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Suite 601, 6th Flr, Zafryn Chamber, Oil Depot Rd, Sewri E, Mumbai, MH, 400015

India

+91 9820146139

MuseLAB is an end-to-end design studio; offering a bespoke and leading-edge approach to design. With a precise focus on unique and highly customized environments, interiors and furniture. In 2012 partners Huzefa Rangwala and Jasem Pirani founded the studio built upon their shared passion for design. Each space and or product embodies integrity and is created with the same care, skill and attention to detail.

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MuseLOG

 

 

MuseMATTERS: Digital Imaging In Architecture

MuseLAB

Digital rendering is an extremely effective medium enabling architects, clients and investors to envision a structure before it is even built. Presenting a design idea to a client can be equally challenging as the design process itself.  In recent times, computer generated images and renderings have played an extremely pivotal role in architectural presentations. While renderings can provide strikingly accurate depictions of buildings, are architects being true with these depictions? How much creative liberty can an architect take to convey the design idea? These questions are highly subjective, and whether we agree or disagree, stylized renderings have been an integral part of the architectural profession including competitions and commissions. 

Architectural renderings range from being sketchy and conceptual to photorealistic. Of the infinite rendering styles, the images below represent some contrasting styles of rendering. 

(L) Blackout at dusk.  Image courtesy www.mir.no  (R)   Menacing Atmosphere.  Image courtesy Urban Future Organization and CR-Design

(L) Blackout at dusk. Image courtesy www.mir.no (R) Menacing Atmosphere. Image courtesy Urban Future Organization and CR-Design

Dreamy echoes of light. Image courtesy Bustler, Joseph Filippelli 

Dreamy echoes of light. Image courtesy Bustler, Joseph Filippelli 

Photorealistic textures.  Image courtesy www.mir.no

Photorealistic textures. Image courtesy www.mir.no

Underlying stories.  Image courtesy BIG. 

Underlying stories. Image courtesy BIG. 

Informal collages.  Image courtesy Alex Hogrefe.   

Informal collages. Image courtesy Alex Hogrefe.  

Urban Abstracts.  Image courtesy Alex Hogrefe

Urban Abstracts. Image courtesy Alex Hogrefe

Creating an image that accurately represents the design requires a substantial skill set and investing a great amount of time perfecting it. 3D renderings are often inspired from architectural photography. In creating the perfect rendering that represents the design, some thumb rules of photography should be considered while modeling and rendering the structure. Three of these guides have been illustrated below.

Composition

Composition

Depth of Field

Depth of Field

Rule of Thirds

Rule of Thirds

In recent times, renderings and stylized representation of buildings have become hyper-idealistic images and are in itself a form of art. The degree of perfection attained in a computer generated image can never be achieved in reality. Thus, the two-dimensional graphic representation of architecture has, traditionally, been the precursor or subsequent by-product of architecture — but never a substitute. A two-dimensional image may never be able to communicate the experiential qualities of a three-dimensional space. A digital image may be a powerful artistic or theoretical conception, but it is far from reality. 

Muse MATTERS is a series of dialogues that as a studio we shall engage in– the purpose of the dialogues is for the studio to discuss matters, ask questions, share lessons learnt and may be in the process we can make a difference. Topics discussed shall not be restricted to the field of architecture and design necessarily; they could be about an experience, a journey, a comic strip and anything in between or beyond. We will use this space to share our thoughts and blurbs.

 

 

 

 

 

MuseMATTERS: Sound Architecture

MuseLAB

As Architects, we design spaces and in the process we create experiences that evoke our visual and tactile senses, but very rarely do we consciously design spaces that focus on the aural experience. Inspired by Julian Treasure’s TedX talk on Why Architects need to use their Ears, this week at MuseMATTERS, we discussed the importance of Sound in Architectural Design

Julian Treasure,  Image courtesy ted.com

Julian Treasure, Image courtesy ted.com

Numerous factors must be considered when designing an interior architecture space and one of the most common issues is acoustics and noise, both within the space and within the environment. If ignored, it can cause health and safety concerns for the users and depending on the function of the space, it can discourage users from returning to the space let alone resulting in huge sums of money to correct the sound quality within it.

