Design trends often reflect and respond to broader cultural shifts. By understanding and incorporating these trends, designers contribute to the cultural dialogue and maintain relevance in the context of contemporary society. In an interconnected world, where cultural exchange is rapid and widespread, awareness of global design trends is paramount. On that note, we reached out to Lead Design Architect and Brand Strategist of studio Tab – Richa Gupta, to forecast trends and gain insights into novel ideas, experiment with unconventional materials, and embrace innovative techniques. Read on to find out her insights:
What do you see as the most significant upcoming trends in architecture and interior design?
A lot of emphasis on material exploration in general. Natural materials being integrated into designs and spaces in the most interesting ways. It’s not about using them in their obvious or predictable state anymore.
Are there any emerging design styles or movements that you find particularly interesting?
Not a movement in particular. But the concept of bringing two absolutely different styles together. The blend of art deco in contrasting japandi or minimal spaces for instance. It needs to have the right balance and oomph to crack spaces like these well- that resonate with different personalities using the same space. Where everyone finds something to relate to.
What eco-friendly materials and practices are becoming more popular?
Recycled steel, mycelium, eco-bricks, bamboo, repurposed wood to name a few.
How is technology shaping the future of architecture and interior design?
Integration of technology has become a keen aspect of design today. From gathering precise data and carrying out detailed site analysis, designing parametric structures, experimenting with simulation, producing 3D printed structures, to using AR and VR for closer real world experiences and scenarios- technology plays an important role at multiple levels in architecture and design.
Are there any specific software or tools that are revolutionizing the design process?
BIM softwares, AI tools like midjourney, rendering and animation softwares like keyshot, actuation and simulation softwares to name a few.
How are spaces being optimized for functionality and versatility?
Adaptive re-use of old spaces/ structures is becoming widely recognized as a practice. This helps retain the old world charm, and add layers of modern day functionality to it. Such spaces always offer a dialogue- of old and new. Modern and ancient. Minimalist and maximalist. It definitely makes the experience more versatile and interesting.
What color palettes and combinations do you anticipate being popular in the coming years?
Anything coupled with pastels. More often than not, we find people yearning for a sense of calm and comfort in their spaces. Of course, interesting elements that add more color, zing and a sense of the user’s personality will always be the highlight in most spaces. But at large- neutrals, pastels with touches of green elements will always remain an integral aspect in any palette. One could never go wrong with pastels- whether you pair them up with neutrals or pop colors, they are here to stay.
How are inclusivity and accessibility being integrated into designs?
Spaces are now being designed for all. To offer a variety of experiences- where each one has something to relate to or resonate with. From graphical elements like signages, to decorative and functional elements like lights and furniture- everything has a story to tell today. Spaces and elements are no longer being forced to fit into categories. Everything at large is being thought of in a multi-purpose and multi- dimensional way, to offer more engagement and dialogue.
How are client preferences changing in terms of design styles, colors, and themes?
Clients today are pretty well versed with their research- on materials, markets and trends. This opens up two scenarios broadly- either a client knows exactly what they want from their space, or else- they’d want anything but a common space- that is seen all over Instagram or Pinterest.
There has been a significant shift in their perspective at large when looking at a space. Most of them are open to experiment with new materials, going quirky with choice of colors and elements. We see people have become more aware and appreciative of art and cultures around too. They seek a space that resonates with their idea of being. Thus, as designers it is not just about designing a space for clients today- it is more to do with curating experiences for them, based on their personality, choice, functionality and aspirations.
How are professionals addressing the need for sustainable, functional, and aesthetically pleasing designs simultaneously?
As professionals, we are constantly on the run to generate designs that are functional, fit for long term use (as that is what makes any design sustainable), easy on the eyes with the right amount of quirk and calm. With every new project, we get an opportunity to create something different, something personal and meaningful. After understanding the user psyche and requirements, we plan and create an experience for them. That experience takes the form of what we call a design. Every design brings on the table an opportunity to explore different materials and methodology to go about bringing these spaces to life. Sustainability and maintenance are key factors in determining these aspects. As anything that is far from sustainable- cannot last for long. Thus it is a pretty layered process- both professionally and at a personal level for any designer.
Can you highlight a recent project that exemplifies current industry trends?
House on the Rocks by studio TAB. It is a project that every architect would dream of. It is set in the most idyllic location – with views of the clean blue sky, beautiful trees and comforting flow of breeze. As poetic as it may sound, words can barely do justice to such a site.
The site itself became both- the canvas and brief in this case. The entire design was hinged around responding to the site- where each angle, opening and wall is thoughtfully carved- like a piece of art to frame the acts of nature- from trickling of leaves to the movement of the sun. The house literally sits on a rock- transcending into a home that grows and evolves with the rhythm of nature; essentially blurring the boundaries of the built and unbuilt.