03 June 2020

Interaction - Yatin Patel, Director, DSP Design Associates Pvt Ltd

Exploration in forms is always a continuous endeavor

‘One size does not fit all,’ is an integral part of DSP’s design philosophy, which has executed marquee projects in the corporate world. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES,
, expounds on evolving trends in Indian architecture, and how to capture a community’s zeitgeist.



What is your Design philosophy, is it minimalist or maximalist.

DSP Design is programmed to evolve its design philosophy with every design assignment; while as designers we do admire neat-simplistic designs with crisp detailing and spatial simplicity that are attributed to the minimalist style of architecture, we do not commit to a particular school of thought.

It is engrained in the DNA of our design practice to arrive at designs that meet the desired utility benchmarks coupled with aesthetic ambitions given the setting the project is situated in from an architectural service. In trying to achieve this we often have to break away from rigid classification of styles – the spartan austerity attached to minimalism or the eclectic excess associated with maximalism!

For every project, our endeavor has always been to find the right balance between functionality and sustainability. The sustainability is analysed and evaluated in more than one aspect, like economic, social, environmental, and even the aesthetics.




Which is your favorite architectural style?

Since the departure from the postmodernism, which was perceived against the shortcomings of modernism and also the international style, there has not been any definitive style prevalence.

I am personally inclined towards the simplicity of spaces with characteristics of the minimalist style of architecture. While fluid spaces blurring the boundaries between exterior and interior, attention to detail and celebration of materials and textures are qualities which I greatly appreciate in design, exploration in forms is always a continuous endeavor.

Architecture should endeavor to be timeless and at the same time should stand true to the time it is conceived and if possible illustrates the technology available to build it.



To what extent has modern construction materials and technology like CAD, BIM, etc, widened the scope of architectural freedom in design.

While construction technologies have been available for decades, technological upgrades with features like simulation and artificial intelligence enable much realistic forecasting and holistic decision making while developing a design.

Softwares like BIM simplify designing, and lead to better information management and data exchange, bringing together the data and different components to form a coherent set of information.

Identifying errors, bottlenecks in complex designs at an early stage also assists in bringing down material costs through technologies like these. Because of the integrated output one can receive from these softwares, visualization and execution of complex designs have become easier. Design and form are determined to a great extent by latest materials like high performance glass, re-engineered materials, innovations through metals and natural substances, tensile fabrics, to add to a few top-of-mind-recalls and of course technology.

Innovations in materials and technology have expanded design options, making it easier to develop complex forms and envelopes without compromising on efficiency and performance.




How would you reflect the Zeitgeist of a particular community while designing a structure for them?

Architecture does not exist in isolation – it is very much influenced by what’s happening around it – spatially and culturally, and by the people who inhabit these spaces. A project typically initiates with pre-design research and due diligence. We engage in interactions with the client to enable thorough brief building in conjunction with the client’s vision, aligning it to their values and aspirations.

We dedicate focus on nurturing the brief and this is exactly how we set the foundations of reflecting the Zeitgeist of the community, followed by a goal setting exercise. The physical translation of their identity is then achieved through a rigorous and dynamic design process - crafting spaces and aesthetics which are reflective of this spirit. While the design must reflect the zeitgeist of a particular community, it also has to be aspirational. It has to endure, accommodate, and respond to the changes, and be future ready.




How will you fuse Tradition and Modernity in your designs?

Tradition and Modernity are not usually considerations made in silos in the discourse of architecture. More often than not, significant traditional knowledge of building and construction is rooted in climatologically sensitive sustainable design solutions. Architecturally what we look for is to come up with a design which is contextual – which respects and creates a dialogue with its setting and at the same time is inspired by it. Traditional knowledge of construction, available materials in the region, and architectural styles and proportions, are vital influencers to the design concept. The evolution of design is an amalgamation of the traditional know-how from the initial research, the design brief and the industry Best Practices in terms of “modernity.” Modernity is highly subjective to its context and hence is its fusion with tradition in architecture.




Importance of Sustainability and a Green footprint in architectural designs. Especially in the context of landscaping.

