Present and Future of Commercial, Retail, and Hospitality Design- TTOT Panel Discussion

India, on the lines of Dubai, has been witnessing substantial changes in the commercial, retail, and hospitality design industry. To better understand the WHY behind such changes, The Talk Of Town (TTOT) conducted a panel discussion on it in Mumbai.

India, on the lines of Dubai, has been witnessing substantial changes in the commercial, retail, and hospitality design industry. To better understand the WHY behind such changes, The Talk Of Town (TTOT) conducted a panel discussion on, “Present and Future of Commercial, Retail, and Hospitality Design” in TTOT event in Mumbai on April, 07 2018.

It was a niche gathering of the prominent architects and designers of Mumbai and suburbs. The panellists, included architect Prashant Sutaria (Co-founder, Centre of Living and Planning for Tomorrow, Mumbai), architect Santha Mattoo (Co-founder, Planet 3 Studio, Mumbai), architect Shipa Jain Balvally (Principal Architect, Studio Osmosis, Mumbai) architect Kshitij Limaye (Executive Director, Sankalpan Infrastructure, Mumbai), architect Lalita Tharani (Co-founder, Collaborative Architecture, Mumbai), architect ID Tejal Mathur (Tejal Mathur Design, Mumbai) and architect Bhavvya Kenkare  (Co-founder, Arch-aid, Mumbai). They discussed and presented their views on the present state and the future trends pertaining to Commercial, Retail & Hospitality design. The session was ably chaired and moderated by ArShilpa Jain Balvally from Studio Osmosis.

Being the moderator of the panel discussion, Shilpastarted the panel discussion withKshitij. Sharing his thoughts, Kshitij said, “Commercial nowadays is very much specialized as a popular strategy. Today there is a greater emphasis on your client engaging with us at a design programming level -what we call it as design workplace strategy. So, the massive change that we’ve seen in about last 15 odd years is when people typically used to the corporate induced device, I typically work with corporate induced-ness. So, they use to eventually come out with plan which a developer would have given them, and a set of requirements which probably you know they will be using in a very historical kind of manner.”

Hospitality Design Industry-The Talk Of Town

Architects (Left to Right): Tejal Mathur,  Kshitij Limaye, Lalita Tharani and Santha Mattoo

Agreeing to Kshitij, Shilpa said that there is a lot of change in the way offices are designed abroad and even in India for that matter. Asking a question to Santha on about her take on the changing methodologies, in the past 10 years, Santha replied, “it is very difficult to predict any kind of trend, whether it is stock market or design, but in the past 10 years, yes we have seen design changes happen of more collaborative work stations, or desks all these trends are happening. But, having said that, I see a subtle shift in that too. You know people finally like coming to office, people like having their individual workstations, I like coming to my workstation, I don’t like my workstation to be occupied by somebody else, somebody else sitting there, I want my dedicated workstation.”

Adding to this, architect Lalita stated that rising costs are shrinking the spaces and co-working spaces is the reality of today. She also emphasised that how the people are now coming back to the traditional offices, whether be it. Google, Microsoft, or be it Yahoo, they are all calling giving the facility of working from phone. She further said, “Calling people back because a lot of studies have been showing that productivity is affected to a great extent, being in the office and in fact even, open office is going back to the more traditional closed spaces.”

Hospitality Design Industry-The Talk Of Town

Shilpa further asked Tejal about his perceptions on smaller boutique shops that have to keep their business going as there is a lot of competition now. And what are his suggestions for them to stand out? Tejal stressed the fact that online is the way forward and replied, “I feel digital marketing is going way ahead, you actually have online portals that can take you virtually through a store and they take you almost they put yourself there and try whatever you want to buy because it’s lot more cheaper to do that, is more sustainable and you can probably have more volumes and you’ll reach out to more people.”

On asking about the future of malls from Prashant, he said,“I see more of mediocre malls which will cater to the masses will come up, so the role of a good designer will only be limited to utility planning and basic stuff, and the other side is going to be the exclusive malls or destination malls.”

Bhavvya answered when Shilpa on her question about how the brands will balance the change in the travelling desires of millennial - who look for experiential travel rather than typically staying in a five-star hotel. She replied, “Thesedaysrestros are creating dining hubs where they encourage unknown people to work and eat together. And whether you are single, or a couple, or a group of friends, you can just sit down with anybody to interact, enjoy music, pull up your iPods, charge your phone and have fun in an interactive social setting.”

Shilpa concluded the discussion and said that designers need to basically find the right balance, use the technology in the best possible way, and of course still create a pleasing and useful human experience for their user.

Hospitality Design Industry-The Talk Of Town

 Architects: Bhavvya Kenkare and Prashant Sutaria

The Talk Of Town:

The Talk Of Town series is the brainchild of #SurfacesReporter, which is today a synonym for thought-provoking content on designs, products, and projects in the industry. Deeply connected within and around the industry, the magazine possesses humongous intellectual wealth and a delighted clientele to serve. It is encouraging and immensely satisfying to be able to identify and connect with the community of art maestros, budding talents, architecture geniuses, design prodigies, and many more creatively brilliant personalities in their respective hemispheres. The Talk of Town is a platform for you if you operate in the realm of these hemispheres.

For sponsorship, speaking opportunities, participation, and other engaging opportunities, please toss a line to Upcoming events will be held at Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Kochi-Calicut, Bangalore and more, though not necessarily in the same order.


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