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Sustainable Future: Unveiling the prospects for a greener future in India

Godrej Design Labs launched their ‘Understanding Conscious Living in India' report

India, 7 February 2024: To understand how conscious living in the built environment is reflected in India, Godrej Design Lab, a Godrej & Boyce platform to advance design excellence, published its report ‘Understanding Conscious Living in India: A deep-dive into spaces, materials and the environment’. Created in collaboration with Unbox Cultural Futures, a leading arts and culture research organisation, this report is a curation of cases and conversations with over 25 expert industry professionals including Rahul Mehrotra, Anupama Kundoo, Ayaz Basrai, Krsnaa Mehta, Rooshad Shroff and Sameer Kulavoor discussing cases and concepts to inspire innovative ideas with an aim to bring the Indian perspective on conscious living to the forefront.

Emphasizing the collective effort required for a sustainable future, Nyrika Holkar, Executive Director of Godrej & Boyce, said: "Given India’s rapid economic growth trajectory, it's important to focus our efforts on creating built environments with innovations in use of new sustainable materials and processes to create conscious spaces across homes, offices, factories and public infrastructure that enrich lives but simultaneously reduces environmental impact.”

She added: “Godrej Design Lab initiatives like ‘Conscious Collective’ and the ‘Understanding Conscious Living in India’ report are focused on fostering a community of collaboration, across experts and the public to enhance mindful designs. Sustainable business practices have always been a priority for our company and this is an evolution of that process.”

The 2023 ‘Understanding Conscious Living in India’ report identifies '4 Big Shifts’ that have the potential to shape conscious living in India. Each shift focuses on materials, environment, and spaces, offering unique perspectives on the evolving dynamics of conscious living within India's socio-economic landscape.

1) ‘Looking Back to Move Forward’:
This approach involves rediscovering age-old traditions to address challenges with fresh insights. It focuses on how India is paving a way by tapping into traditional building systems, explore new local materials and slowly taking steps to become a sustainable manufacturing hub.

The report carries examples of homegrown firms like Sketch Design Studio and Studio North that have crafted impactful architectural prototypes by harnessing traditional techniques and utilizing local materials, effectively addressing climate challenges. With material exploration, Godrej Construction is pioneering the use of recycled concrete to create blocks, pavers and other prefabricated concrete products which will help mitigate the millions of tons of demolition waste generated yearly in India.

2) ‘Balancing Act: Consumption & Conservation’:
An evolving comprehension of the intricate relationship between consumption and conservation prompts a reevaluation of collective views on action, responsibility, and accountability. With an alarming climate crisis, it’s important to seek conscious choices, participate in community driven initiatives and demand for policies that encourage green practices thus creating a perfect balance between consumption and conservation.

The report explores conscious consumption at 3 levels of influence across policy, community and supply chains. It looks at initiatives like green building certification - led by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) and supported by partners like Godrej Green Building Consultancy Services - in creating a greener infrastructural future of India. Community-driven activism by groups like ‘Warrior Moms’ are also driving change at a local level along with brands like Zerocircle, that are championing sustainable business supply chains.

3) ‘Spaces Activated’:
The way we perceive cities and spaces as living entities is evolving, spurred by the wake-up call of the pandemic. This shift not only revitalizes medical, cultural, and environmental contexts but also emphasizes the crucial need for resilient urban planning. Post-pandemic, cities are becoming more socially oriented, prioritizing community spaces for social development, nation-building, leisure, and entertainment.

‘Parel Baug’ designed by StudioPOD, in partnership with MVRDV, is a pathbreaking example of using principles of good street design and placemaking to convert encroached and underutilized spaces to be an inclusive, well-being-focused, and sustainable haven for the local community in Mumbai.

4)‘Search for authenticity’:
Authenticity plays a crucial role in shaping our conscious living practicesin the global, connected world that we live in today. This results in shaping traditional preferences towards global norms as we see with the growing popularity of ‘zero-waste’ weddings. There is also a celebration of micro-cultures with niche cultural practices being restored and championed. With the exposure to the digital universe, we have new avenues to explore at a global scale, thus giving us a landscape for experimentation to make conscious sustainable choices.

The report is part of an on-going conversation by Godrej Design Lab to highlight the need for sustainable practices in the built environment. It follows the ‘Conscious Collective’ event that took place in Mumbai in December, 2024.

To read the full report visit www.godrejdesignlab.com

About Godrej & Boyce
Godrej & Boyce (‘G&B’) was founded in 1897, and has contributed to India’s journey of self-reliance through manufacturing. G&B patented the world’s first springless lock and since then, has diversified into 14 businesses across various sectors from Security, Furniture, Aerospace to Infrastructure and Defence. Godrej is one of India’s most trusted brands serving over 1.1bn customers worldwide daily. For more information, visit www.godrej.com

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