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Art breathes life into spaces, says architect Rahul Nair on Room For More Art

Abir Pothi presents Room For More Art —a series of features on interior designers across geographic boundaries, discussing with them the nuances of their profession, their methods of sourcing and projecting art into their work, the challenges they face, and a whole lot more perspective.

Rahul Nair: Exploring the power of art and architecture to change outlook


A self-taught artist and an architect who graduated from Manipal University in 2015, Rahul Nair is the founder of Atelier Noir, based out of Kochi. His work has taken him across India and the Middle East, and he has worked with well-known architects on several challenging and inspiring works, including public projects, landscaping, master planning, design scheme formulation and execution. Nair’s use of design as a tool is supplemented by a focus on ethical practices in architecture and infrastructure development. His company makes it a point to participate in socially relevant projects, such as middle income group (MIG) housing, community centres, city control hubs and facilities like public toilets. His belief is that art has an elemental quality to it, and was the first medium of expression even before language developed — art is a primitive calling that he feels people do not need to be forced to embrace. Nair believes that the skill of streamlining design and budgeting for art in every single project has stood them in good stead, as art is not about cost, but its quality and the ability to enjoy it. He also believes that art’s beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder — his own strongly distinctive vision tends to find aesthetic value and beauty in unusual facets of nature or other elements. With that in mind, the projects of Atelier Noir display a pleasing mix of space and light, and embrace both utilitarianism and nature, by allowing for pockets of recreation that seamlessly include natural elements. There is a measure of minimalism to them that is expertly blended with comfort and lack of clutter, using wood work, muted and soothing hues, and statements works of art, with a hat-tip to Indian folk art in all its glorious intricacy and colour.

Some samples of his work:

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