The Pandemic is Changing the Future of Architecture—Now is a Good Time to Study Interior Design

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed everything for the global populace. Its impact has forced people in every industry to flex and evolve, in real-time and with lasting effects that will endure in the long-term. The very ways in which we live, work, learn, and even play have transformed dramatically during the days of the crisis. In many ways, the changes are here to stay.

These changes can be felt in every domain, from agriculture to pharmaceuticals, apparel to aviation, travel to technology, automobiles to architecture.

As millions of students adapt to online classes, professionals work from home, and everyone takes precautions to stay safe and healthy as they step outdoors and return to business as usual, “usual” has a new meaning—already, the world is changing, spaces are changing.

Living within the confines of social distancing for the foreseeable future impacts every move we make, and quite literally, every breath we take. Architecture, has always been a way of designing and building how we optimise and interact with the spaces around us; how we inhabit the world. Be it indoors or outdoors; in our homes or in public places. This fundamental purview of architecture—designing how we as a community interact with our surroundings and other people around us, and even how we live our individual lives, could see a serious overhaul now.

For practising architects, this has proven to be a tremendous challenge. Initially, perhaps as a decline in work as people grappled with construction and other architectural projects coming to a complete standstill, and now, as time goes on, as the need of envisioning new approaches to architecture. For young people interested in studying architecture, this heralds the start of something new and exciting.

As professionals begin to rewrite the future of architecture, young students have a rare opportunity to join the best architecture colleges and be a part of this evolution. Embark on this journey of exploration and growth at Jindal School of Art and Architecture (JSAA), and you will find leaders in the field to guide you and help you navigate the opportunities and challenges of the future of architecture. The architecture school of O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat is India’s first interdisciplinary school of built environment.

Needless to say, the built environment will need to evolve, post-pandemic. Be it more consideration to pedestrian paths (already a major challenge in India), reimagining densely-packed public spaces (like high-rise apartments, commercial complexes, schools, hospitals, airports, railways and so on), or taking a look closer at home (for instance, how to deal with optimising living spaces to accommodate work/study as well)—the pandemic is changing the narrative of architecture, quite clearly.

Imagine the pre-pandemic world. For many working professionals—the “home” was usually really lived in only during the weekends or on holidays. The story was different for homemakers, of whom there are many in India. It was still different for young children or college-goers or the elderly.

For different people, life played out in different ways, in different places. Today, in a sense, we are all in the same boat. Yes, the world is slowly returning to normalcy, but months in lockdown and now a lifetime of precaution will show us how important the design of indoor spaces really is.

While there’s a lot to talk about the future of the changing landscape of architecture, let’s focus on an area that rings closer to home—interiors.

Do you find yourself reinventing your own personal space? Or perhaps even wondering how malls, movie halls, sports stadiums, or even parliaments might look like in the future, all things considered? Are you curious about the play of natural light and plants, colours and moods? Are you beginning to notice the impact of different accents and furniture in the spaces around you? If your answer is “yes”—then you might be cut out for a Bachelor of Design, and a future in interior design!

Why choose Jindal School of Art & Architecture to pursue an interior design course?

The four-year B.Des. Interior Design programme at JSAA is exactly the kind of contemporary curriculum that is needed to navigate this unprecedented challenge. What the 9/11 tragedy did to the security of public places globally, the on-going pandemic is witnessing in a different way. Making sense of the post-pandemic impact on architecture will need cutting-edge training.

The Interior Design programme at Jindal School of Art & Architecture, in fact, emphasises on training students in different knowledge systems to anticipate changes in the future of the built environment. It is a course especially designed for students who want to work towards improving inhabited spaces through experiential, experimental and informed design processes. In light of the pandemic, this pedagogic approach will be key to reshaping concepts of interior design.

As a stream of architecture that has already becoming increasingly prominent and popular (for both study and practice), interior design is an interesting field. Now, more than ever, it is gaining a new significance, as we learn to live with the pandemic and its widespread effects on our lifestyles, day-to-day lives and livelihoods.

