We maintain Indianness while designing hotels yet retain the contemporary look: Vandana Saxena

To design a world-class hotel incorporating local elements in a diverse country like India spells opportunities galore for designers and architects here. This was something which was reaffirmed by Vandana Dhawan Saxena, Principal, Studio IV Designs.

Saxena was speaking at BW HOTELIER- Hansgrohe "Design Innovation to Conservation" Series. The fifth-panel discussion of the weBBlast series themed, ‘Design for every style & need’, was moderated by Bobby Mukherji, Chairman, Bobby Mukherji & Associates. 

Delineating her thoughts, Vandana Dhawan Saxena stated, “India, as you know, is very rich and diverse and seeing that something is Indian could have multiple connotations. When I study vernacular architecture to the depths of what Indianness means, there were a lot of intelligent steps that were taken in the olden times and of course, it got carried on as traditions and became a part of our culture. If we go down to the basics of what Indian designs meant, we will be able to develop more meaning in our design. If we go down to the core principle of what Indian is, we will be able to challenge and create or innovate in a better way.”

“Besides that, there are other ways one can incorporate Indianness in contemporary design, I think we should go down to the basics of using local materials like incorporating linens into our guest rooms, probably having local craftsmen embroider the cushion covers. If we go down to studying each region and incorporating those elements in our design, then we will really be able to create unique identities in the hotel projects that we are able to build. So, the key to design is multi-functionality and creating diversity,” Vandana Dhawan Saxena further added.

As part of a panel discussion on the future of hotel design as hotels reopen in the midst of the pandemic, she also maintained, “I am a follower of design than trends. But trends drive a lot of what we see today. Guests want to be engaged more than what hotels offer today. The way we design today is changing as per what the guest wants. Bathroom fixtures are becoming a point of celebrations. Shower experience is as important as sleep experience. There’s a lot of intelligence in what was done in earlier times and it has become a part of our tradition. If we go down to study core of the Indian design, we will be able to innovate and create unique identities in hotel projects keeping the look of the space very contemporary.”


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