Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Workspace Design: Reimagining communal balance in workplaces


The design ideology of groupDCA embraces flexible and interactive configurations of workspaces in an effort to keep pace with shifting office trends. In recent times, contemporary practices are keen on employing transparent and adaptable environments to promote constructive dialogue and collaboration amidst employees. 

Responsive designs crafted by groupDCA cite an insightful paradigm of the new language of workplace ethos. A balance between physical and social infrastructure in a workplace instills a sense of place whilst nurturing community building and teamwork. These multi-functional spaces can be a café, breakout zones, a quiet room or even a corridor as seen in the design of Nando’s Office by groupDCA. A Long linear corridor divided into various interactive zones accentuates the spatial drama of the space, whilst providing for an array of open, co-working and individual space. Designed as per a brief of creating a vibrant and vivacious space, the playful and informal design of the workplace breaks away from the monotony of a stereotypical office.


Sketch of Nando's Office: A long linear corridor divides the space into various interactive zones
and accentuates the spatial drama of the space
 


The relaxed environment of such arrangements reinforces work culture in an informal extent and instigatesproductive discussions. With a pragmatic approach of crafting an egalitarian workspace, groupDCA's designs foster creativity, collaboration, and conversation. With 48-50 hours a week, every employee spends an overwhelmingly large amount of their time in the office. This emphasizes the significance of treating social spaces as premeditated design standards than just an extension of spare areas. These ideologies, if deployed effectively, compose inclusive designs that tend to the well being and productivity of its employees.

- Amit Aurora and Rahul Bansal


Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Workspace Design: Eliminating Hierarchies and Establishing Engagement


groupDCA's design philosophy behind conceptualizing workspaces is driven by a focus on spatial setting and disregarding traditional notions of professional hierarchy, thereby encouraging democratic engagement within the workforce. The firm strongly believes in conceptualizing collaborative and flexible spaces that do away with physical metaphors of authoritarianism.

Office layouts, over time, have come to delineate the culture of the organization, thereby lacking communication, whilst hampering work productivity and well-being. groupDCA recognizes the need for more interpersonal relationships, an environment of free discourse and communication of ideas. In a world full of static workplaces, the firm focuses on crafting spaces that foster creativity, collaboration and conversation in addition to promoting good health and well-being of its users. Dissolving hierarchal segregations to accommodate socially and physically transparent infrastructure is an integral factor in the design of these spaces.


By acknowledging the significance of socio-democratic offices, groupDCA’s designs recognize and reflect the growing trend of flexible workspaces. Open plans, economically efficient and flexible, have been interpreted to be employed in their designs, in a bid to boost team-work and co-ordination. This concept has been embraced and innovated in the design of Enrich Office and Academy, Mumbai. The plan of the office has been conceptualized as an adaptable floor plate, free of private cabins and physical barriers. 


The fabrication of interactive spaces, such as the discussion booths in the open cafeteria, functions as a breathable extension to the reception, thereby fostering healthy communication and discussion. Workstations have been aligned with windows, allowing ample glare-free daylight into the spaces, unobstructed by walls, promoting employee well-being and productivity. The office design, as a result, reflects the brand’s guiding philosophy, which is predicated on establishing a collaborative work environment that supersedes conservative hierarchal structures.

groupDCA’s endeavor of crafting office spaces that reflect an egalitarian structure can be observed in their receptive designs that are inclusive of natural influences drawn from social and physical perspectives. These designs eliminate orthodox norms and steer towards adaptive workplaces that are characteristically flexible and agile to suit the ideologies of a new-age work force.


-Amit Aurora and Rahul Bansal

Friday, 23 March 2018

ART OF DISPLAY


The walls are painted, the light fittings intact and the furniture is all set. However, for a space to be extraordinary needs to determine that one piece of special something that would bring up the visual interest of the entire space.

