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June 20, 2024

Image Courtesy: Temple Town

How Architects & Designers are Building a Greener Tomorrow

Imagine a world where buildings breathe clean air, homes blend seamlessly with nature, and every design decision minimizes our impact on the planet. This isn’t some utopian fantasy – it’s the reality architects and interior designers are creating with sustainable design. As World Environment Day reminds us, the future of our planet rests not just in our hands, but in the blueprints we choose to build with. Today, we celebrate the visionaries who are ditching the bulldozers and designing spaces that harmonize with the planet. From living walls that breathe life into cityscapes to buildings powered by the sun, we got into a conversation with some architects and interior designers who are proving that sustainability can be seriously stylish.

Balancing aesthetics with sustainability

For decades, architecture existed at a crossroads. On one hand, soaring structures and bold designs pushed the boundaries of aesthetics. On the other, environmental concerns cast a shadow, urging a shift towards sustainable practices. But what if the two weren’t mutually exclusive?

Speaking of blending the two in her projects, Meera Pyarelal, Founder and Interior Designer at Temple Town states, “We responsibly source eco-friendly and sustainable materials to design products and execute interior spaces. From designing and manufacturing sophisticated pieces of colonial furniture to executing end-to-end interior design projects we adhere to eco-design practices. Sustainable materials maintain a similar level of exquisite appeal and durability compared with traditional materials. While designing our products, we amalgamate age-old techniques and cutting-edge technology to maintain the design aesthetics. Since our furniture is not mass-produced, the beauty of our pieces lies in their unique design appeal. The ideal example would be our stone bed made of a stone granite pillar, with rattan and wood created with sustainable practices.”

Image Courtesy: Temple Town

On the other hand, Hiloni Sutaria, Head Architect at Hsc Designs shares, Aesthetics of the project usually becomes a culmination of all these factors used to design a space, like client functionality, material research, context and climate and Sun conditions. These factors dictate and contribute to the differently designed aesthetics of the space.”

Role of upcycling in design process

Gone are the days of architecture being a one-way street, a process solely focused on creating new structures from raw materials. Today, a growing movement in sustainable design called upcycling is transforming the way we think about buildings. Upcycling involves reusing and repurposing discarded or salvaged materials, giving them a new lease on life within the architectural landscape.

“We create colonial-inspired furniture that is sustainable and can be repurposed- reused by at least three generations of a family. I believe the heirloom pieces have a soul beyond fashionable seasons, thus reducing the carbon imprint on the planet due to unnecessary wastage. We use recycled and upcycled materials for our bespoke product range and interior projects.  For one of our projects we used sustainable Athangudi tiles along with recycled and reused teak wood, the fabrics were a mix of Kerala handloom and silks for cultural significance. It’s been in our ethos to use recycled and upcycled items, certified wood, low-flow water fixtures, and low-impact products, to create stunning spaces in harmony with nature,” shares Meera Pyarelal, Founder and Interior Designer at Temple Town.

The green dream’s obstacles

While architects and designers are embracing sustainable practices, sourcing eco-friendly building materials isn’t a cakewalk, and presents a unique set of hurdles. Commenting on the ups and downs, Meera Pyarelal, Founder and Interior Designer at Temple Town shares, “The availability of recycled materials compared to conventional materials is a problem when it comes to convincing people to use sustainable materials. A higher price tag when we use local craftsmanship and materials against cheap furniture that is imported in large numbers.”

A piece of advice for homeowners!

“I think, choosing the right materials is very important when it comes to making space eco-friendly. Apart from that, using modern technology and calculation of HVAC loading , bringing in more natural lines, Employing solar systems, water harvesting and many more are ways that we can make living spaces more eco-friendly,” quotes Hiloni Sutaria, Head Architect at Hsc Designs. 

Image Courtesy: HSC Designs

Suggesting some methods one can opt at ease, Kumpal Vaid, Founder at The Purple Backyard quotes, “Even small changes can make a big impact on your home’s eco-friendliness. Start by swapping out traditional bulbs for energy-efficient LED options – a simple switch that anyone can do! Next, embrace the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” mantra. Instead of throwing away old furniture and decor, consider creative ways to repurpose or upcycle them. Finally, prioritize healthy indoor air quality by opting for paints, finishes, and adhesives low in VOCs.”

Image Courtesy: The Purple Backyard

Always remember, a healthier planet= a healthier future!

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