The lessons of this pandemic will be lifelong—you can explore how it impacts interiors, through such a design course.

The Bachelor of Design – Interior Design programme teaches students to imagine, propose, test and refine their ideas about how to live and dwell in the contemporary world. When the contemporary world undergoes such phenomenal transformations as it is today, this is a course that shows the way forward.

Public and private spaces will see serious changes in design

Public and private buildings, even open spaces, are not going to be conventionally conceptualised anymore. The world is already beginning to embrace the novel interior space structures. As the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the globe, architects and designers have paced up their research and technical skills to identify new patterns that can be incorporated in designing different spaces from hotels, residential societies, sports complexes, and so on, in the future.

For instance, for some of the activities that were nothing out of the ordinary inside a hotel or residential space, a major renovation and alteration is what we all are witnessing now. For example, hotels around the world are doing away with the buffet system. Food is being served directly on the table, ensuring minimum contact, with face masks, globes and more precautions. While many schools and universities are yet to reopen across the globe, some schools are planning to do away with the gathering for assembly sessions even in the future. In the bigger picture, spaces like halls might just be missing from architect’s drawings and plans in the times to come!

As the revenues of shopping complexes, restaurants, hotels, across the world keep falling, their spaces in the future have to be designed in a way that ensures safety. Architects and interior designers will be called upon to deliver a blueprint for these plans and processes.

While some design aspects may remain unaffected, others will notice minor changes, and yet others may well become redundant. Seating, for instance, will go through a tremendous shift in the future—from schools to transport, restaurants to airports, and so on—for which new ways of designing which are both cost and time friendly will have to be implemented.

The demand for interior designers and architects is expected to soar in the near future where everyone would want to reimagine their spaces to ensure minimum contact outdoors, and maximum comfort, efficiency and productivity, indoors.

Reshaping private spaces for productivity, rejuvenation, safety and holistic living

Besides doing some revolutionary changes in public spaces, architects and interior designers are rethinking design patterns for homes and private spaces. The ongoing pandemic has brought disruptions to daily habits and work arrangements across the globe, where a renewed focus on health and wellness taking centre stage. Interior designers, now and in the future, will need to focus extensively on how to provide a living environment that is clean, flexible and responsive.

New spaces will be designed in a way that allow residents to engage with nature and the community while maintaining social distancing, as well. New home model will entail flexible interiors that make “work from home” easier. Kitchens will be augmented with expanded kitchen storage and increased pantry sizes, to cater to the newly-increased requirements and functionality. Spaces in a house like balconies, porches, yards and terraces are going to play a crucial role where engaging with people becomes easier and safe, and also for families to relax and rejuvenate.

For more than half the working populace, the radical shift of working from home may become permanent, suggest many recent reports. Designers are now contemplating about creative ways to incorporate work surfaces into apartments, keeping projects financially viable as well.

Some organisations today are even supporting their employees with financing workspaces at home. Workplaces at home have to be designed in a way where productivity is not hampered and where there is ample space for whenever people want to disconnect. Plants and green space within the house structure are being given prime importance as it’s beneficial for air exchange, detaching momentarily and reducing stress.

Students and professionals have been taking on these simple home redesign projects on their own, but the avenue for professional expertise will soon expand in a big way. Within the field of architecture, interior design will see a renewed push in a new direction, as well as a rising demand.

With such massive shift in architecture and interior design, is our current education system well-equipped to train the students in a desired way?

Bachelor of Design (B.Des) – Interior Design to help reimagine the future

An established degree in design at the undergraduate level, Bachelor of Design (B.Des) – Interior Design, is a course for those who have a creative bent of mind and who can experiment with interior spaces to make them aesthetic, sustainable an functional. A degree in Interior Design involves specific consideration of each and every element of interiors. From deciding the colour schemes of a house/public space to fittings to furniture to every architectural feature, everything must be brought together cohesively in accordance with the designer’s vision and the client’s needs. This is why Jindal School of Art & Architecture focuses on experiential, hands-on learning, where students will have an opportunity to work with real clients, on real sites.