According to principal architect Amit Aurora of groupDCA, “The Art of Display is unique to every individual and space. It cannot have a set rule that fits all, as it needs to reflect the personality of the individual”. Successful displays are about character, composition and a pulled-together palette. It should reflect the dynamics of the user as well as space. Within the modern context, in addition to the essential need of optimal use of space, art of display is increasingly recognized as an important element; the eclectic fusion or mélange of elements should be one of the prime focuses for the architect/designer.


The Residence for Anands by DCA showcases these intrinsic qualities. The simplistic color palette accentuates the effect of all the other physical elements like the furniture and the artifacts. The balance in the arrangement of these elements is remarkably soothing. This is also an example of how lighting is of paramount importance to enhance the art of display and how all the elements in the art should complement each other to create a homogeneous story. It can be composed of varied elements but they all need to be woven together.




The Aggarwal residence also exemplifies the harmonious ensemble of displays. The striking contrast used with the dark toned artifacts and the light colored background helps in bringing out a powerful outcome of the overall composition.


Certain spaces can have a hero component where as other spaces may require a bunch of components that need to be consolidated to form one complete story. For example, the double height volume in the Gujral Residence by DCA has been ornamented with a stunning chandelier which hangs down and gives the space a whole new definition. No other element is evidently needed to support the magnificent effect rendered by the light fitting.


The Art of display needs to be well thought of, yet natural & progressive, it cannot be forced. The elements should not be artificial rather they should have a soul of their own and a relationship with the over all space. The flow and authenticity of elements should be the focus, only then can one create a conformation that is pleasing to the eye and can be truly called a master of innovating for blank canvasses.


- Amit Aurora & Rahul Bansal

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

SMALL SPACES SPEAK VOLUMES….



Over the years, ‘space’ as an expression has acquired multiple meanings and has evolved in terms of its perception and design. Spaces may need to be dramatic & emphatic, warm & calming, straight & functional, or minimalistic & simple. Different users derive different usage out of a space. In a day and age where large spaces are either very few or very expensive, the importance of  ‘relevant design’ and ‘value-engineering’ has become paramount.

While macro spaces are perceived as a combination of the larger ambience, spaces surrounding it and its use by masses, micro spaces witness a more personalized and customized approach. In today’s era of specialization, modularity and flexibility, spatial designing and multi-functionality have become a common and detailed phenomenon
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Designing and Articulation of pre-existing small spaces is recommended in a manner that it creates a fresh definitive space, yet also maintains a relation to the previous meaning / experience lent by the space. The driving factors to instill the same come from a variety of elements that can be used to ornament a space. Factors such as highlights, contrasts, harmony and balance could be inculcated through the conscious choice of material, lighting, color palette etc.

Small spaces also need to be versatile in order to compensate for its limitations in structural changes and volume. Multifunctional items like modular tables, which combine together as conference tables and/or storage in offices, sitting that couples up as storage, or kitchen work-tops that are adaptable as dining spaces in homes – increase the efficiency of a space. Use of elements like glass, mirrors and green plants lend a spacious & positive feel.

A simple office corner cubicle with elements like ambient lighting, glass partitions, a neutral color palette and a touch of green could do the trick.  Greenery could be infused from even a small potted plant, but it will permeate to give a completely different experience as compared to a cubicle left bland, dull and mono-functional. Additionally, incorporating art (as per the likes of the user) gives a warm-personal feel to the space. Detailing of elements in a small space has the capability to impact a user to a great extent.


To sum up, the productivity of a space can be judged from the satisfaction its user derives from it and a designer is called proficient if he/she is able to ensure the same.


- Amit Aurora & Rahul Bansal

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Designing a Home..



Designing living spaces is one of the simplest yet most complex tasks for a designer. Its simple because there is no fixed norm to design a designer can be limitless in his creativity. It is complex because the creative design must conform to the desires of each family member and must ensure practicality & functionality. A design that reflects the inhabitant’s soul & lifestyle could be a daunting task if not addressed passionately.