Typically, there are several constants within the elements of design which influence the acoustics of a space; for instance, the shape of the walls and ceilings, the materials used and the methods of construction amongst others. But what is more important is to find out exactly what gives rise to this problem before actually defining a solution for it. And this is where the other elements come in, both tangible and intangible.

Many a times the noise in a space is the noise from the users of the space – talking, whispering, shouting, laughing etc. This noise can be compounded by other noise sources as well – for example, if patrons are seated close to the kitchen in a restaurant, the sound emanating from the kitchen will compel them to talk louder in order to hear each other. Sometimes mechanical and plumbing equipment can also lead to unwanted noise. The best example would be a hospital, where health of the patients can be jeopardized if there is a build-up of noise due to loud HVAC and plumbing systems. This distraction can easily affect the sleep of the patients and increase their recovery time. 

Ambience sound affects us physiologically, psychologically, behaviourally and intellectually, all at the same time
— Julian Treasure

Noises from external factors can also have a huge impact on the interior of the space. Depending on the type of materials and the construction techniques used, the noise of traffic can easily transmit through the exterior walls and can be a matter of concern for users of spaces adjoining major highways, roadways, railways or airports. Also, in case if the space is in a multi-used, shared building, then noise from the neighbouring occupants can also transmit through the walls between the two spaces.

As designers and space shapers we most often talk about how the space is affected by sound from sources outside but we do not consider the fact that the space being designed also will become a source from which sound will emanate, impacting the environment around and the adjacent neighbourhoods. 

After listening in to Julian Treasure’s talk we concluded that as architects we need to be wary of sound – whether it is an office (interior) space or an urban space. The architecture of sound is actually invisible architecture; it is more about designing not the appearance but the experience so that we have spaces that sound as good as they look in order to improve our health and productivity along with our behaviour and overall well-being.

Muse MATTERS is a series of dialogues that as a studio we shall engage in– the purpose of the dialogues is for the studio to discuss matters, ask questions, share lessons learnt and may be in the process we can make a difference. Topics discussed shall not be restricted to the field of architecture and design necessarily; they could be about an experience, a journey, a comic strip and anything in between or beyond. We will use this space to share our thoughts and blurbs.

MUSELAB PLACES SECOND IN 'CHANDIGARH UNBUILT: COMPLETING THE CAPITOL' DESIGN COMPETITION

MuseLAB

This morning we were delighted to find out that MuseLAB has stood second in the 'CHANDIGARH UNBUILT: Completing the capitol' competition organized by Archasm. The competition received an overwhelming 308 registrations from all around the world, generating tremendous excitement among the fraternity.

Our Approach

The Capitol Complex conceived by Le Corbusier consists of the Secretariat, the Legislative Assembly, the High Court and the ‘Open Hand’ monument – the symbol of Chandigarh which was completed during his time. To this day, Le Corbusier’s vision for the Capitol Complex in Chandigarh remains incomplete - and among those unfinished elements is the Museum of Knowledge.

How does one raise the bar from where Le Corbusier left?  And how does one do that without aping the master? The capitol complex was a metaphor of the human being employed in plan  – the ‘head’ contained the capitol complex, the ‘heart’ the commercial centre, and the ‘arms’, which were perpendicular to the main axis, had the academic and leisure facilities.  The proposed Museum of Knowledge honours
Corbusier’s vision by showcasing the existing vestiges of the capitol complex by creating vantage points and visual connections. These
landmark structures are thus included as part of the Museum and metaphorically form the main collection of the museum. The plan
incorporates Le Corbusier’s principles of light, space and greenery which are still prevalent as of today. 

This proposal builds upon and reimagines Le Corbusier’s Five Points of Architecture. This forms the basis for our qualitative program for the site. In this reimagined adaptation of the principles the structure of the building has been pushed below ground allowing for the site surface to be free of structure and double up as a park allowing it to extend itself and be a part of the public realm. The structure is supported by
pilotis/columns – which gives opportunity for free design of the ground floor plan. All four sides of full height glazing allows for light to filter in a controlled manner and being underground there are open to sky courtyards and slits within the roof garden that provide additional
opportunities for light to permeate. 