Now, considering a novel approach must be adopted now to meet the need of the post-pandemic era, any run-of-the-mill interior design programme will not make the cut for today’s students. A programme that includes cutting-edge perspectives and contemporary mentors who are savvy to these changing paradigms will be more sought-after.

A degree in B.Des. Interior Design gives one freedom to either become an entrepreneur or work with leading interior design firms across the world. In the current context, and in the coming times, such flexibility will become more desirable.

JSAA helps students navigate a world of design that is immense, alluring, and full of colour!

At Jindal School of Art & Architecture, the Bachelor of Design programme trains students to imagine and create a wonderous world for a sustainable future. The practical elements of the courses give students real-world insights into how they can succeed in interior design. The faculty at JSAA is internationally-trained and students will learn the nuances of global and local design paradigms under their guidance.

The courses oriented towards professional practice include new forms of social and technical knowledge: diversity, sustainability, digital representations and professional ethics. Other features of the programme comprise diverse, customisable electives, a flexible system of minors in multiple subjects taught across schools within the university. The four-year (Foundation + 3) Interior Design pathway at the Jindal School of Art and Architecture, trains you for the new world where the requirements of designing have changed and which will need a 360-degree shift in public and private design spaces.

The course at JSAA allows you to apply current practices of the industry through, though not limited to the following:

  • Spatial Design
  • Building Services
  • Mapping Interior/ Exterior Environments and Landscapes
  • Body and Perception
  • Materials and Styles
  • Color and Texture
  • Objects, Equipment and Affordances
  • Lighting
  • Social Design and Collaborative Working
  • Gender and Space
  • Ecologies and Sustainable Practices
  • Field Notes and Ethnographies
  • Indigenous Craft Practices
  • Specifications and Codes
  • Ethics and Professional Practices

Chart your career creatively

One of the perks of a Degree in Design is that it provides great flexibility and versatility in terms of future choices. Whether you want to work after graduation or pursue further studies, the options are galore.

You can choose from a plethora of opportunities in the professional market. These include roles as: Interior Architect, Independent Researcher, Design Educator, Furniture Designer, Lighting Designer, Product Designer, Marketing and Sales, Hospitality Consultant, Sustainable Interiors Consultant, Landscape Designer, Building Pathologist, or Systems Designer, to name a few.

Students who want to pursue postgraduate studies can apply for various courses not just in India but abroad as well. Some of the courses are Interior Design Studies, Architectural Studies, Lighting Design studies, Design and Technology Studies, Textiles Design, Product Design, Production Design, Industrial Design, Transdisciplinary design studies, Urban Ecologies Studies. JSAA’s international partnerships will further boost the scope to study abroad.

With the evolving need in design spaces, possessing specialised and enhanced skillset will become imperative and this is exactly what JSAA thrives on.

Can you contribute towards redesigning a better world?

Architecture today, stands at the cusp of something potentially revolutionary. While the possible changes in architecture will be functional and aesthetic, it can have a deeper impact on our societies. Consider the adversities faced by those on economically weaker sections, distanced from privileged; the plight of poorly designed villages in hospitals, which are just not equipped to deal with such a calamity. Imagine the “chawls” where millions of poor Indian families living in small one-room homes share toilets and huddle together at the arrival of water tanks so they can drink clean water. We’ve all seen those tragically candid images in the media or even in popular films, some of us have even lived those realities.

Could we reimagine a better world that makes room for one and all? A world that is fair, just, equitable. As we emerge from the challenges of the pandemic, could we write a better future? Governance, economy, law, society, science, technology, and so much more; every limb of society will have its part to play in surviving—and thriving—in a new world, if they come together. Architecture, too, could play a bigger role here. Working in tandem with the other organs of this throbbing organism that is our world, ‘design’ can truly be a game-changer. Are you up for the challenge?

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