In recent times, interior pedagogical practices have witnessed a paradigm shift, with advanced techniques devised to investigate spatial contextuality & functionality of design decisions in built environments. This shift is a consequence of the mutating approaches to design methodologies, which involve identifying key factors affecting the contextual information of the space. Interior design techniques have developed over time based on evolving design decision-making processes to generate design solutions. Today we stand at the threshold of the evolution of design practices, where it is a fundamental necessity to rethink our approaches and embark upon new methodologies that can re-structure design approaches. It’s time that we move away from the linear methodologies of design that aim at resolving functional issues and implement a more structured approach through argumentative positions that respond to the overall spatial context. This theory focuses on questioning the core idea of ‘interior’ and critically examines the core values of decisions and how that falls into the narrative of an Interior technique. As Caan (2011) suggests in her book ‘Rethinking Design and Interiors: Human Beings in the Built Environment’ , design today emulates our perception of the world. She defines interior experience as a mediation between the being and its surroundings. To fathom its outcome, one must question the value of these attributes and the response generated by design processes. With this conceptual construct in mind, this paper seeks to develop an approach to interior design education by building an argumentative design position and testing it out through a design context. It signifies the relationship between a theoretical concept and practice based on expressions, identities and design outcomes. The paper will present pedagogical structures and frameworks that can help improve the interior design education systems. The relevance of forming an argumentative position in interior design formulates the initial part of the study. This part builds on the ongoing theoretical and practical debates in the field of interior design. The later part details a few case studies of the design studios conducted at the ‘Postgraduate level’ course at the Faculty of design, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India. Towards the end of the paper, a pedagogical approach is detailed based on the arguments formulated and investigated by interior design pedagogues to aid students in comprehending design via the lens of argumentative approaches that effectively frame design.
Chandni Chhabra is an academician and interior designer passionate about exploring advanced pedagogical tools for design education. She has been teaching design studios and technology-related subjects at CEPT University’s Faculty of Design for over four years. She has professional experience in interior design, digital fabrication, exhibition design, visual communication and interface design. Chandni holds a bachelor’s degree in interior design from CEPT University, Ahmedabad and a diploma in Fab foundation’s “Principles and Applications for Digital Fabrication” (MIT, Boston). She is also a digital fabrication researcher and craft enthusiast who has developed techniques enabling digital tools to support traditional Indian crafts. She received an award for presenting this study at the Digifab Conference 2018 in Chicago. Apart from that, she has been a recipient of various academic awards and scholarships. Her innate ability to collaborate has led to her appointment as a curator for the Rajeev Circle Fellowship 2019 and 2021. She has been successfully running her multidisciplinary design practice, working on an array of diverse projects in the domain of interior design, exhibition design, visual design, interface design.
Rishav Jain works as an Ast. Professor – Program Chair for Master of Design(Interiors) and IMIAD at the Faculty of Design, and a Research Expert with Design Innovation Craft Resource Centre (DICRC),CEPT University, Ahmedabad. His research and writings explore the idea of craft beyond traditions and craft beyond objects, dwelling into an exploration of the contemporary perspective on Building Crafts in India. He focusses on developing new models of teaching pedagogies and has been experimenting various frameworks for teaching new studio and courses. He has also authored Craft in Interior Architecture: India, 1990 onwards. He is involved in design research and writing and has presented and written papers for national and international platforms. He has designed and curated several exhibitions, publications; conducted seminars and workshops. He also has been instrumental in creating toolkits and various educational models and has conducted various training sessions for craftspeople. He is also a recipient of Charles Wallace India Trust (CWIT) and Simon Digby Charitable Trust (SDMC) Research Fellowship and the American Craft Council Scholarship. He has received gold medals from CEPT University and GNDU for his research and academic excellence. He holds a Masters in interior Architecture and Design with specialization in Crafts and Technology from CEPT University, India.