Design can have a direct psychological impact on the behaviour and productivity of users, believes Anirban Dutta, who started his firm with the aim of having a positive impact on the lives of the common people. It all began in 2004, after working on independent projects commissioned by architect Sutanu Bhattacharyya that gave him the confidence to eventually set up Sbaspectra Consultants in Kolkata. At his practice, the 40-year-old architect stays clear of form-based designs that create negative unusable spaces, as well as inflexible parameters that stifle creativity and freedom of expression. Instead, he advocates that “each designed space should have some function associated with it, even if the function is related to the psychological well-being of its users.”
At IIEST, Shibpur, where Dutta pursued a degree in Architecture, he had the honour of attending a seminar by Pritzker Prize winner BV Doshi. ”Every word from him was... inspiration for me, a feeling that was reinforced when I had the good fortune to see some of his work in person. I was able to glimpse a little of the vastness of the field of architecture, and the positive psychological and sociological impact of well-designed spaces and structures.”
Today, he applies his learning in a multitude of projects ranging from town and master planning, architecture, infrastructure/MEP design to interior design, landscape and project management services. At first glance, you realise Dutta’s portfolio isn’t about captivating images…but nonetheless, you find projects like Avinash Pride – his most significant work – in Raipur, which won the national level best project award in the Low Income Group category in the state of Chattisgarh under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
“We clubbed different structures in such a way, that inter-building negative open spaces are almost on-existent in percentage. This results in maximisation of central organised open space and green core. Planning efficiency within the building blocks was a key design criteria,” explains Dutta, who believes FAR and building height restrictions should be judiciously considered as per the context of suitability of each urban jurisdiction. “The Government should encourage architects and developers to utilise land in the most optimum manner,” he maintains. When not busy creating functional and award-winning projects, Dutta enjoys caring for/building his collection of bonsai trees. Architecture and life are synonymous for him, as “in a way, design is a way of celebrating and embracing life.”