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Design Strategy, Space Design, Trends

Do you have trouble falling asleep at night? You’re not alone. A survey conducted by Nielsen a few years ago, found that 93% of the 5000+ people surveyed across various Indian cities suffered from sleep deprivation.

We touched upon the problem of sleep disorders in our blog last week on designing for emotional wellbeing in the 21st century.

Today we’re featuring a bedroom designed by Zeitgeist, to help you sleep better – Click play on the video below.

You can incorporate the features shown here into your own bedroom – read on after the video, to find out how.

1. Choose your bedroom colours wisely: Muted blues and greens are said to be the best colours for a bedroom, as they induce calmness. Neutral colours work well too, such as beiges, greys and whites, as do pastel tones. Reds and purples don’t work well, as they are too ‘energetic’.
If you like the colour palette we’ve used in the bedroom above, and would like to design a space using the same, do get in touch.

2. Set the right mood with lighting: Change the bulbs in your bedroom, invest in a couple of bedside lamps or install dimmer switches to create a cozy and soothing before-bedtime ambience.

3. Breathe in relaxation: An aroma diffuser with a few drops of lavender, ylang ylang or cedarwood essential oil can help soothe those tired nerves and aid with meditation, another great sleep inducer.

4. Keep gadgets and clutter at bay: Devices in the bedroom serve as a distraction from the room’s main purpose – to sleep! The same goes for clutter – it crowds your mind. Keep your bedroom distraction and clutter free, and watch how your mind slowly begins to do the same.

5. Make materials matter: Invest in comfortable bed linen, preferable with a thread count of at least 250 gsm. A cozy bedside rug – the last thing your feet touch at night and first thing they touch in the morning when you get up from bed – can help with setting the right mood.

6. Adjust your room temperature to ‘just right’: While it might vary slightly from person to person, research suggests that an ambient temperature of between 18 – 22 C helps most people achieve a restful sleep.

We hope these tips help you get in those 8 hours every night!

Do get in touch if you’d like more ideas on designing a space that helps you relax and unwind to achieve that perfect inner balance.


Space Design, Tips

As a startup, you probably have a lot on your plate – you need to be creative, work hard, motivate people to do a lot with a little, and work against time to make your mark in this world!

Most startups cannot afford more than a tiny office in which to make all this magic happen and this can sometimes be disheartening. You may have found yourself saying – “If only I had a bigger office…”.

But if that’s something that’s not going to happen any time soon, dig deep into that entrepreneurial spirit that brought you on to this road in the first place and get innovative with making the most of your small startup office space!

Here are a few tips from Zeitgeist to get you thinking on those lines:


A small office could come across as ‘poky’ or ‘cramped’, just as easily as it could come across as ‘inviting’ or ‘exciting’. It boils down to a few aesthetic choices.

What is the culture you are trying to build at your startup? Is it one of collaboration? Let the layout of your space reflect this. With between 5 to 12 people in a firm, a startup generally isn’t hierarchical in nature, so why not reflect this in the layout of your office? An open office plan can make a small space appear bigger than it actually is. Several heavy partitions on the other hand, not only waste space, but also make a small space appear even smaller and cramped.

You will of course require an area where quiet contemplative work can be carried out, or where one-on-one discussions can happen, but this can also be blended into the layout of the office, as shown in this section of content agency Bubble’s office in Prague:

Here’s some more inspiration from modular office furniture designer Spacetor for quiet nooks:

If your office is just too small to incorporate a couple of “quiet nooks”, consider investing in a couple of noise cancellation headphones for people to use when they need to concentrate.


Light, neutral colours always make a space look larger, while dark or loud colours can be intimidating or claustrophobic in a small space. However, a pop of colour – maybe one bright accent wall, tasteful imagery, or a few pieces of accent furniture can add character and liven up an otherwise dull space – the trick is to get the balance right, always keeping in mind the culture you’re trying to cultivate.

The meeting room of the Appboy office has an accent wall that is perfect to stimulate creativity and engaging conversations.