Le Corbusier’s master plan for Chandigarh was designed keeping in mind the socio-economic conditions and living habits of people. 
Similarly a Museum of Knowledge in the present times would not be complete if it did not consider the current habits of the people. This proposal gives the power to the people to design and choreograph their own walk through the museum. A non-linear narrative with
multiple opportunities to enter and exit rooms gives the user the authority and freedom to move through the space at their own pace. Areas both large and small have been designed to allow for flexibility of programming of exhibits. Transition zones have been interspersed with courtyards and open plazas to provide for break out spaces and moments to pause. Areas within the museum and around have been
generously devoted to provide for gathering spaces to encourage people to come spend time at the museum, attend workshops or head to the park with a book and read without any inhibitions. 

See the other winning entries, honourable mentions and  Top 50 entries here. 

MuseMATTERS: A walk through Bandra with Alisha Sadikot

MuseLAB

This week we joined Alisha Sadikot on a walk through the neighbourhood of Bandra.  We would not like to reveal much as we would be doing injustice to the walk experience with Alisha Sadikot. We highly recommend this one. Here are some notes from our diary.

Alisha Sadikot is an independent museums and heritage education professional working to instigate critical and creative public engagement with museum collections and heritage spaces in Mumbai. Museums are her happy place. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter @alishasadikot and visit her blog at The Inheritage Project

 

Castella dr Aguada  commonly known as Bandra Fort. 

Castella dr Aguada commonly known as Bandra Fort. 

House on a Hill : Reminiscence of Byramjee Jeejeebhoy’s residence built atop the hill at Land’s End, overlooking the Rajiv Gandhi Sea link and the skyline of Mumbai on a clear day.

House on a Hill: Reminiscence of Byramjee Jeejeebhoy’s residence built atop the hill at Land’s End, overlooking the Rajiv Gandhi Sea link and the skyline of Mumbai on a clear day.

The Basilica of Our Lady of The Mount  commonly known as Mount Mary Church. Originally built by the Portuguese Jesuits in the 16th century and rebuilt a few times thereafter. 

The Basilica of Our Lady of The Mount commonly known as Mount Mary Church. Originally built by the Portuguese Jesuits in the 16th century and rebuilt a few times thereafter. 

St. Stephen's Church  was built to cater to the needs of British Protestant Christians living in Bandra. 

St. Stephen's Church was built to cater to the needs of British Protestant Christians living in Bandra. 

Cemetery at St. Stephen's Church  and some hidden gems around Bandra. 

Cemetery at St. Stephen's Church and some hidden gems around Bandra. 

Ranwar   Village : A quaint village in Bandra that remains untouched by the glass and steel edifice of "developing" Mumbai. 

Ranwar Village: A quaint village in Bandra that remains untouched by the glass and steel edifice of "developing" Mumbai. 

Street Art  at Ranwar. 

Street Art at Ranwar. 

Storefronts of Ranwar

Storefronts of Ranwar

Muse MATTERS is a series of dialogues that as a studio we shall engage in– the purpose of the dialogues is for the studio to discuss matters, ask questions, share lessons learnt and may be in the process we can make a difference. Topics discussed shall not be restricted to the field of architecture and design necessarily; they could be about an experience, a journey, a comic strip and anything in between or beyond. We will use this space to share our thoughts and blurbs.

MuseMATTERS: Excerpts from Kyoorius Design Yatra

MuseLAB

Earlier this month Huzefa and Jasem attended the Kyoorius Design Yatra held in Goa. When they got back, they were full of yatra stories; inspired and reenergized. The theme this year was what pumps your heart. It was a very well-curated experience - from the arrangements to the speakers everything was very well organized. Every speaker left us asking for more. The yatra certainly managed to pump hearts.

In this edition of MuseMATTERS they discussed and shared their notes on some of the makers and creators that spoke at the yatra.

Morihiro Harano,  Image courtesy Mori Inc.

Morihiro Harano, Image courtesy Mori Inc.

Morihiro Harano, director at Mori Inc. with stellar achievements not only in advertising but also in new business development, strategy, product design and media initiatives had the following things to say:

Do not make shit for shit - waste for waste

What should we do now? Search the RIGHT PLACE not the BRIGHT PLACE

Where are the opportunities? New storytelling from new technology and change the market ecosystem

How can we make it? Just make it! Keep prototyping! Create how to create!

