Being appreciated as the new generation of innovative architects and designers is gratifying in itself, but when that recognition takes you to new experiences and fosters an inspiring
dialogue – it’s a treat like no other. This year, our iGens had just this privilege thanks to Jaquar Group and the iGen Design Dialogue series being held in Gurgaon. Architects and designers get an exclusive tour of the company’s manufacturing facilities, where they get to see first-hand how quality products are crafted on a regular basis.

Welcoming the delegates to iGen Design Dialogue 3.0, held last month from November 12-14, Mohit Hajela, group head – Business Development, Jaquar Group, said “The Indian subcontinent is blessed to witness some marvellous architecture, standing tall with its roots. Jaquar, with its presence in more than 45 countries, celebrates the spirit of design. The design dialogue is an initiative to create a knowledge platform where celebrated designers share their design philosophy and contribute more to the industry and nation at large.” Rajesh Mehra, director and promoter of Jaquar Group, also expressed, “This is a first-of-a-kind design programme that Jaquar Group has initiated, with the main purpose being to come out with free flowing, constructive ideas in architecture and design – sharing and learning from leading designers and young talents from the fraternity.” The two-day event began with an extensive tour of the company’s Bhiwadi facilities, visiting its two prominent units.

Observing the faucet manufacturing process helped the iGens to appreciate the craft and detail that go into making these everyday products. The tour of the global headquarters along with the Lighting and Wellness plant, on the following day, was an equally enriching opportunity. At the gobal headquarters, Yatin Pandya, principal, Footprints EARTH, gave an inspiring keynote address, emphasizing on the world ‘dialogue’. With Smart being the new focus, he wondered about a truly inclusive development that takes into consideration rural areas, technology, infrastructure issues, and even issues of equity.

Design is about discretion, Pandya asserted, adding, “It is about the ability to discern between appropriate and inappropriate, appropriateness to the context, context in terms of place and people.”
Design must go through some crucial perspectives or filter, he advised. Because buildings last beyond us, timelessness should be one of the objectives – followed by socio-cultural appropriateness to the context. The client’s aspiration is just as significant. “It has to be true to their needs and priorities,” Pandya underlined, and went on to denote the importance of environmental resource management, economical affordability, structural strength and stability in the design scheme.

One of his most profound inputs in the address highlighted the synonymous nature of history and tradition. “Tradition is living history. Something that comes from the death of history and dies its own death and continues to survive,” Pandya explained. The existence of historic wisdom, despite the change and transformation of time, is in itself a proof of its values.“We live through these three time zones simultaneously. Our moorings of the past, aspirations of tomorrow that co-exist to create the brevity of today,” he further stated If tradition is an interesting dynamic to absorb in one’s design, the peculair Indian way of co-existence is another. Illustrating with an example from Ahmedabad, Pandya mentioned, “Early morning, every day at the plaza, there is a cow grazing ground; in the afternoon, it is a business district; and in the evening, it’s an outdoor eatery. So, it’s a binal metamorphosis over a 24-hour cycle everyday.” This duality of existence, where we simultaneously exist as part and as whole, is also a key principle affecting design.

Architecture is often more about the unbuilt than the built, as the keynote constantly stressed. Therefore, Pandya encouraged the young iGens to make a difference and strengthen the social fabric through their design. “Make Gandhian values itself your currency. Traverse in the immensity of time and
space of notions and reality,” he advised.



“The use of cutting-edge techniques in the design and making procedure was a treat to the eye. It makes us proud to be associated with such an Indian product company.” Archis Patel & Tanvi Rajpurohit, founders and principal architects, a+t associates “The Design Dialogue was interesting since we met our peers in the field and also got a chance to see the inner workings of a manufacturing brand that is known for its growth through increasing quality and standards.”

Gaurav Roy Choudhury, principal architect, GRCA “It never crossed our minds that something we select and use so often as a product has such a massive back story. The Design Dialogue was super amazing… Personally, for us, the presentation by Yatin Pandya was the most thought-provoking and insightful.” Pratyoosh Chandan & Ankita Sweety, principal architects, Studio An-V-Thot Architects “We have a new-found respect for the rigour and precision required for a simple object like a faucet, which is often overlooked.”

Ipsit Patel & Rika Chaudhry, partners and principal architects, Patch Design Studio “Being a product designer, it was fascinating for me to see the behind-the-scenes of a faucet factory. I loved the passion of the entire Jaquar family.”

Shivangi Shah, founder, Hive Home “The experience was an eye-opener. The skill and craftsmanship that goes into a faucet wasn’t appreciated before. It was a great experience meeting fellow designers as well as the heads of Jaquar and learn about the ethics and values of their company.”