The alarming rate of global warming has changed the way the architecture and construction industry operates – a building design needs to factor in this change. We cannot always adopt the same international practices and aesthetics prevalent in countries with temperate climate. This makes it essential to ensure that the design is contextually relevant and appropriate. Integrating passive design strategies for energy efficiency and the role of landscape in design projects is becoming more and more important. They help greatly in mitigating the urban heat island effect and also assist in creating micro-climates within developments. With reducing green covers in cities, we now have to look towards integrating green with our buildings.




Your comments on evolving trends in architectural designs in Indian real estate sector.

The Indian real estate domain has undergone tremendous changes in the recent past. While technology has been a major enabler in the building design scenario; the architectural aspirations- a balancing act between the ambitions of developers and the consumer’s buying psyche - has made architecture an interesting turn of events.

Architects have increasingly been considered as key influencers in the way a building is positioned in terms of its space typologies, living environments, amenities, technological interventions, agility, and usability factors of the place. While innovation in green structures remains at the helm, industry trends are evolving by the day making building design an ever challenging domain.




Is it possible to design a Smart, Sustainable, home at Affordable price.

Yes, most definitely it is possible to design smart, sustainable, homes at affordable price. Integrating technology, passive design strategies and value engineering is key in achieving this. Modularity, creating prototypes, and explorations in prefabricated structure and building elements, are instrumental in bringing down the labour costs and help in making these homes affordable. What usually proves to be a challenge in making these homes affordable is the real estate cost attached – the price of land in urban areas.




Define the architectural opportunity in India’s Smart City Mission.

The smart city mission needs to be understood by the architecture community in its true sense. This is an opportunity for everyone, whether a planner, an architect, a city municipality with all its infrastructure services, or any other private service provider that adds any value into making the smart city project. For an Architect, it is the setting up of the right design principles that are coherent with the ethos of the smart city. It is a wonderful opportunity, not to be missed by the architectural fraternity, to bring together the almost lost character of each of these 100 cities or regions and fuse it with the modern construction technology available.  The new built environment must be adaptive and responsive, both culturally and environmentally, and must endeavor to lift the spirit of modern living while balancing the tight rope of preserving and not losing the character of the historical context. It would be a mistake to practice the International style again like it has been done in many western cities earlier.

That makes it imperative that architecture as a domain in all certainty has a major role to play in India’s Smart City Mission, and as architects, the opportunities are humungous. As committed urban planners we consider this an opportunity to contribute to the mission and be a part of a national agenda.




Details of an iconic structure designed by you, either ongoing or executed.

DSP Design is currently a finalist at the World Architecture Festival Awards – 2017, scheduled for November, 2017, for this recently designed concept for an IT Park at Bengaluru.

The project is planned to be developed across 10, 00,000 sq.ft. The underlying thought to the design plan is motivated by ensuring utilisation of the extra quality of a high rise building to make it iconic.

This new facility for a 15,000 work-force is envisioned to be a “Symbol by creating a new city landmark” and we believe that the architecture of this new headquarters should reflect the company's rising international influence.

An avant-garde Structural Expressionism, usually implicit in architecture, is proposed by using a diagrid to integrate façade and structure design. This helps to provide floor and facade efficiency and panoramic views. The parametric façade design facilitates a glare free work environment.

The main arrival experience is envisaged to be at the landscaped podium and allows employees to reach via a majestic flight of steps. These also provide for a community space for various groups to interact, besides promoting walking.

The aim here is to provide “a culture-change” that would encourage more interaction among staff members.

The solution demands the ethos of “A Vertical Campus”. We undertook extensive research about campuses, and have applied that to these towers. This is achieved by connecting bridges between the buildings, providing indoor garden atria, fully integrating natural elements of exterior with interior workspace.

The twisted form provides self-shading and hence shields itself from the strongest solar gain decreasing the heating effect of direct sunlight and increasing comfort levels for occupants. This facility will surely be a visual experience to the onlookers making it both Iconic and Futuristic, thereby speaking for  itself – delivering expressions of the leading position of the client in the 21st century.

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