A ‘home’ is always referred to as an entity, independent in its entirety. Not only should it provide a comfortable haven to its inhabitants, it should be adaptable as a work space, a celebration space and be able to accommodate design changes/enhancements over time. Therefore, following are the 3 basic principles listed to throw some light upon variousaspects of designing a quality living space. 

    In the lap of nature -The layout of the houses should be such that it readily lets in nature and its intangible elements like air, rain and sunlight. Features like courtyards, skylights, terrace gardens, pergolas etc. help in welcoming these essentials.  This should be done as an ‘ode to nature’ as it is always the built that invades the un-built and it’s necessary to respect the balance between these. This will help the inhabitant to be in complete proximity with natural surroundings, even if the same is limited by cityscapes.
  
   The zones have to be right Public and semi-public spaces co-exist in every building. However, a private zone for an individual only exists in his/her house. Zoning in a house has to be done right in order to make the house proficient and proactive.Depending on their functions, the privacy levels required in each house are different for varied spaces. A designer’s job is to analyze the functions correctly and zone the spaces accordingly.

   A home should be able to inculcate a sense of repose - After a hard day’s work of, everyone wants to head back ‘home’.This is so because the aura it evokes in a person, the feeling of content and relaxation, is something which cannot be experienced elsewhere. Therefore, the design has to be such that it enables an individual in attaining tranquility and comfort. Using subtle tones and a minimalist approach towards design helps in building these qualities.

‘Living the Space’ & ‘Loving the Space’ go hand in hand. Hence, a design should consist of elements that instill in the inhabitant a reminiscence of their roots, an introspection of their present and a forecast of the future. Successful living spaces are the ones, which impart the sense of freedom and solace to an individual.

DCA with its residential projects tries to work with these principles in an effort to transform a house into a home. With the aesthetics and the layout, most of the projects focus on the client’s comfort and lifestyle rather than being mere structures decorating the skyline of the place.



Evolution of Indian Luxury Retail by group DCA

Aerin Lauder (American heiress and Business owner Estee Lauder) rightly said , “Luxury is anything that feels special. I mean, it can be a moment, it can be a walk on the beach, it could be a kiss from your child, or it could be a beautiful picture frame, a special fragrance. I think luxury doesn't necessarily have to mean expensive” 
  
In keeping with this view, we at DCA believe Luxury to be an experience.
DCA’s contribution to Luxury Retail in India, gives it the much-desired opportunity to create an exemplary experience for the customer. Through DCA’s expertise, the brand owner gets the opportunity to showcase the brand product in the deserved realm of opulence and finesse, thus attracting the most decorous customer for the product.

Having designed the best and foremost jewelry, watch and other lifestyle product showrooms in the country, some of DCA’s design essentials are laying utmost importance on the following aspects:

Façade - The façade of any showroom is the very first impression of the brand. It is the one element, which needs to reflect the aesthetics and individuality of the Luxury Brand as also attract the customer into the showroom. Needless to say, it needs to be exemplary.

Due to its importance, a façade goes through intense design development stages. Starting with inundation of ideas & brand vision, the design practicality, material selection, the design proportion, originality, longevity, and adherence to budget is given sufficient thought. After a series of design developments, presentations, approvals and amendments, the resulting design is one that is inherent and unique to the brand.



Spaces - The spaces inside a showroom often flow into one another. The idea being to ensure the customer has had an opportunity to view the entire range of products on display. In addition to this, the spaces are designed with opulence, thus giving a special space to showcase the product, as also giving a luxurious feel to the customer seeing the product. It is ensured that the opulence borders towards warmth & coziness - so a customer feels comfortable being around the product, and feels special being in the showroom, which eventually fuels the desire to own the product.  This also fosters good relationships with the customer. The entry and exit to showrooms, the spaces behind the display counters and in front of them, the placement of showcases and billing counters are all designed around this essential need and encourage ease of movement of both staff and customers.

Lighting– No part of the design exercise can ever underestimate the importance of lighting. The color of lighting is important to set the mood of the showroom. The brilliance of light is important to correctly showcase the product. The lighting design makes or breaks the beauty of the overall showroom design. Optimizing the number of lights to be used, decision on the use of concealed lights in some places and detailed lights in others also becomes an important decision in the design aesthetic. While working out all this, it is imperative to optimize the energy usage as well.

