The Official Publication of the Indian Institute of Interior Designers

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Jabeen Zacharias
26 Apr 2024

Editor's Note, The Yards We Scale

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October 20th, 1968, Olympic Games, Mexico. Galleries spellbound as the most thrilling event of High Jump unfolds.  Athletes ready to challenge physics and gravity with muscles and mind to benchmark what we mortals can scale. Faster, Stronger Higher was the Chant. The bar was set at a never before 2.24 meters! There comes an athlete; a loner, a first timer, who didn’t like to practice, missed the opening ceremony to see a sunset driving and sleeping in a van; a curious case as the newspapers would dismiss. Fosbury from US, ran fast, rose high; but instead of taking his body parallel and towards the bar, flipped and arched with ‘his back to the bar’! That was an Olympic record; and the beginning of the ‘Flop’ revolution. Fosbury didn’t participate in the Olympics anymore, but the Fosbury Flop does; the only way till date for every athlete to scale the heights.   

Why Yards? As you hold the second folio of the IIID Golden Jubilee Rainbow Series of Inscape, honestly, I will be disappointed if you don’t have this killing, nailing question. This Folio is a designed Flop to flip our game with backs turned to the notching bar of just Interior Design to soar high with face upward for a higher wider glimpse of what lies around, in between and within before entering into the soul spaces of our built environments. Yes, we are doing the Fosbury Flop; sprinting, springing, surging with our backs on to the arch of the Rainbow, looking skywards and forward, taking in the larger spread of all the realms before it all blends into that single picture of hope and happiness for mankind, which the Rainbow promises: Which Good Design promises!

‘Yard’ is Old Saxon in origin. All through its journey as Gard, Gart, Gardo, Garth Yarde etc, it always meant an enclosed, fenced, and defined space which was ‘open’ too. ‘An Interior Exterior Space or an Exterior Interior Space?’ whichever way the designer in you want to look at it. Yards then edged and nudged their way inwards as in Courtyards to provide core and connections to our Interiors or outwards as surrounds to provide context and conversations with the world around. Their trails have left behind unbelievable footprints across every single culture and civilization across Man’s history holding many a secret which could still be that universal healing potion for the fuming planet and the forlorn souls in its yards.

‘Yard’ also holds very interesting nuances for Designers in particular! A popular unit of measurement for length exactly three feet or 36 inches which dates back to medieval England, and the distance from King Henry 1’s nose to the end of his outstretched thumb.  It can also mean the average stride or pace of a person, a practical and relatable unit for easy measurement. With such sensitive connections to human scale, Architects and Designers often opt to think in yards while shaping our spaces. Then comes “yardstick” with its metaphorical meaning; the comparative standard and index we attach to anything and everything including the kind of Designers we are, the types of Designs we do and the magnanimity of the impact we bring in; Like it or not, that bar goes up every day with the huge challenges our times set for us. We are designers, problem solvers, drivers of change; We need to figure out that Fosbury Flop.

This Folio is a designed Fosbury Flop to flip our game with backs turned to the notching bar of just Interior Design to soar high with face upward for a higher wider glimpse of what lies around, in between and within before entering into the soul spaces of our built environments.

Even the editorial Board is open to invited personalities who have made a mark or remark on the specific folio topic to ensure a wider view. Fueled with dedicated research, exclusive projects and insight into national and international perspectives spanning ages and generations each of the seven folios is curated to be a collectible treasure to finally nestle in a sleeve with you as a coffee table Design encyclopedic reference.

The first folio, “The Spaces We Shape” is here! Walking us through five transformative decades of design  is  Sunita Kohli, the distinguished envoy of Indian Design Ethos both nationally and globally. At the crossroads of academia and creation, Sanjeev Vidyarthi from the Illinois Institute of Technology professes a Design Epoch that India currently resides within. Steering the discourse with profound insights derived from his own defining and perceptive practice is Yatin Pandya while Rishab Wadhwa, our millennial luminary, injects a tantalising anticipation of the Future that awaits. Together with the President, Team IIID, Nippon Paint- our exclusive privileged Partner, and many a brilliant mind loaded with love and wishes and of course, some anxiety as we wait to hear from you; let me present the first Folio of the Golden Jubilee Inscape Series. Enjoy!

About the Author

Jabeen Zacharias
Editor, IIID Inscape

Jabeen Zacharias, a prominent figure in architecture and interior design, leads Jabeen Zacharias Architects, known for 300+ projects worldwide. As the editor of Inscape, an official publication of IIID, her excellence and social commitment are renowned in the Indian architecture community. A multi-disciplinary artist, she passionately promotes design awareness through lectures, speaking engagements, and design practice, making a lasting impact.

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