Areen Attari & Shahveer Irani, co-founders, Put Your Hands Together (PYHT) “The visit to Jaquar’s facility and the technical knowledge imparted will contribute to successful and practical solutions in all projects.”

Mandar Joshi, principal architect, Intento Architects “I was amazed to see how much detailing goes into manufacturing a small faucet. I am not going to look at the faucet in the same way (from now on). The Design Dialogue was a great opportunity for interaction and for sharing the ideas behind our designs too.” Ojas Chaudhari, principal architect, Studio TAB



“Design has two sides to it. First, the ability of a designer to identify the problem and, secondly, the resolution of it through an apt and creative approach,” shared Kirtisagar Bollar, associate  Architect, Architect Hafeez Contractor. “The outcome succeeds only if both are addressed. The lack of the first one leads to a good looking but non-functional product, while the lack of the second leads to mundane things. Good design surpasses both, rendering it timeless.” Bollar illustrated his design philosophy by referencing some of his noteworthy projects. One that stood out was resolving a faulty existing design for one their clients, which compromised the quality of light and natural ventilation. After an analytic study, AHC recommended a better design that surpassed the client’s expectations and also helped then acquire a whole new project.

In simple terms, design is “a response,” expressed Saiju Mohamed Basheer, principal architect, Insight Architects. “I strongly believe that design is much more than a solution to a problem. My responses towards a certain context leads to a particular design…all my designs are my responses.” Basheer shared the significance of the name Insight in his practice and his experience of working on projects in Muscat – where he enjoys creative licence and freedom to execute his ideas. Mandar Joshi’s design philosophy was born out of a fruitful conversation with Prof. Mustansir Dalvi when he was just a third year architecture student. “Simplicity is the most difficult thing to achieve and, if you are able to translate it in your designs, the results are satisfying to all” — the good  Professor’s advice has stayed with Joshi ever since.

Now, as the principal architect of Intento Architects, he follows through with this philosophy in projects situated in diverse contexts – from Alibaug to Jaipur. From starting off as a furniture designer to focusing exclusively on lighting, Shivangi Shah, founder, Hive Home, mapped her journey and showed how she arrived where she
is today. Shah recently launched her Diversity collection at Acetech (Mumbai), where she experimented with glass and metal to create stellar light fixtures. Fellow designers caught a glimpse of Shah’s many exclusive and conceptual lighting designs. To create such exceptional designs, Shah believes, “your mindset must be relentlessly focused on the smallest detail.” When not creating something new, designers have to redeem a project from its existing flaws, and that was the task given to Pratyoosh Chandan and Ankita Sweety, principal architects, Studio An-V-Thot Architects.

A client entrusted a functioning hospital in their care, and the duo had to set in order basic needs like light distribution and ventilation, besides revamping the whole place. “We intend to breathe, is our motto,” shared the duo. “We believe in the importance of the space within and beyond, rather than the built frame. We endeavor to design and develop an environment for stories to take birth and remain, where true feelings are captured and a sense of belonging is felt, only to resonate through time.”

Ojas Chaudhari, principal architect, Studio TAB, is just as passionate about design. For him, good design is “like finding love. It draws you to it, endears you to its physical attributes and unravels itself slowly. It lingers on till you realize that this design and nothing else could replace it in the given context of space.” In the last six years since the studio’s establishment, he has designed retail showrooms and villas all over the country, lawyer’s office – projects he discussed in detail during the design dialogue. Sharing their passion for natural materials, Areen Attari and Shahveer Irani, co-founders, Put Your Hands Together (PYHT), spoke about projects in Mumbai and Nepal. “We are a bio-architecture firm that designs within the eco-system, engages with community and builds with local and available natural materials,” the duo pointed out. When not designing with natural materials like mud and bamboo, they conduct workshops and teach people how to build with bamboo – a programme spanning seven to eight days.

Ipsit Patel & Rika Chaudhry, partners and principal architects, Patch Design Studio, have helped create spaces that reflect the young, progressive vibe. They walked through their designs for Godrej, the entertainment company Only Much Louder, and BookMyShow, among others. “We try and create spaces that, while being functional, transcend their functionality. We try to push the notional boundaries of design and function through material experimentation and newer generative ideas, ” the duo said.

An unparalleled flair for “modern simplicity or classical minimalism,” is what defines the work undertaken by Archis Patel and Tanvi Rajpurohit, founders and principal architects,a+t associates. “Our design aesthetic is marked by clean,simple and sophisticated lines, a palette of neutral colours and interesting textures. Our designs possess a basic seriousness with an injection of freshness. We believe in these words: Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Design is knowing which ones to keep,” they shared.

The two-day event ended on a high note, with each of the participants returning home inspired by the experience.

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