Why don’t we integrate art more with architecture and interior design? Architecture, sculpture, and painting at one time belonged together. If we look at most ancient cultures, the Renaissance and even the Baroque periods you will see that painting, art, and building design was amazingly connected! In India, too miniatures, carvings and brilliant frescos were an integral part of large homes and public buildings. These spaces leave us captivated even today, and are a lot more welcoming than those that are devoid of any art.
In recent times, however, art and architecture are two separate disciplines. Architecture is considered more aligned to science and technology. It discards anything that is not a technical/functional necessity. Economics adds to this, as buildings are made to be traded at the best possible margin!
The result – most buildings today lack an identity and the audience is visually starved! Devoid of art these buildings appear to be impersonal and somewhat inaccessible. Art integrated into design creates an environment that is friendly, one that captures your attention the moment you walk in. Real estate I feel truly benefits from the inclusion of artistic content and the longer-term benefits would outweigh the additional costs.
One such example is a budget hotel based in Gurgaon. Unlike other hotels in this category, it welcomes you with art. In a market of bland hotels, this hotel has an identity of its own. The owners valued and embraced art and made it an integral part of their design. They did not spend a fortune as they commissioned local traditional artists. The hotel, however, has a clear distinct charm that guests value. It stands out from the ordinary.
Often in our homes too art is an after-thought! It is almost always bought after the house is designed and all furnishing is in place. Sculptures are put on pedestals and art is selected based on the colours of the rooms. But the right wall art, and sculpture matters as much as the furniture and other elements of interior design. By not giving it it’s due respect, one is missing out on an important design opportunity.
If you really want your house to stand out, give art the same importance as the plumbing and furniture. It is what creates a sense of the owner. Do this with one room and see the difference – sorry “feel” the difference!