Maximise the use of natural sunlight in whichever form it enters your small office space, especially before noon – this is the most beneficial sunlight of the day. Natural sunlight boosts productivity, improves the mood and is the best light to work in, so don’t block it with curtains, shades or a badly located cupboard.

If your office receives little or no sunlight, invest in suitable artificial lighting – it could make all the difference to a small office.

Greenery and good adequate lighting create a productive workspace at the Typeform office.


Opting for minimalist furniture along with an open office design further enhances the feeling of space in a small office. Again, one or two heavier pieces to add character is fine.

Storage is always a problem in small offices so try to invest in multifunctional furniture that also doubles up as storage. There are a lot of modular furniture options in the market today – Ikea and Muji are just two examples of such manufacturers – that allow you to move pieces around based on your changing requirements. Try to imagine how you could put one piece of furniture or even one element in your office to more than one use – for example a wall can easily be converted into a chalk or white board surface.

Customisable, space saving office furniture from Featherlite


The biggest enemy of a small office is clutter. Decluttering must become a daily practice – make it a priority to deal with all paperwork/correspondence once a day and discard what is not required.

In a small office, it is about more than just having a place for everything and putting everything in its place. It is about only keeping what you really need to use. This will depend on the nature of your business of course, but keep items that are regularly used easily accessible and those that you sometimes use in concealed storage. If you haven’t used something in over 6 months, perhaps it’s time to ask yourself if the item needs a new home!

Little things make a difference – use cable holders to keep things neat, holders to store stationery on your desk, and since lateral space is limited, consider going vertical to add concealed storage space for things used once in a way.

A smart storage solution from Ikea


While choosing your small office layout, furniture, lighting etc, always keep in mind your team’s well-being. Choose ergonomic furniture based on the kind of work they do. Add a few potted plants. Make sure their work space is well lit and ventilated and where possible, provide a small area for recreation or pause.

A tiny area for pause and interaction at the Appboy office

Your small office, if designed right, can be a place that employees are happy to come to and motivated in to deliver their best.

Do reach out to Zeigeist if you’d like help making the most of your small startup office space.


Space Design

Creating a sound photorealistic render involves staying true to a process that keeps the intention of the render in mind at all times.

An idea usually doesn’t immediately get translated into a final render. Rather, it is arrived at after several iterations that allow for subtle changes that can make all the difference to the final output.

These adjustments broadly come from two main areas – Elements & Textures, and Lighting.

Here’s a sneak peak into how we used these elements to create Zeitgeist’s ‘Wabi Sabi Hotel Lobby’ render from a couple of weeks ago.

Wabi Sabi is the Japanese aesthetic of embracing the beauty in imperfection. To achieve this, we brought together machine-cut marble and quarry waste into the waiting area of a hotel lobby.


It began with a distressed finish wall, a water body, planters, light fixtures, benches and a reception table in the centre.

The table’s driftwood base fused to each crude edge accommodates the raw marble centrepiece and the meticulously cut Statuario slab hugs the curves of the cedar wood block it sits on.

Using the process of elimination, we brought in the warm, minimalist Zeitgeist touch. The video below shows how we moved the plants around, played with the lamp sizes and tried different arrangements for the benches, finally deciding to eliminate them entirely, along with the water body – all to give the unique reception desk the undivided attention it deserved.


To make a good shot look great, it needs mood – and nothing does this better than the right lighting. The video below shows how we played with the light coming from the lamps, the ceiling and the water to stimulate thought and imagination, .

This illuminated the way to the two final shots of our hotel lobby render – raw, minimalist and Wabi Sabi.


Space Design

How do you ensure you will create your Client’s vision, but with your designer touch?


Passion, dedication and detail will be the driving forces behind every project being a success. When you are designing the project, slip yourself into the Client’s shoes – and often this is no easy task! You have to think like the Client and eat, sleep and breathe like the Client to get the best out of the process. When you have meetings stay focused, attentive and sensitive, make note of phrases or points that stand out and always try to empathise.


Our process at Zeitgeist begins with a few casual meetings over a meal or a cuppa good coffee. Ask what music they like, what their childhood was like, where they grew up and what their interests are – keep it light. Get out of the “professional” bubble if you really want to build a personal rapport with you Client. The key is to get personal!


