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#19thanniversaryspecial 19 architects and designers share what they loved about 2019

DEC 29, 2019 | By Vedika Nair

It’s a double celebration at ELLE DECOR India—we’re not only commemorating the end of a successful year and a delightful decade but it’s also been 19 years since we came into being! To make it that much special, we decided to ask 19 of our favourite architects and designers to share their favourite memories, cherished accomplishments and more, from 2019. Read on… Aahana Miller“I’d like to remember 2019 for the tremendous strides as well as setbacks, which I accepted as the pace of my journey.”Abha Narain Lambah“Oh! It has been an exciting year—from the foundation laying ceremony of Durbar Hall at Raj Bhavan Mumbai by the governor to the re-consecration of the restored Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue; from winning the UNESCO Award of Merit for the synagogue to breaking ground for the Crawford Market Redevelopment project after a long wait of 12 years!”Akshat Bhatt”What I liked about 2019 is that a large part of our fraternity realised that it’s not adequate to just hide behind the veneers of contextuality over concrete or a glass box.” Ashiesh Shah“For ‘Handmade in India’. We looked towards our own country for luxury, our own heritage for inspiration and our own villages for quality craftsmanship.” Dhaval Shellugar“Phew, what a year. The biggest highlight has to be winning the prestigious EDIDA India Interior Designer of the Year award for 2019.” Huzefa Rangwala“For ‘recycling of spaces’. Given that the construction industry has one of the largest carbon footprints in the world, it was compelling to see architects implementing sustainable design solutions through adaptive re-use, renovation, rehabilitation, restoration or refurbishment of buildings and spaces.” Iram Sultan“It’s been all about design discoveries, beautiful art, sterling reading lists, successful project completions and the joy of seeing a client happy. But I will remember the year most for the spirit of collaboration and camaraderie that developed beyond our own studio, with friends and colleagues from the industry. It made 2019 immensely richer.”Jason Wadhwani“It’s been a year of travel and discovery—from a work trip to Italy for materials to a Scandinavian vacation and getting exposed to Nordic design. Not to forget the winter break to Zurich and Basel to take in the concrete beauty of both cities.”Krupa Zubin and Zubin Zainuddin“It’s been an eventful and creatively challenging year. We’ve handed over some spectacular homes and commercial spaces including the Kohler Experience Centre in Mumbai, and we’ve also been named among ‘The Top 100 Interior design firms globally!”Lalita Tharani and Mujib Ahmed“Lalita created some hard hitting installations that portrayed the intersection of architecture and environment. She’s also been selected to exhibit at ‘Design Manifesto’, which is part of Brinda Somaya and Nandini Sampat’s Women in Design 2020+ conference. Our practice was also selected in the global competition to install at Dubai Design Week. Apart from that, Collaborative Architecture also gave direction and purpose to Kochi Design Week, and was instrumental in Kerala’s Design Policy declaration!”

Mohammed Afnan and Arun Shekhar “In 2019, we found love, and a greater interest in biophilia and tropical inspired landscapes. We worked with earthy, neutral materials—terracotta, stones, molded white paints in daylight and plenty of plant life—and connected the indoors to the outdoors.” Robert Verrijt“Impacts of climate change have finally shaken the world, and people have woken up to movements such as the one initiated by activists Greta Thunberg. Hopefully this year will be remembered for inertia and denial turning into radical action.” Sandeep Khosla“I’d want to remember 2019 as a year where people all over our country accept and celebrate each other’s differences and strive to unite as one.”Sandesh Prabhu“My resolution for 2019 was to focus primarily on self development and challenging work. Much inspiration and quality work came my way but nothing can take the sparkle away from travel. Italy was the destination that spoilt me for choice. It was an unforgettable journey of sights, aromas, sounds and people. It’s during this sojourn that I realised my resolution.” Shabnam Gupta“For various thrilling and exciting events—Chandrayaan 2 which was a proud moment for our nation; Avengers End Game; my trip to Bhutan this year, which was the most nature inspiring, soul searching of its kind. Our projects FC Social and Powai Social for which we collaborated with renowned artists to weave our concept story. Plus, being able to create the entire project about environment awareness.”Shilpa Gore-Shah & Pinkish Shah“There seems to be a generational shift across the world of “woke” young people, who want to save our future because no one else is doing it. We’re talking about the likes of 16 year old Greta Thunberg, the 39 year old PM of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern, 30 year old Green New Deal’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Finland’s recently elected Prime Minister, 34 year old Sanna Marin. These optimists have signalled to lawmakers that they are the generation in question, and the consequences of climate change as well as inseparable broader issues of economic and social inequality are affecting them now. Closer to home the recent upsurge of student led protests across the country is hopeful!”Shonan Purie Trehan“I’ll remember 2019 for the mind shifting experience of the World Architecture Festival. Seeing over a hundred global top practices present their work was incredibly enriching.” Sonali Bhagwati “My new home, which beautifully integrates art and design with functionality. It manifests my sensibilities and proves that you need neither glitter nor bling in designing a home, and embodies the ethos that defines me as an architect.” Vinita Chaitanya“2019 just flew by…. Travel played a huge part in inspiring me—my trips to South Africa and Japan, especially. On the work front, we’ve completed more projects this year than in the recent past, and here I was, thinking of maybe working at an easier pace… haha. I’ve also discovered that I enjoy designing external facades too and two beautiful homes in Bengaluru are proof of that.”