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Architecture and Design balance multiple intelligences – geometry, structural engineering, aesthetics and spatial intelligence. Last week, we touched upon the way computer-enabled technologies improve all these aspects.

Virtual and digital worlds aside, we inhabit physical spaces. Through the millennia, these have been marked out using clay, sand, rock, wood, thatch… Today, build materials have evolved exponentially, and here are some of the newer contenders.


40 times stronger than diamond and more than 300 times stronger than A36 structural steel , there is a tremendous potential waiting to be unlocked in Graphene as a build-material.

Graphene – Material of the Future from Curtis Brown on Vimeo.

I came across an article in ET last year which talked about how Tata Steel was interested in commissioning research from IIT-Chennai, to explore viable applications of graphene.
Wearables, super-conductivity, super-strength… I’ll be closely following the capabilities of this wonder material, as each one is tested, unlocked and becomes available for commercial use.

Self-healing Concrete

Billions of rupees are spent every year on the construction, repair and maintenance of our concrete structures. Buildings and construction contribute to nearly one-quarter of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions worldwide.

Say ‘Goodbye’ to Cracks, Self-Healing Concrete Has Arrived from Futurism on Vimeo.

Real-life trials are underway for 3 different techniques that can be embedded in concrete to make it self-repairing. The prospect that we may live to see our buildings made from such materials is an exciting possibility.


We all know of the dire need to minimise the environmental impact of our activities. I’m on the constant lookout for new efficiencies of material and energy in our field.

Building-Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) –

Solar panels are a familiar sight, on top of buildings, or laid out on the ground (think of the large plot of solar panels that power Cochin airport) BIPV represents an evolution where the photovoltaic elements actually become an integral part of the building, often serving as the exterior weather skin.

Onyx Solar: Building Integrated Photovoltaics. English Spot from ONYX SOLAR ENERGY on Vimeo.

Internet of Everything (IoT) –

I’m excited by the intelligent convergence of technologies that can manage several workspace components simultaneously – people, processes, data and things. Think connected devices that let you control your environment, but why is this under ‘sustainability’, you may ask? I’ll come to it…

  • All businesses need to ensure that their teams are empowered with the tools that enable them to create sparks which fire a passion for the job. IoT will enable that.
  • The IoT-enabled office of the (near) future will collect and analyse data on working habits to boost every possible area of performance.
  • This ‘informative workplace’ will be able to suggest efficiency savings, and point out which rooms are occupied most commonly.

Which answers why I’ve listed IoT under technologies that improve sustainability. Not just because it’ll result in intelligent (and more economic) use of our spaces. But because it’ll increase our productivity as well.

Human drive and initiatives are precious resources that need to be nurtured and replenished. Which is what my personal underlying brief is on every job we undertake at JTCPL Designs. To sustain the human spirit in the workplace.

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  1. Rajendra Bendre

    Great post Ninad!

    We are at our joyful best in places that blow our breath away! Usually at the edge of the unkown, uncertain and the dangerous a precipice, a mountain top, down snow clad mountains while skiing, when the immensity of the landscape in front of us is incomprehensible and so on.

    Will be great when work spaces take our breath away and at the same time bring us all together to express our collective intelligence to make our work an expression of art!.

  2. Swati Balgi

    Congrats Ninad ! Nice to read expert’s views on Workspace Design. Will look forward to read more on your blog.
    Swati Balgi

  3. Praveen

    Ninad nice to read your post…Happy Ken”s session was impactful. .Let’s continue this collaboration around workplace knowledge..

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