“Out is More!”A new world post Covid-19. An interview with Andrea Andreotti
India-based, Italian architect, Andrea Andreotti presents his views on how interior and architecture, like a lot of other fields, has to come up with very different approach and practices to achieve a future where we can see ourselves ready to face any sort of calamity be it natural or man-made.
What changes do you foresee in Commercial Interior Design? What would companies be looking at in terms of space design?
The coronavirus has accelerated a scenario that was in any case foreshadowing. The way of investing in commercial real estate and the way of designing spaces will undergo a profound change. The workspaces will convert their main purpose. No longer a productive machine but a social exchange place that lives in a synergic and interconnected way with the rest of the city’. The dense spaces of desks we have seen in recent years will give way to architecture and interiors more tied to a concept of mobility and interaction with many areas of sharing, collaborative and exchange of ideas. The trend will be to bring the external environment even more inward. In fact, if we think about it, the best ideas always come to us outside the office. Now we have the opportunity to reverse this trend!
Do you foresee decrease in interior demand, as a lot of IT industries are considering permanent work from home options for their employees, in turn slowing down commercial real estate?
Artificial Intelligence and Smart Working will contribute to reduce of 50% the space for resident workers. Now the question is: what about the other 50%?
Many companies will decide to save a lot of money with this net reduction in their OPEX / CAPEX investments, but other companies will instead take the opportunity to use the rest of the space in the right measure to create new places to increase the sense of corporate community, interaction and sociability. Places no longer productive but recreational with the aim of retaining talent and fuelling the flow of new ideas. “Work from home” alone does not work, we are social animals, and to create the right functioning in a company we need space for people, even more after this pandemic.
Do you see AI taking up a bigger role in the coming future?
A world wrapped in AI will surely be a plausible scenario. From the design phase to the management of real estate assets, there are already many software that allow you to prefigure scenarios to identify the best property and subsequently control, manage and predict the occupation of the building in an intensive smart working scenario. I sincerely hope that technology is not the only driver for business management. However, the silent architecture is still the physical language of a company, and for this reason it involves people's emotions and behaviours. This aspect is fundamental if the goal is to create a community guided by values and not a “machine” production-oriented.
What should be the approach of designers now post Covid-19? In terms of their design.
"OUT IS MORE” I think it should be the mantra of the designers. Closed spaces more related to the idea of outdoor spaces. The secret recipe will be a composition of different concepts to be implemented in space such as: mobility, biophilia, energy production and sociality for instance.
What would you suggest to upcoming interior designers who have yet to step into he design field?
We live in the social network era. Thousand images and influences risk not creating identities. However, I firmly believe in identity and singular vision. This is why I suggest young graduates to find their own way of expressing themselves, recognizable in such an approved world. In all this the creative sensitivity is definitely the skill that I would suggest most to develop
What is your design style?
More than style I would speak of design philosophy. Behind every project I try to create
a story, a fiction if I may say. The concrete project is a spatial representation of this story through simple and essential elements or details. At the end is extremely exciting for me to see how those stories are populated by final users.
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