Here comes our design questionnaire. Think about how you frame your questions. It’s not just about aesthetic preferences. Get to know your Client’s daily routine, their personal hygiene routine, what they wear during the different times of the day, weekday and weekends. Find out what they enjoy doing with their free time at home and where. The point here is to get to know your Client and your passion will ensure that you go as deep as possible by probing them with the right questions without being afraid of getting too personal.


The communication process throughout the project is key to ensuring a successful conversion of your Client’s vision. Constant dialogue and encouraging engagements throughout the course of your project with the Client will ensure a successful translation of your Client’s vision. Watch their body language and be a great listener. Keep repeating back to them what they say and summarising your understanding of what they are trying to say.


Finally, the binding agent to ensure that you, the designer, are still leading the vision of the project, is to become an encouraging and engaging leader on this journey. Ask what they know about design. Expose them to your understanding of design and lead the way in the process of discovering design.

Raoul Parekh
Founder & Chief – Design Management


Business Tips & How To's

When it comes to Space Design, be it architecture, interior design or landscape…..dealing with a fussy client who has fixed ideas and isn’t willing to budge, can be the most time consuming and stressful part of the entire project!
But, the customer is ALWAYS king, so it’s best to develop a few techniques for rolling with the punches!

Choose Your Client Wisely

This is difficult, especially when you need the bucks to sustain your business. When you can’t be choosy, know that you have got into something that will be difficult, but remind yourself of the greater purpose. Look at it as a challenge; an eventuality that you will need to confront and overcome to mature. If you have the luxury of choice, it’s simple, choose someone you would enjoy spending the next 4-12 months working with!

Build A Personal Relationship With The Client

Get to know them, spend time with them, let them get to know you, open up to them, share your journey and your tribulations on a personal and a professional front.
Be transparent and prepare the client for the murky road that lies ahead to achieve greatness. Prior to signing the contract, prepare the client for the hurdles that lie ahead, but assure them that you are their lead and will make sure to tie all loose ends and build something beautiful – achieving greatness is never a cakewalk!

Be Confident In Your Recommendations

It’s not easy to sway a fussy client and convince them to choose your way. Remember, you are the Designer. Keep the dialogue open and always assure the client that you will be incorporating their requirements. Listen to what the client wants, but be confident in suggesting what you believe will actually work.

Never Get Defensive With Your Client

This opens up a can of worms – you will go back and forth trying to prove your point, while the client will ALWAYS have their point of view. Clients generally like to have the last word, so best not to indulge in such dialogue; accept the client’s point of view and move on with the project.

Bounce Back Quickly From Unpleasant (but sometimes necessary!) Interactions

If your last communication with your client ended on a sour note, make sure you have a big smile at your next interaction. Be warm and welcoming; greet the client, ask them about their day or the weekend that just went by or talk about something interesting that happened to you before you start talking shop. Dilute the situation as if nothing ever happened and get on with what the client needs you to get done.

Treat Your Clients Like Gold

Finally, never let your client know that you are also dealing with other clients and their grievances. Your clients should feel like they are your number one priority, that their opinions are always right (even if that’s not always the case).

At the end of the day, professionalism, respect, honesty, and truly being able to listen to a client’s needs are what will make or break your business.

Raoul Parekh
Founder & Chief
Design Management


Space Design

Zen aesthetic, which is predominant in Japan, draws its form from the idea of unity between the mind, body and spirit.

In an article we shared last week, we touched upon the Zen tenets of Kanso, Shibui, Shizen, Fukensei, Yugen, Datsuzoku and Seijaku to help you find peace within yourself.

At Zeitgeist we admire the Japanese design culture for the way it infuses spirituality into homes. More so now with the rat-race that we all get consumed in, we forget to pause or reflect. Nourishing your soul is important and is a dying practice for most of us. These principles of Japanese decor have been developed with the intention of helping you to reconnect with your spiritual side. We believe, now more than ever, in the importance of creating a space that nudges you in the direction of re-centering yourself.

It’s often easier to say rather than do, so this week we’d like to show you our interpretation of those seven ideas, via a space we’ve designed to promote peace, rest and rejuvenation.