A music video for OK Go’s  “I Won’t Let You Down”  in collaboration with Honda.

A music video for OK Go’s “I Won’t Let You Down” in collaboration with Honda.

A gigantic 44m xylophone made with surplus wood of trees. A promotional movie for  “Touch Wood SH-08C” , a mobile phone also made out of surplus wood.

A gigantic 44m xylophone made with surplus wood of trees. A promotional movie for “Touch Wood SH-08C”, a mobile phone also made out of surplus wood.

Malika Favre,  Image courtesy onthedraw.travel

Malika Favre, Image courtesy onthedraw.travel

Malika Favre is a French artist based in London. Her bold, minimal style – often described as Pop Art meets OpArt – is a striking lesson in the use of positive/negative space and colour. During her talk at KDY she categorized her work in categories such as shapes and colours, patterns in everyday life, grids, places, layers, sex and freedom. Her work always involves a sense of humour there is attention to detail and often her work stems from photography of everyday life scenes. 

' Hide n Seek ,' exhibition held in London. 

'Hide n Seek,' exhibition held in London. 

Jessica Walsh,  Image courtesy elle.com

Jessica Walsh, Image courtesy elle.com

Jessica Walsh is an American graphic designer, art director and illustrator, and a partner at creative agency
Sagmeister & Walsh. At the talk, she shared a wide range of projects beginning with their biggest account in India - for Frooti. She had interesting thoughts to share from stating that play is a state of mind and that one must have fun with any project and make your own rules or don't and that every child is an artist. She stressed that failure is fine and that you need the confidence to fail. Whatever you do - do it wholeheartedly that is something we definitely try and practice ourselves. Most important of all was trust your gut. She also said be fearless and get comfortable with the uncomfortable - something she follows to the tee. She reminded us to get off the computer and make stuff - to actually create with the hand and have fun. Play by your own rules and fight for what you believe in to feed the soul. Also, she mentioned do not give two options - put all your energy into that one great option so from now on no biju(second) option that is the mantra that we are going to adopt. She signed off by reminding us to make stuff. 

Frooti campaign.  Image courtesy underconsideration.com  

Frooti campaign. Image courtesy underconsideration.com 

Fearless postcard sent out by Sagmeister and Walsh to announce their moving into a new space.  Image courtesy fastcodesign.com

Fearless postcard sent out by Sagmeister and Walsh to announce their moving into a new space. Image courtesy fastcodesign.com

Daan Roosegarde.  Image courtesy culturalexchange-tr.nl

Daan Roosegarde. Image courtesy culturalexchange-tr.nl

Dutch artist and innovator- Daan Roosegaarde is internationally known for creating social designs exploring the relation between people,
technology and space. When we saw what he does - we realized the true meaning of innovation. The one project that we truly were mesmerized with was Vangogh Path. Do check out his other projects at Studio Roosegarde as well.

Vangogh Path.  Image courtesy smarthighway.net

Vangogh Path. Image courtesy smarthighway.net

This edition of the Yatra was truly inspiring and we look forward to returning again next year.  




MuseMATTERS: 100 Smart Cities or Self-sustaining habitats?

MuseLAB

The government has announced an urban agenda to develop 100 new smart cities for the country as a solution to the issue of: urban liveability. This initiative has received a lot of attention within the country and the world. Intense discussions and thought provoking debates are taking place regarding the form and context within which these cities should be developed. 

A summarized version of the Government of India’s definition of a smart city is: “one that is clean competitive, capital generating and sustainable. The cities should provide good basic infrastructure such as water, sanitation, reliable utility services, health care, attractive for investments, transparent processes to be able to run businesses, simple and on line processes for obtaining approvals and services and facilities to make the people of the city feel safe and secure. To read more about the smart cities mission visit smartcities.gov.in

By that definition a smart city sounds no different than what a city should be in the first place. Cities are engines of growth and as a result of which they attract people. With increasing urbanization and the lack of infrastructure, the government has now realized the need for cities that can cope with the challenges of urban living and also be magnets for investment.

