Spatial Design is the new Interior DesignAlternative Careers | April 29, 2011 | Share
A few years ago my parents took me to the newly opened five-storied steel-and-glass shopping mall in our sleepy town. It was the town’s first mall and I remember that it attracted enough shoppers to jam the crossroads. It wasn’t just the allure of something new or even the huge range of products inside the building. It is but the rocking design of the structure and the wonderful ambience inside which were too incredibly stylish. After that, malls, new showrooms, galleries, multiplexes and fancy restaurants started mushrooming all over the city and the landscape looked like it changed overnight. But what drew attention to them was that all the new structures were so aesthetically built that it was hard not to think of the brains behind the craftsmanship.
Meet the new breed of architects- the Spatial Designers. Spatial Design is essentially the relationship of the people with the environment who, through the use of creative designs, deal with the spaces between people and objects. It includes both interior design and exterior design. Of late, these designers are more in demand because of the increasing urban youth’s thirst for style and décor. Though urban planners and traditional architects are familiar with this relationship, rapidly developing technology has extended it further with the practice of holistic study and new approaches.
These uber-creative designers promise to stretch your imagination by erasing the boundaries of architecture, interior design and landscaping. They explore a variety of design disciplines with tools like geospatial technologies and transform structures into extremely efficient environments that not only serve the purpose but pamper the needs of the people.
Fundamentally it is about the relationship with the spaces and how creatively and efficiently you utilize them. Karen Cahoon, a well-known interior designer who specializes in spatial designing says, she approaches each project in the beginning stages of design by starting with plans, elevations and spatial organization—as opposed to a preconceived notion of aesthetics. For Karen, inspiration comes from the environment of the building materials, like the bricks and window types and whatever is available in marketplace trends. Also, inspiration comes from the surrounding environment of the building site. If there is a fabulous view from the building, she would allow the view to remain as it is and be the main feature and subdue the interiors so as to not compete with the view. She says that playing by the client’s likes and interests often yields the best possible designs.
Malls, galleries, exhibitions, cafes, restaurants, nightclubs, cafes all are planned and designed by the so-called Spatial Designers who also look after the practical aspects involved like safety, efficient water supply, proper ventilation, etc. These people should have an open mind to receive the client’s requirements, the ability to understand the technicalities involved and the power of creativity to transform these ideas into intelligent designs. The best way to start employment in this field would be to intern with an established firm or designer and learn the ropes quickly. Later on, designers can join other reputed firms or free lance for clients.
National Institute of Design is one institute that offers authentic courses in spatial design. Also Mumbai’s Indian Institute of Interior Designers, Delhi’s Apeejay Institute of Design are some other institutes which offer Spatial Design courses.
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