In the ‘new normal’ of being housebound, a look at how the drawing room has evolved through the ages | Eye News,The Indian Express

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The living room is dead. Long live the living room! "This sentence has never been more important than it is now. As our residential space becomes multifunctional in an increasingly virtual world, and we are reduced to a thumbnail window on the conference platform, has the living room become a circle? The formal space for receiving guests began. The living room has become a place for us to work from home, where ambitious virtual backgrounds (beards or bookshelves) have been gathered. However, before the living room, there is the whole, thinner baranda, balcão—the courtyard house Public space, where neighbors chat or strangers stop to ask for directions—"It forms a public threshold, and social interaction with strangers and neighbors takes place on the street. There is no concept of a formal living room. Family spaces in India (usually used in large joint homes) focus on space versatility and flexibility. There is also no concept of formal furniture. It is mainly floor-standing or low-rise, such as khatiyas, gaddis, jhoolas or chatai, which are light and easy to move. With the arrival of the Portuguese and the British, a living room was first added as a formal and enclosed space in the wealthy Indian family to meet the needs of tourists," said Kamalika Bose, a conservation architect and co-author of Interior History. Design in India (SID Lab, CEPT University, Ahmedabad).

Over time, the living room has gradually become a sign of class and status. The living room is the core of the house and is the best reference in Hindi movies, where a large staircase rises from the living room and the piano symbolizes wealth. In the 1949 Mehboob Khan movie Andaz, the stairs are where all the movements unfold, and in Sooraj Barjatya's Hum Aapke Hain Koun... (1994), a story of a fatal fall from the stairs of the living room. Even today, the Hindi series has inherited the legacy of the Grand Stairs, because the evil in-laws made unsuspecting victims fall to these heights.

Smita Dalvi of Mumbai’s Institute of Architects’ doctoral dissertation is about houses and Hindi films. He said: “Houses are always bigger than life. Hindi films even dominate the fashion in our homes. For example, in "Wake Up Sid (2009)" by Ayan Mukerji, Konkona Sen uses fairy-tale lights, books and posters to set up a "My Corner" to show off his charm with low-budget single girls. Previously, Dil Chahta Hai (2001) of Farhan Akhtar proposed a modern living room as an ideal space.

Somewhere in the mid-80s, the living room replaced the living room, which was the formal place of life. The former is a formal place for tourists and is usually separated from the rest of the house. The latter is a place for families to hang out, where the wife chops vegetables on the table, and the children put their feet on the sofa while watching loudly. The TV and the pressure cooker in the kitchen are in the background. whistle.

On the other hand, the "invisible but untouchable" living room is equipped with spotless interiors, art and crystal collections. "It becomes a room of illusion. The place to display your precious collections, and the living room is a place where you can rest assured. It gives you a sense of balance, and the living room is a crutch for you to establish yourself in society. The image you want to portray to the world. The main difference is between the mentality of "being" and "being". The living room has become a model of power." said Delhi-based architect Verendra Wakhloo.

Generally, hierarchy is not uncommon-the living room will be equipped with a designated chair for the homeowner, and the guest's seat will be uncomfortable to convey a message that people cannot be overdue. Mumbai-based architect Chandrashekhar Kanetkar has worked in many high-end residences, and this power plays an important role. The living room is designed into multiple parts, some of which lead to the courtyard, and some provide the appearance of a library to cater to different types of visitors. His design also includes a bar lounge and a living room with a showcase kitchen. "When you plan your living room, you should be curious. This is a game of hiding and finding."

Is there room left to attract customers?

The arrival of the living room reduced the connection with the outside world. Traditional houses with semi-public spaces allow owners to connect with neighborhoods and streets. One moves from the outside to the inside, transcending the barriers of privacy and participation. When a house with crowded ground is used as a high-rise apartment, the balcony occupies the entire space or balcony space. "The balcony becomes a space in the middle, connecting the house with the sky and the ground, and the neighbors are located above or below. In Mumbai, the mechanization of real estate has led to the disappearance of the balcony. The carpenter put down the window on the parapet, breaking the living room and the balcony. The wall between the rooms makes the room bigger. It further disconnects us from the outside world. This

Dalvi said.

