RE-INVENTING INTERIORS

May, 2017

We live in a time when the word Smart is increasingly being associated with every aspect of life. Be it a smart phone or smart TV, we are relying on devices to improve our lifestyle. But we are not content merely with devices; we want everything around us to be smart. Ergo we have Smart Homes and Offices. The need for a smarter living has given rise to many technological innovations that have pervaded all aspects of architecture and interior design - from building materials to product development. While in the former category, we see modern materials such as ashcrete, hempcrete, mycelium and ferrock together with traditional elements such as bamboo, grass and wood, in the latter segment we see the advent of smart lighting, sanitaryware, furniture, glass, 3D printed furniture, kitchen solutions, among other things. What's more, these products can be customised as per needs and personalised for an individual signature

Another aspect that is a big influencer is eco-awareness. With brands striving to reduce carbon footprint and introduce sustainable solutions, the design world is bombarded with energy efficient materials that not only enhance a given space but also the environment. Going green is a bus that everyone is eager to board. Perhaps the most challenging aspect of creating innovative and sustainable materials is the need to work within the framework of aesthetics. Given the modern sensibility of both designers and consumers, the aesthetic appeal of space and structure cannot be compromised. It is therefore a dual task for innovators to come up with advanced solutions that fulfill the evolving demands of the end user and the need for aesthetic satisfaction. Here are some of the recent innovations in interior design product development that indicate the way forward for the industry at large.

SWITCH ON THE GLASS

The very idea of switching on glass is innovative. As the name suggests, the glass can be switched from transparent to translucent and vice versa with the use of a button. The main material in this glass is the polymer dispersed liquid crystal (PDLC) film. Since it offers privacy at the flick of a button, it is ideal for conference rooms, personal cabins and beauty salons. It can also be used as a rear projection screen for presentation purposes.
USP: The interlayer of the glass acts as a security film against any kind of intrusion or impact thus making the glass an anti-theft protection glass.

INTELLIGENT LIGHTING

Web-enabled LED home lighting system is the current trend in lighting innovation. The system can be easily operated with a smart phone or tablet. While it allows personalised lighting, it is also an energy efficient option. The bulbs in this system can be screwed into existing lamps. The bridge provided has to be plugged in to a home Wi-Fi router.
USP: Connected wirelessly to an Ethernet-connected space, the lighting solution also enables changing the brightness and colour of the light with an app.

CERAMIC TRENDS

In the bathroom space, hygiene is the primary concern, followed by convenience. Innovative materials in the ceramic segment address both the issues. Some collections in the market are 40 per cent lighter and 30 per cent harder than conventional basins. They are easier to clean and are resistant to abrasive products. The ranges include countertops, semi-inserts and wall hung options.
USP: It is ideal for private and semi-public usages.

EFFICIENT SOLUTIONS

Taking innovation in glass to the next level, we have electrochromic glass, which manages light, glare, energy use and colour rendering based on occupancy, sunlight or building management systems. Its applications include windows, single or double glazed facades, opaque back projection screens, multi-media walls and skylights.
USP: The glass can be tinted and cleared using automatic settings or seamless integration with the existing building automation system.

SENSITIVE WATER USAGE

Water efficiency in sanitaryware is the need of the hour. This need has given rise to concepts such as the air-infused shower spray, while the demand for luxury has led to the creation of automatic lid opening and automatic flushing. Several such products in the market have toilet bowls protected - an anti-stick coating and advanced touchscreen based remote control unit.
USP: Innovation in sanitaryware include personalised spray pattern, spray intensity and water temperature.

GET FLOORED

Laminate flooring continue to find favour amongst people who prefer a luxurious feel. Complementing the rich look of laminate flooring is the development of water repellent coating. Some brands offer features that ensures that water cannot penetrate the floor.
USP: Innovation in laminate flooring has led to a variety of choices in design and high-impact resistance.

CONVENIENT COLOURS

Painting a house is a tough job that involves man hours and labour. The latest innovation in painting comes with the combination of primer and putty. This putty with selfpriming properties cuts down on nearly 25 per cent of time in surface preparation. It provides a strong base for topcoats and is easy to apply.
USP: It involves a surface drying time of 15 to 30 minutes.
With such innovative products at your disposal, there is no need to compromise on either functionality or aesthetic. And with eco-consciousness thrown in, designing for modern living is likely to be fulfilling in every sense