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India Kitchen Congress ‘Virtual’ Kicks Off; Maiden Session Deliberates on New Ways of Living

The 8th edition of India Kitchen Congress (IKC), the country’s one-of-its-kind knowledge platform, started off on June 20. Held on a virtual space, IKC kicked off the inaugural session by bringing together urban planners, architects, and builders to discuss ‘How we will be living in the New World’.

Ar Ponni Concessao, founder at OCI Architects highlighted the growing need to re-imagine urban design and planning in the face of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic that requires application of a six-foot social distancing norm. “Social distancing is a primary driver for combating Covid-19. We will have to broaden our sidewalks, create cycle tracks, restrict car mobility in close neighbourhoods, and redevelop hyper-local markets for decongesting localities in cities.” On the kitchen front, she said that this space will be more automated and merged with halls and dining to become a family activity area. “The emphasis will be on new aesthetics, hygiene, and tiny micro gardens for kitchens. My 2030 kitchen prediction is that it will have grey water management and will be connected by smart phones.”

Bani Anand, director, ATS Infrastructure Ltd, said that builders will have to intensify their focus on creating community space that can house chemist and grocery stores, as well as building parks. “This approach will enable residents to reduce their dependence on far-away markets and lead a healthy life within the four walls of their complexes.”

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Namrata Mehra, associate vice-president at Godrej Properties Ltd, observed, “We need to look at how the pandemic influences projects. I think that people will place greater significance on homeownership. They will prefer mixed-use developments.” She added that consumers will begin to view and value flexible spaces and use touch-free sensor-driven hardware. “Going forward, I think that sustainability and wellness will gain importance.” On the kitchen space, she added that it will be considered as important as living rooms and bedrooms. People will seek more ventilation and light in the area.”

Mahak Agrawal, founder, Spatial Perspectives, said, “The line between work, home and play has diminished with ‘sheltering in place’ norms. In the future, the line will continue to be a fine one. There will be immense opportunities for designers and furnishing industry to tap into the changing demand for Work-From-Home.” She added that kitchens have always been central to the Indian households, and with Covid-19, “we are seeing diffusion of boundaries within the home space.”

This discussion on ‘How we will be living in the New World’ was moderated by Sourcing Hardware managing editor Deepak Gupta. Watch the full session here.

The next session of IKC ‘Virtual’ will go LIVE on June 27 at 3:00 PM. Kitchen industry leaders will meet for the CEO Round Table to discuss ‘Is Disruption the New Normal’. On the panel: Hetal Iyer, Godrej Interio; Kirti Joshi, Spacewood; Srikanth Iyer, HomeLane; Khanindra Barman, Würfel Küche; Deepak Bharadia, Meine Küche India.

REGISTER for the webinar here.

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