Another move from British bungalows to modernist architecture is the democratization of the interior space of the house. 2BHK eliminates the need for living rooms and provides a ubiquitous hall for everyone. This change means a move

Strive for housing homogenization. "With the advent of the modernist era, the concept of community collapsed. In the modern era, our lives have become more and more common." said Rohan Shivkumar, an urban designer and scholar based in Mumbai. The modern plan of the house has been unified with the large-scale housing. The unique design of the living room is retained to meet the requirements of the BHK format. The spaces can be modified to suit any function-but the terminology has changed.

Architect Gautam Bhatia recalled his childhood, the living room is a collage of many travels. "Our parents never thought about what the living room is. From Air India's "Maharaja" ashtray to souvenirs and even cups, this is a gathering place for various collections. That is to fill the space." He said.

Bose proved that the living room can also double as a sleeping space in an ordinary family, with occasional sofas and beds. In recent years, with the integration of "living room and dining room", the form of the living room has been blurred. She said that now it is evolving into a more flexible and flexible space. Needless to say, this shift has also had an impact on the hierarchy. If the early women were not allowed to walk to the front of the house in front of outsiders, these walls have now collapsed.

"Traditional Indian floor-standing chairs were replaced by multiple sets of overhead furniture. The center was carved, upholstered sofas and central tables. The new woodworking skills acquired by local carpenters also made the application of styles, patterns and elements more extensive. But until In the 1930s, we saw that the unique styles and themes of period furniture (whether traditional, colonial, art deco or modern) dominate the aesthetics of the living room. After independence, the living room absorbs various trends and styles and integrates them into each The fastest room in the eclectic space of the place – the modernist master chair is now side by side with the sankheda (low seat) sofa chair and the Portuguese lover’s seat," Baise

By the late 1990s, platforms such as Décor magazine and Pinterest in the late 2000s made it possible for people to dream of new ways to dress up their homes, while advertising, international trade fairs, and e-commerce sites allowed people to enter a wider market and buy that A designer chair or those dripping chandeliers. Mood lighting and personalized decoration have entered the home.

But even though the market connects people, the modular life cannot tell a story. The living space looks like a catalog and algorithms determine a new aesthetic. Although the appearance has changed, people's emotions are still the same-a manifestation of social status.

However, Wakhloo cited the houses of Pritzker winner BV Doshi and Delhi-based architect Ashok B Lall, but offered a different vision. "In Doshi's Ahmedabad house, the living room is like a large foyer. The foyer is connected to the basement. The basement is his meditation room, and the upper level is connected to the garden and The open areas of the kitchen are connected. When you enter the living room, you will feel like a covered yard. Ashok Lall’s living room has a magnificent skylight that allows you to view the sky from the inside. It connects the ground To the sky, but the ground is humbled by it. You are no longer the protagonist of the space, you will be aware of the larger universe. Just like in a formal living room, the self is not exaggerated. A house should ultimately reflect your Family, your opinion of yourself and your inner universe." He said.

The living room is likely to die of a pandemic, but it does not have to go through space. Pramod Balakrishnan, an architect from Chennai, gave an example of his residential area in Peru Bakam, Chennai. “We provide residents with multiple ways to reach their houses. It’s not just elevators and stairs. We even have a chessboard square in the public area where people can play and interact. As people meet up with friends outdoors, go down Chess and dealing with other people who may be watching them play games, the formality of the living room has been reduced. It has changed the way we communicate, exchange ideas and build relationships. It is an attempt to bring it back to all starting points and increase Interaction with the street and neighbors." He said.

Victorian society believed that every room had a specific activity, and ladies retired after dinner as a "check out". This private room was quickly called the "drawing room" or drawing room

The 18th century British novelist Jane Austen can best describe the interior space in her works. The objects of the house can reveal the mood and situation of the character, whether it is a faded footstool or a dilapidated sofa. For example, in Northanger Abbey (1817), 19th-century furniture and English porcelain speak of luxurious modernity

Edith Wharton is known for her "living room naturalism" in her story. In a short story written by the American novelist when she was 11 years old, she began with a guest entering the entrance of Mrs. Tomkins’ house. The host said: “If I only know that you are calling, I should tidy up the living room. It is said that the mother of Wharton School of Business said: "The living room is always tidy."

Since the Victorian era, the comedy of manners or parlor opera has been part of the theater when the action was in the parlor. Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Serious" (1895) is one of its best examples

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