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The eminent architects and designers from the city gathered in the second Talk of Town series event at The Surya Hotel, New Delhi on 2nd June 2018. Surfaces Reporter’s The Talk of Town is a neatly designed conference aimed to connect, engage and expand the circle of architects, artists, and designers in order to facilitate learning, sharing and networking among the industry’s who’s who and the aspiring ones. The event was sponsored by ENCRAFT, AICA Laminates and Philips Lighting.
The morning session of the event commenced with the ceremonial lamp lighting by the eminent Vijay Garg, Sonali Rastogi and Vertica Dvivedi followed by the welcome note of Vertica Dvivedi, - Curator of the Talk of the town, founder of WADe Asia and Editor-In-Chief of Surfaces Reporter Magazine. She expressed how close this event is to her heart.“As publisher of Surfaces Reporter magazine with a growing digital platform www.surfacesreporter.com, we still felt a vacuum which is aptly filled by this nationwide Talk series on Design called #TheTalkofTown. Thought-leaders in Architecture, Urban planning, Real estate, Interior Design and Art from a region gather to discuss on some less discussed topics over networking lunch and lots of interactions. From Delhi NCR, The Talk of Town is moving nationwide with next being in Jaipur on 23 June. I thank the speakers & delegates for making The Talk of Town Delhi hugely successful!”
Keynote speaker: Ar Sonali Rastogi, the founder-director of India's leading award-winning Architecture and Urban Design practice – Morphogenesis. She shared her views on Genesis of a Contemporary Indian Practice. She stated, “There was hardly any talk about Indian architecture coming out of Indian Subcontinent. So, we decided to come back to India and set up a practice, which attempts to define what architecture in a changing paradigm should be. The idea was to build an institution, to look at a lot of practices around the world where they are eventually devoid of the founder partner name. The genesis of Morphogenesis was based on that. The mission was that Indian voices need to be heard globally. We also tried to understand why women leave architecture profession and why do they move to stereotypical narrowing down. I just played my part in debunking this myth that women can't do mainstream architecture.” Sonali's speech was liked by everyone and the hall echoed with the sound of clappings.
After this, a story behind the making of ENCRAFT was presented. ENCRAFT is a leading Indian brand that has recently opened a world-class showroom in Delhi where one can see the latest range of Windows & Doors. Later, Satoshi Fujiura San and Mr Jagadish Ahuja came on the stage to speak about AICA Laminates and gave a wonderful presentation on Evolving Decorative Laminate Surfaces. Mr Jagdish Ahuja who is the COO of the company also accompanied him. The Kaiya range was launched by Mr Satoshi Fujiura San along with Ar Vivek Gupta, Mr Debashish, Ms Dvivedi, Mr Ahuja and Ar Rastogi.
The 1st panel had a fantastic set of panellist with architects and designers- Ar Madhav Raman, Ar Vivek Gupta, Ar Amit Gupta, Ar Sushant and Rajiv Khanna who presented their creative perspectives on ‘Simplifying the engagement with client’. The session was ably moderated by Ar Sabeena Khanna, Creative head of the Studio KIA. It was an interactive, interesting, serious, yet also a fun-filled panel discussion. There was amazing interactions with the audience that connected the people present in Surfaces Reporter's #TheTalkofTown.
"We are in a constant shift of engaging with the client and disengaging at the same time as well at times we do realize that the client does not know what needs to be done for the project. The client may have a vision for the project and it’s the architect’s role to convert that vision into something feasible. And there are times when the clients may be interfering, too much interfering with the process of design. So at times you have to push back and think of disengaging a little bit till the final output is being churned out. So that’s the point when the client also starts respecting the design process," said by Ar Sushant Verma.
On a question asked by moderator Sabeena Khanna about the impact of extensive client engagement in the evolution of design in your studio, Ar Madhav Raman replied- "We were not in a position to choose client when we started. So we would want to do all the work that came our way. So our design process got impacted by this idea of seeking alignment. Seeking alignment can happen with different clusters of ideas so it could be the client’s agenda, it could be social concerns or whatever but there is a sort of a process that we evolved in our studio which is motivated by the sense of alignment."
The interesting feature of the event was the series of mini-talks on relevant topics started by prominent guests- Olga Chepelianskai, founder of UNICITI on Building Sustainable - Building Unique, Ar Vipul B Varshney on her latest book- Lucknow: A CITY OF CULTURE AND HERITAGE, Ar Shweta Kaw on Cognitive Architecture and Vandana Kothari on My City, Your Stories.
There was also an amazing presentation by Mr Shishir Bansal from
#Philips Lighting sharing his insights on the stage about lighting importance. He introduced people about Interact Pro, which is a complete wire-based system that connects upto 200 lights.
The second-panel discussion started by the intellectual panellists- Ar Vijay Garg, Ar Akshat Bhatt, Ar Britta Knobel Gupta, Prof Manoj Mathur and Ar Amit Khanna engaged in a rich discussion on the topic “Are Architects adequately trained in universities to understand materials and construction processes?” The panel discussion began with an insightful and thought-provoking question to the panellists by the young and energetic moderator- Ar Manishi Agarwal.
In the interactive session, panellists shared their views about the changes that should be brought in architectural studies in India. They discussed the transformations needed in country's design schools so that the future of architecture will flourish.
"Exposure is what an architect requires," says Ar Amit Khanna. He further said that "An internship is a marvellous experience for an aspiring designer."
The second session of mini-talks began with the speeches by Chandrika Sahay on Healthcare Design, Prerna Kapoor on architectural Travel And Its Key Role, Ashish Vaishnava on Golf Course Architecture and Design, and Amit Singh on Virtual Reality- Future of Architecture. Neha Barua, Associate Director of the event, thanked the partners, panellists, speakers and other delegates present in the talk of the town event in Delhi.
Surfaces Reporter magazine will cover elaborate articulation of the discussions and mini-talks in its upcoming edition.