Nikita Edwards                                    Susan Chacko                                       Zac de Freitas                                                   Cornus Strydom


                                                                                                         BENTEL’S TOP DESIGN TRENDS 2021

07/06/2021| Bentel Associates International

The architectural industry is relatively slow in changing trends. Some trends stay on for years before any major change occurs, although due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has had significant effects in our lives, change was inevitable.

Space and the use of it has become more of a necessity for social distancing, bringing in more natural light and ventilation. Bentel’s Senior Design Architect, Nikita Edwards adds; “Blurring the boundaries between the indoor and outdoor spaces, in the home and workplace, is a trend for 2021.” Nikita has done numerous work pertaining  Sustainability in Architecture. She is keen on clever and alternative use of material usage with a focus on sustainability through waste reduction and zero-carbon design.

Susan Chacko, Senior Associate in Bentel’s Interior Department says, “The current Covid situation has compelled our creative energies to imagine the ways buildings could help limit the spread of future epidemics, right from the layout of interiors and public spaces to healthy surface coatings. As proximity will no longer be tempting, there will be de-densification of office spaces. Perhaps better ventilation and open windows will be a step we might consider. This is not just limited to potted plants & green walls. It’s perhaps breathing the fresh air and feeling the warmth of the sunlight too. Merging the outdoor and the indoor is something in my opinion would be a ground breaking innovation I would look forward to instead of the virtual and the physical that everyone is talking about.”

Zac de Freitas, Design Architect at Bentel further adds that, “design has to adapt and change just as we do, to become smart and integrated.” Talking about “smart and integration”,  technology has become one of the noticeable trends of the past decade and now loomed by the pandemic, touch-less technology and upgraded mechanical systems provides optimal environmental control in these spaces be it commercial, residential, industrial or hospitality spaces.

The spaces we speak of will require furniture that is lightweight, kinetic and more flexible so that they can be easily configured and sanitized. Installing barriers like sneeze guards and movable partitions, social distancing signage and sanitizing stations have fast become necessities.

With a great deal of focus around health and safety measures that have influenced design trends, lest we forget other elements such as shapes, colour and textures that are still popularity and go unnoticed.

Cornus Strydom, Design Director at Bentel says, “We will be seeing a great deal of greys and yellows especially in interiors as the colours of 2021”. He further notes, “Architecturally the movement is still towards  parametric design, made famous by Zaha Hadid. Fluent lines and organic shapes are still popular. These parametric designs are shapes and forms that have a curving nature, flowing forms in the shape of arcs. These forms include the arcs of entryways, or even the entire shape of a structure can be in the form of flowing curves.”

These are some of the design trends of 2021 that have influenced some of our staff at Bentel to share amongst many others.

About Bentel Associates International:
Bentel is a leading African and Indian-based design firm established in 1960 which has a dedicated and focused service offering across multiple sectors, comprising retail, office, residential and hospitality projects. Today BAI is an award-winning architectural firm known for having designed many unique and landmark developments throughout the African continent and the Middle-East.
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