Illustration concept of smart city technologies.   Image courtesy freepik.com

Illustration concept of smart city technologies. Image courtesy freepik.com

When we talk of smart cities often people limit their conversations to the need for sensors, CCTVS, ambient intelligence and digital records. Instead they need to talk about raising the standard of living, generating resources, creating opportunities and self-sustaining habitats.

Sustainability or building right and sensitively has to be one of the main criteria for a smart city. The city should be able to address climate change and reduce carbon footprint. So how can technology really assist us in the planning of smart cities? 3D mapping tools have become valuable for visualizing and designing cities where various services can be layered and looked at together. Like in New Orleans, CyArk is using that same 3-D mapping data to create a detailed digital copy of the city, so that if there is catastrophic damage, and some of these historic buildings are destroyed or altered, a detailed record of what was there could be referenced. As Neelie Kroes, Vice-President, Commissioner Digital Agenda, European Commission once said, “Every city already generates huge amounts of information, for many different purposes. But too often that information is lost. It’s time to get smart and start using it”.

Case – studies of cities in the west is good to look at for the lessons learned but by aping the west we are not going to be able to solve our issues. Each city in India has its unique set of issues and challenges that need to be dealt with and resolved by providing solutions specific to that city. We need to find our own mix and derive a definition that is specific to us.

But in a country where millions are struggling to get by, the initiative also got us wondering how people will be able to afford the expensive housing and living costs of smart cities. The upcoming infrastructure in most parts of the country is coming at the expense of farming land. Rural percentage is higher than urban because India is an agrarian state and most families depend on farming for their livelihood.

Should the focus now be on building new smart cities or retrofitting existing cities or developing the villages around these existing cities? It has previously been stated that no economy can grow on the basis of agriculture so it is inevitable that people will move to cities. In that statement alone lays the answer to our problems. A sustainable growth with balanced resources could help in raising the quality of life of rural areas.

At the first Annual Architecture Festival hosted in Jaipur, B V Doshi and Rajeev Kathpalia had spoken about Crafting Future Cities and what they had to say was, "We are used to cities as centralized entities and we are saying perhaps the time has come to start thinking of each place as independent and self-supporting", which is what sustainable cities are all about.

Proposal of the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City), one of the flagship smart cities of the 100 Smart Cities program.   Image courtesy archdaily. 

Proposal of the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City), one of the flagship smart cities of the 100 Smart Cities program. Image courtesy archdaily. 

Masdar city is among the more high-profile experiments in smart-city technology.   Image courtesy: Foster + Partners. 

Masdar city is among the more high-profile experiments in smart-city technology. Image courtesy: Foster + Partners. 

Be it a city or a village, these are just settlements or habitats at different scales, which need to be planned in a way that they are self-sustaining , providing enough job opportunities, training people to use resources wisely and increasing their quality of life.

The goals of a self-sustaining city need to: reduce emissions and traffic, save energy, make the urban landscape a more comfortable place to live in. The systems at all levels, be it social or political needs to be transparent and there needs to be accountability at all levels.

The way the smart cities agenda is being marketed there is no doubt that the real agenda is the need for foreign capital to enter into new territories. This will allow international corporations to invest and operate in sanitized spaces bypassing the multiple complexities that otherwise characterize urban India. Therefore our purpose and goals for smart cities need to be much clearer along with a better understanding of the socio-economic condition of our country. The city needs to be designed wisely, catering to everyone’s needs equally irrespective of social and cultural differences. 

Muse MATTERS is a series of dialogues that as a studio we shall engage in– the purpose of the dialogues is for the studio to discuss matters, ask questions, share lessons learnt and may be in the process we can make a difference. Topics discussed shall not be restricted to the field of architecture and design necessarily; they could be about an experience, a journey, a comic strip and anything in between or beyond. We will use this space to share our thoughts and blurbs.

Featured in the second edition of AD Shop Talk

MuseLAB

(L) AD Shop Talk cover page. (R) 3 Wall Art from X-Stitch

(L) 8 Wall finish featured from upcoming project Wok This Way QSR at Lower Parel. (R) 13 Light fixture designed by At-tin for Free-Spirited 

(L) 18 Art work from Contemporary Traditional  (R) 18 Credenza featured from Free-Spirited 

(L) 28 Custom designed tiles, Chevron flooring patterns and electroplated bathroom fixtures from Uber Gatherer