My friend, Abhinav Khandelwal is a businessman and runs a company called FCML which primarily makes its money out of selling to a person his most private space, his bathroom. But Abhinav is also what I call an intellectual businessman and is forever ideating and creating new experiences which celebrate the world of Architecture and Interiors in a holistic embrace. His latest baby being held in Delhi is an interesting one called the Indian Arch Dialogue; a unique forum which involves talks by modern and contemporary design professionals and my favorite part, showcases sketches (and photographs) by them of their projects as and when they were conceptualised (or realised). In essence, these are the very seeds and observing them makes for a fascinating walk, one that allows you to get a peek inside the minds of many greats. I’ve always believed that the artist residing within the architect is undeniably the reason why great structures become great … technical knowledge and structural perfection are superseded only by the desire to create original and create timeless; the journey beginning within the spirit, being visually interpreted using the humble pencil/pen and paper and finally taking shape in concrete and other man made materials.
Some trivia: Amazingly enough, whilst this show is on at 1 AQ, in a beautiful gallery, under a magnificent Banyan tree, it is also right next door to another architectural marvel from another era, the Qutub Minar. I find it fascinating that at the very same spot where today, the scribbles and words of current design icons are resonating, the Mamluk ruler, Qutub-ud-din-Aibak would have stood and watched his dream take shape centuries back.
Did he know that he was creating history and a UNESCO World Heritage Site by constructing the world’s tallest rubble masonry minaret? Probably not.
Greatness in design is born out of dreams and conviction and is perhaps the only mantra that one needs to practice… everything else simply follows. Perhaps it would be wise to remember that it is after all, the extra in the ordinary that evokes the resultant conjoined word, the one that creators yearn to hear … This extra is also known as one’s spirit.
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