Since, finding lighting, which meets all of the above requirements, is a herculean task, DCA very often designs lights for the showrooms. Having specialized vendors on its panel, DCA thus, customizes lighting for a brand, making it unique and functional.



Other Elements – Utilization of small spaces & corners, maximizing display areas, ease of movement within the showroom, ease of entry into and exit from the showroom (even to the extent of working out the parking facility), multi-functionality of elements & spaces, are some other design essentials that add to the virtue of the showroom, the brand and the product.
Some of the design accolades to the credit of DCA are:
·         Hazoorilal, New Delhi
·         Anand Jewels, Indore
·         Punjab Jewellers, Indore
·         Mallika Empire, New Delhi
·         Abhishek Zaveri, Ahmedabad




-Amit Aurora and Rahul Bansal


Saturday, 2 September 2017

Crafting Engaging Spaces

DCA works on a wide scale of residential projects, ranging from contemporary to classic architecture.

A residence-being a dream, a haven, a place of comfort for any individual. The client’s aspirations are given utmost importance and are pivotal in shaping the design of a residence. All residential designs of DCA have their own inherent character, reflecting upon the owner’s disposition. 



































With the vast knowledge of materials & products and experience on possibilities, DCA plays the role of a catalyst in achieving the client’s yearnings and desires through their designs. The resulting space is always unique.

One of the finer examples of this is the Aggarwal Residence at Chandigarh, Punjab.

Clean geometrical compositions for the facade with a culmination of exposed brick work and beige colored extensions make the elevation and entrance look modern yet organic in nature. Color schemes are kept simple to emphasize on the form of the built mass. The material used in the façade is such that promotes least maintenance and longevity. The scale of the built is kept such to make an individual feel the grandeur at the entrance. The relation between the inside spaces and the outside; inter-woven with the landscape at various levels, is given a lot of importance to enhance the user’s experience while residing in the building. The fenestrations are wide with clean lines and glazed glass, so as to promote airiness and make for an exhilarating affair. Wooden flooring has been given in most of the areas to retain the harmony with earthen feel of the space.  Art works that speak have been encouraged in open spaces, walls of bedroom, study and other areas, so each space speaks of its relevance & importance in the residence.

Function and aesthetics are believed to be the two pillars of the design process. While DCA gives importance to design, it lays equal importance on its functionality, practicality and budget. Residence designs for Mr. Ahmed at Noida and Mr. Mehra at GK-1, New Delhi, hence are such that foster multi-functionality of elements. For example: window sills are used as platforms for the planter boxes. Spaces are designed strategically on the basis of locality and climatic conditions. Here the location of windows is such that it restricts the harsh sun in summers and welcomes it in winters. While doing this, it also ensures sufficient natural light in the residence at all times.


Whether its plotted residences or large scale housing (Mount View Apartments, Faridabad, being a fine example) DCA provides highly luxurious, comfortable and captivating interiors, designed such that opulence is not restrained by the budget and is felt in all the residences. The layouts of the interior spaces are done in a way that manifests it into a highly modern, well lit and a spacious place. The ceiling height, wherever possible, is kept high in areas like drawing rooms and dining rooms – adding to the grandeur and is kept low in areas like bedrooms and family lounges adding to the cozy feel of the space. Each space is highly personalized as per the individual utilizing it. The colors and finishes of the walls and floors are generally kept muted with the intent of giving due emphasis to the pieces of furniture and art in the room. This also ensures the client the flexibility of changing color schemes and look of the place as the time goes by. All details like color scheme, floor skirting, selection & design of furniture, drapes, art, wall murals, lights, landscaping & foliage etc. go through an extensive design development process as per the current fashion, set budget and the client’s desires.

Our beliefs, knowledge & experience have helped us in making beautiful homes for very satisfied clients.