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Noida-based architect designed the Smriti Van Museum, dedicated to the victims of 2001 Gujarat earthquake 

“The museum was special to Shri Narendra Modi, who envisioned it when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat,” says Co-founder of Design Factory India and Apeejay alumnus

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Siddharth Bathla, an alumnus of Apeejay Institute of Technology – School of Architecture & Planning (AITSAP),  is an architect and industrial designer by education. His key interest lies in storytelling and problem-solving through design. A key believer who focuses on the solution and does not get along to a silo as a designer. “This is very fundamental to the kind of designing I do,” he emphaised. And these together led him to co-found – Design Factory India, a multi disciplinary design studio. Having a multidisciplinary design approach, Batla has worked on some of the finest projects including Museum of Socialism at Lucknow , City Branding of Agra , System Design for Farmer Markets and many more. 

The Apeejay alumnus takes pride to showcase the Smriti Van Earthquake Museum at Bhuj, Gujarat, to our honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi that he and his team has conceptualised. The museum brings the story of constant change and resilience. Recently, Batla was also conferred with ‘JK Architect of the Year Award’ for his adaptive reuse project. Read edited excerpts of the interview to know his journey.

You received an opportunity to showcase the Smritivan Earthquake Museum at Bhuj to Shri Narendra Modi. Take us through that journey? 

The museum was special to Shri Narendra Modi. He had envisioned it when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat while he worked a lot on the redevelopment of Bhuj after the earthquake. It was great to discuss the design of the museum with different galleries. Going on each section and respecting design details. 

How and when did you realise your calling for the field of architecture?

Throughout my classes 10 to 12, I realised I am more passionate about creative things like graphics, spaces, videos, applied and performing arts. I chose architecture as the starting field to get into design education. 

What inspires you to succeed every day? What is your design philosophy?

To work on public projects. The hunger to make a difference. Also, to lead a team of passionate and creative people is a high in itself . My design philosophy is not to work in a silo, but fabricate creative solutions through a multidisciplinary approach. 

What are experiential and narrative spaces all about? Do you think Indians are aware of this concept? How do you see this concept being adapted in our country?

Spaces where you experience a story. Like you have films showcasing you a story, we do storytelling in space. Such spaces/museums are relatively new to India. I see we have a long way to go, and it can be super successful in the Indian scenario. 

Key elements of sustainable architecture

All architecture needs to be sustainable. They are not two different terms. 

Three future architecture trends

Pure:  Empathy towards the users, support their mental status, enhance their energy, help them increase the level of their task performance, and optimise living, working, and sleeping spaces based on assessing and understanding the preference and mood of the users.

Technology: Change in the architectural design process through immersive technologies like artificial reality and virtual reality.

Experimental: Challenging conventional methods of architecture by questioning its limitations, and experimenting with shapes, materials, technology, construction methods, and social structures.

 

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay newsroom. With experience in both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world, she has worked with Careers360, India Today and Value360 Communications. A learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveller and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.

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