Five ways Covid-19 will change how we design
Shonali Mahajan, founder of Studio Wodehouse, shares her predictions for interior design and what the “new normal” will mean in a post-Covid-19 world
With people confined into their homes due to restriction in movement, there is an increasing shift in how we utilise and inhabit our living spaces. As the world waits for the pandemic to tide over, for a majority of the population, social distancing has brought to focus the need to adapt and reinvent spaces.
1. Sustainable materials
When reimagining designs, the focus will shift to sourcing sustainable materials and incorporating sustainable designs in spaces, as far as possible.
2. Local resources
Without a lot of clarity on international markets, it is safe to assume imports will be less prevalent. People will rely heavily on local brands, designers will be keen on working with readily available resources and local providers, as this will prove efficient in terms of time, cost and access.
The emphasis will be on using items that are already in stock and items that are existing, instead of procuring new ones. The precaution to reduce extensive travel, and avoiding crowded places to source material will further push people into choosing easily accessible local vendors.
3. Bespoke designs
Creative expression will see a shift by making use of existing designs or finding novel expressions to fit current requirements. Local artists, artisans, textile providers, and craftspersons will gain prominence in this movement. The local indigenous arts and crafts sector adept at offering customisations when incorporated into furniture pieces, textile, etc. will get uplifted in the process.
Every decision made towards interior design will be weighed against need vs opulence instead of wants and specific likes and dislikes. Designs in the post-Covid-19 era in India will see a marked shift towards what is essential, not towards what can be flaunted.
Technology will become an integral, indispensable part of our day-to-day living and also when creating and designing spaces. Smart systems, AI-led designs, and home automation systems will find more takers. People will gravitate towards doing things smartly and not manually considering the reduced dependence on help, and the labour force.
5. Designated spaces at home
Even when the threat of the virus will dissipate and life will begin to return to normal, people are likely to be sceptical and will want to spend more time at home, will prefer to work from home, and limit their dependence on amenities in public places. There will also be the realisation for the need to adapt and demarcate living spaces to meet their day-to-day needs. Interior design plans will incorporate full-fledged home offices with a printer, desk, and other tools to maximise productivity; creating home gyms if possible; relaxation zones to unwind in, and even built-in sanitisation zones at entry points to limit the threat of possible contamination.
About Shonali Mahajan
Studio Wodehouse founder, Shonali Mahajan has a profound love for all things interiors. Her proficiency in the field of interior design is credited to her Masters in Interior Design from the Domus Academy in Milan, Italy, and her diverse professional experience, having worked with several award-winning architectural, interior and product design firms in India and Milan. Shonali’s work seamlessly merges international standards of design with Indian craftsmanship.