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Communication Gap Between Client & Designer A Major Issue

In an interview with Education Post, K Jagadeesh shares his insights about his company’s inception, sustainable design practices, technological integration, and core leadership values.

Prabhav Anand19 March 2024 05:00

K. Jagadeesh, Founder Simplify Home

K. Jagadeesh, the Founder of Hyderabad-based interior design firm Simplify Home, talks about the company’s inception, sustainable design practices, technological integration, core leadership values, and forward-looking strategies within the architecture industry in an interview with Education Post’s Prabhav Anand.

Q. What motivated you to start Simplify Home, and how has your personal journey shaped the company’s future and vision?

Firstly, my inspiration for starting Simplify Home was to address a significant problem in the industry. I noticed numerous communication gaps between professionals and homeowners, which presented an opportunity for me to make a difference. Throughout my education, both during my undergraduate studies and higher education, I was consistently engaged in part-time work. This experience motivated me to strive for something better.

Q. What values or principles do you prioritize in your leadership style? 

I believe in cultivating a culture of leadership rather than simply being a boss. It’s important to empower individuals within the company to become leaders themselves, as this fosters greater growth and success. Transparency is a key principle for me; it’s crucial to acknowledge mistakes openly and learn from them in order to grow. Being open to feedback and accepting responsibility are vital aspects of this approach, enabling us to evolve and expand in a meaningful way.

Q. How does Simplify Home incorporate sustainable design principles into their projects? And what impact does this have on the overall design process?

People are increasingly embracing minimalistic designs nowadays, which has influenced our approach at Simplify Home. Over the past five to ten years, there has been a shift from modern styles to neoclassical and minimalistic designs. This shift has resulted in the minimal usage of materials compared to previous trends. Previously, there was a heavy reliance on materials like veneer or solid wood, especially in places like India. However, now there is a preference for minimalistic approaches, such as using Kota stone flooring instead of Italian marble or tiles. This shift represents a return to more natural and sustainable materials, reminiscent of traditional styles like Mangalorean farmhouses and weekend homes. By incorporating such materials into our projects, we strive to embrace sustainable design principles while also meeting the evolving preferences of our clients.

Q. We are moving towards traditional practices as well. Like the trends of 1960s or 1970s are coming back into fashion today. What’s your view about this?

Yes, there’s definitely a trend towards embracing traditional practices and incorporating unique elements into modern designs. Many people nowadays appreciate antiques and seek to integrate them into their minimalist styles or weekend farmhouses. It’s not uncommon for individuals to inherit items from their ancestors, such as lockers or brass items, and incorporate them into their homes rather than purchasing new ones. This trend reflects a desire to preserve and reuse items from previous generations, adding a sense of history and uniqueness to contemporary spaces.

Q. How does any organization either Simplify Home or any other organization leverage emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI)?

The adoption of AI in the architecture industry is gradually increasing, and it is poised to play a significant role in the future. At Simplify Home, we have begun incorporating AI into our processes, exploring its potential applications alongside traditional methods. While AI offers various options and possibilities, it’s important to note that human input remains essential. Architects and designers still play a crucial role in decision-making, considering factors such as site conditions, local materials, and client preferences. AI can streamline certain aspects of the design phase, reducing time and offering additional insights, but it may not replace the technical expertise or client interactions necessary for successful project execution.

Q. How do startups in the architecture industry typically navigate challenges when scaling their operations and what strategies can be effective in both quality innovation as these companies expand?

When starting, managing operations may seem relatively straightforward, but challenges inevitably arise as the company expands. With growth comes increased complexity, requiring careful navigation of various issues on a daily basis. It’s essential to approach decision-making with clarity and wisdom, as a single misstep can have significant repercussions, potentially leading to employee turnover or other setbacks. I strongly recommend seeking guidance from mentors who have successfully navigated the challenges of scaling a business in the architecture industry. Their insights can provide valuable perspectives and help inform strategic decisions as the company expands.

Q. In the field of architecture, how do you believe architecture education should adapt to prepare students for challenges and opportunities presented by emerging technologies, sustainable design practices, and evolving societal needs?

This country will require a significant number of architects in the future, as the real estate sector is growing rapidly, as seen over the last five to ten years. This industry is poised to become one of the largest in the near future. In tier two or tier three cities in India, we can anticipate the development of more smart cities, presenting ample opportunities for growth in both residential and commercial sectors. India is moving towards upscale development, offering numerous opportunities in the architecture industry.

Q. How are societal needs changing today? In the past, a two-bedroom apartment was enough for a family. Nowadays, wives may need a study room and kids may want their own playroom or private space. It’s unclear how this trend will continue. What are your thoughts on this?

It’s all about people opting for luxuries, which depend on their wishes or desires. So, it comes from within. We can see even a multimillionaire living in a two-bedroom apartment. Take Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, for example; he famously lives a modest lifestyle. It all depends on the individual’s mindset and preferences; we can’t change that. We can only offer suggestions and insights. As for the future, people will likely move towards larger spaces, except in saturated cities like Mumbai. In rapidly developing cities like Hyderabad, there are ample opportunities for radial growth due to the availability of land and increasing spending power among the populace.

Q. What trends do you foresee shaping the future of architecture and how does Simplify Home plan to position itself to stay at the forefront of innovation in the industry?

I want to solve a bigger problem in this industry. To decrease the communication gap between the customers as well as the designers or architects. So I’m on it. We’ll definitely play a major role. I’ll fulfil my responsibility. I’ll do my best to solve this.

 

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