting them on the global map.
In your opinion, what is the freedom to design?
The freedom of design for me is a perfect balance that needs to be maintained between the client’s brief & my own creative expression. My source of inspiration has always been the needs & desires of my clients that propels me to design something that stays with them forever. I treat every project as a challenge & try my best to meet their expectations. As a learner & observer by nature, I absorb information & implement it in my designs. All my designs have a provision for form & functionality but also come with a unique design style and an element of creativity.