A celebration of design with illustrious architects and designers marked the 6th annual Festival of Architecture and Interior Designing (FOAID)event, powered by Stylam.
With an awe-inspiring set of distinguished design professionals inaugurating the festival, FOAID packed together a stellar show at Mumbai that created a unique experience for the 3000 plus visitors. The stage was set for an interchange of ideas and dialogues steeped in expertise, along with an inspiring commingle of industry professionals networking over everything design and beyond. The exhibition at Design Arena was expectantly a platform for talent display with its many art installations, and national and international projects by over 250 architects and designers, alongside exclusive products from key partners. FOAID introduced Art Arena- a creative corner bringing together artists and galleries with designers looking for collaboration.
The Design Manthan conference, partnered with Classic Marble Company, was an interactive and informative space that brought together renowned designers and eminent delegates under one roof- to connect and converse. Boasting of distinguished panelists, speakers and jury members, the conference organized presentations, panel discussions, keynote addresses and competitions across two days. A range of panel discussions were devised keeping in mind the theme, 'Make it Matter'. These covered debate inducing topics such as 'Plagiarism v/s Inspiration' to unique discussions on the role of lighting in design. The event hosted exclusive presentations by Patrik Schumacher, Aamir Sharma, Sandeep Khosla, Akshat Bhatt, and Reza Kabul amongst others. The student design competition, 'Expressions' produced some excellent installations, which were further displayed at the Design Arena.
The conference commenced with an exceptional keynote address by none other than Ar. Patrik Schumacher, making his way from Zaha Hadid Architects, London. He had in store for the audience an exclusive set of some of his firm's most ambitious built and future projects, spanning across the globe on all scales.
The pillars of 'Morphogenesis' design- contextual identity, passive design and resource optimization- are evident in their strive to be 'a global brand for contemporary Indian architecture'. "It is not the building that is important, it is the process," he said. He further explained his projects in a way that follows the philosophies of micro-climate creation, passive design, efficient systems, and renewable energy systems. He showed a few of them, including world's largest office building for Surat Diamond Bourse and the Infosys project, which would be world's most sustainable campus.
Rahul Kadri from I.M. Kadri Architects, Mumbai gave a presentation on, 'The one solution for all our transportation problems'. According to him, the three root causes of the transportation problem in Mumbai are unintended consequences in land use planning, over-investing in the automobile, and no conversation between the city and the authority. Each way of transport has its own issues- road traffic, over-crowded public transport, no footpaths and no cycle tracks. The arteries of the cities are choked due to a lack of focus on the one main aspect that is often overlooked- pedestrianising the city. Out of the 1,65,00,000 commuters, 81,00,000 are pedestrians. He therefore suggests focusing on the walking population and converting the footpaths into wide walkways, even boulevards.
Tweaking the format, FOAID managed to gather some of the best design minds to become a part of its first ever grand round table discussion. The participants confabulated on the future of architecture and design practice in India. Prolific names such as Ar. Abha Narain Lambah, Ar. Habeeb Khan, Ar. Sandeep Shikre, Prof. Brinda Somaya, Ar. Karl Wadia, Ar. Prashant Sutaria, Ar. Salil Ranadive, Ar. Samir Shukla, and Ar. Gaurav Sanghavi banded together under the coordination of panel chair Ar. Naresh V Narasimhan and co-chair Ar. Madhav Raman.
FOAID also conducted various design competitions namely Expressions, Creative Minds Next and more to felicitate the deserving new talent. Additionally, the event returned with one of its most admired design competitions- Berger Architecture Ideas- a recognized platform encouraging design enthusiasts under 35 to bring out their creative best. The participants initially presented live at New Delhi in 9 categories under Architecture and Interior like hospitality, restaurant/lounge, residential apartment, and villa/bungalow to name a few. All winners were felicitated at the awards ceremony at Mumbai.
FOAID would not have had the outcome it did without the unwavering support of its patrons such as STYLAM, iGuzzini, HORMANN and TOTO to name a few. It undoubtedly achieved more than anticipated in its two day run. All the activities and arenas it offered to the visitors made for a show more successful than the last. Every year, the event aims to create an air of exclusivity and openness while taking head-on the issues that need a voice. It will continue to do so at the New Delhi and Mumbai editions in 2020.