Devyani Gupta and Nehit Vij are the founding partners at Intrigue Designs. Their work palette covers everything from product to commercial megaliths, from hospitals to hospitality projects, from residences to public institutions. With a natural disposition towards responsive and sustainable practices, they configure specific context and the tiniest of details in their work. They quote “Design is Happiness: for the creator and the user.” They adopt ‘problem-solving’ approaches with ‘user-requirements’ as the governors of their design process.
Design is an expedition of subliminal thoughts into the built environment. This journey is explored by “Intrigue Tale,” that fuses design across scales and forms – Landscape, Architecture, Interior, Product and Art. They maintain, “Scale for us does not matter: be it a table or a school building, both hold equal importance and demand equal amount of exercise.”
Devyani is an alumnus of digital architecture program at IAAC, Barcelona. She has a penchant for exploration of new materials, believes in progressive architecture and inclines towards technology-oriented design. Impressing upon how digital architecture has proliferated in India, she says, “Digital Architecture has unfolded in our country in the most interesting manner. One can find its application in furniture, buildings, accessory and fashion design.”
Nehit has a passion for passive. He says, “Designing without nature is just not possible for us as a design team.” He professes the importance of educating a client about sustainability. He explains this in reference to their project, “Sustainable Event Hall,” where the client was worried about his return on investment. So, Nehit explained to him how sustainability can become the USP of the building. The interiors of the hall were used to grow greens which in turn were used to cook food during the events. “Hence the client was able to sell the ‘Eat & Grow’ concept to the people who were taking the Space for gatherings. Win-win for all!”
With “Sustainable Event Hall,” Intrigue designs have developed a new tradition in the planning of future event halls. Post-COVID there is a need and demand for more flexible spaces that can transform as and when required.
With “Sustainable Event Hall,” Intrigue designs have developed a new tradition in the planning of future event halls. Post-COVID there is a need and demand for more flexible spaces that can transform as and when required. Event halls can be one such typology: flexible enough to adapt. Though sustainability does impact the initial cost of projects, true sustainability is an inherent part of the design. Nehit says, “Buildings are not designed for 4,5 or 10 years. They are designed to last 50 years and more. So, any cost that can be covered in the first 5 years of the building being occupied is justified. Not only it helps in achieving a sustainable goal, but also helps in reducing the running cost of the building in the long run.”
Apollo Cradle and Clinic, Amritsar is one project where a mall was adapted to function as a full-fledged Mother & Child Hospital. Adopting the existing structural grid of the mall customizing the spaces, introducing services and medical technology suitable for a secondary care hospital and achieving the required bed counts, O.T. Complex and Neonatal Care was the real challenge. The very personal nature of Mother and child hospitals requires that the quality of the environment be not only functional but aesthetically pleasing and restful. “A beautiful and positive surrounding supports the healing process of the patients and alleviates the spirit of visitors and well-wishers and creates an amiable working environment for the entire staff.”
Adopting the existing structural grid of the mall customizing the spaces, introducing services and medical technology suitable for a secondary care hospital and achieving the required bed counts, O.T. Complex and Neonatal Care was the real challenge at Apollo Cradle.
Devyani and Nehit tag their practice as an “experimental studio,” where they explore different aspects and scales of design. Their upcoming venture is a new furniture range under the brand name Vakr (meaning: the curve), which will be launched in Feb 2021. Vakr is an attempt to bring together modern engineering tools and Indian Crafts. “The inspiration for this comes from the Wabi-Sabi way of living where the association with the object happens at an intangible level. We wanted to capture this wabi-sabi essence and represent it using Indian craft techniques,” explain the experimental architects. They are also involved in the design of a cultural centre in Delhi which will be a modern version of ‘Delhi Haat’.
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