We’ve used Zen principles to enhance the function of this room in the following ways:

By imagining this space as an extension of the interiors of our mind – a mind that wants to be peaceful and focused – we’ve practiced Kanso and eliminated all forms of clutter. Can you see how the elimination of clutter makes this space less distracting and more conducive to being focused?

The minimalist Japanese low bed and the unadorned window tie in with Shibui, allowing both the features to deliver their respective function in an unobtrusive, unadorned manner.

The simple window also allows natural sunlight to stream in, in all its glory, enhancing the energy of the room – a perfect example of Shizen, which is about balancing natural and intentional elements.

We’ve incorporated the idea of embracing irregularities or practicing Fukinsei, by fostering asymmetrical balance. Though the height of the bed is asymmetrical with respect to the heights of the bedroom and window, it serves the function of enhancing the feeling of relaxation and serenity. A bed that was higher might have hampered the overall effect. Though we’ve placed most of the furniture on one side of the room, the asymmetry enhances the Zen feeling and doesn’t appear unbalanced.

We’ve demonstrated Yugen by leaving a large section on the left of the room empty. In doing so its use has been left open to interpretation. Perhaps it could be used for Yoga or a hobby such as painting. The single dried branch also lends an air of ambiguity – it’s pretty, but where did it come from? Did the user of the room find it while walking one day and find beauty in it? What does it signify?

By introducing a mirror into this small space, we’ve allowed for the unexpected ‘wow’ factor – making the space look much larger than it actually is. This is what Datsuzoku is all about.

We’ve incorporated Seijaku in the form of finishing touches, such as the statue of Buddha and Japanese art above the bed, which enhance the feeling of stillness and contemplation.

Inspired to create your own little haven? Do contact us for a consultation on creating a minimalistic and functionally driven space that brings you your much needed R & R.


Space Design

Making a render photorealistic is every 3D artist’s ultimate goal. In every rendering process good lighting and materials are essential.
Here are 10 simple tips for creating photo realistic renders.

Begin with choosing a scene or inspiration and build the scene with the relevant models. The first step is to define your focal point – focal point means the function of the render – what function are you trying to show? In our example we are trying to show the function of the bay window as a potential reading and coffee drinking space, a time for reflection, respite, or to get lost in thought – so the objective of the render must clearly be defined from a functional standpoint.

Furthermore, you should spend time modelling objects carefully to achieve a realistic form, otherwise you will end up having an object that looks more like a toy.

1. Materials and Maps

Material properties are very important in photorealistic rendering. Playing around with Reflection, Glossiness and Specularity of materials such as metal, wood or glass can make your render very realistic.

Make sure your textures are perfectly mapped and use reflection, bump and specular maps for the respective objects. For example, giving a bump, reflection and adding a specular map will create realistic properties for the wooden objects in your render.

2. Lighting

Always Use a 3-Point Light System – Key light, Fill light and Back light

Key Light – This is the main light. It is usually the strongest and has the most influence on the look of the scene.
Fill Light – This is the secondary light and is placed on the opposite side of the key light. It is used to fill the shadows created by the key.
Back Light – The back light is placed behind the subject and lights it from the rear, rather than providing direct lighting (like the Key and Fill).
The above image shows only lighting elements activated.

3. Run Test Renderings at Low Quality to Save Time

High quality rendering will slow down your rendering time. So for testing purposes always opt for low quality rendering, until you get the required perfection in your render.

Don’t put all the lights in the scene on at one time; carefully add them one by one, depending on your scene. Set your render engine to a low resolution to give you a snapshot of the final output.

4. Use X-Ref

While working with huge scenes, divide the scene into different areas and save them individually in a different 3ds Max file to work on easily. Then bring them into a single file to render them all together at the end.
Working on X-Ref objects before bringing them into your main scene helps avoid losing render performance when the scene has lots of geometry. This saves a lot of time!

5. Use HDRI Maps

To create a realistic environment I use HDRI maps. This gives realistic material properties like reflection, refraction, specularity and light to your render. Once you select the HDRI map that best suits the scene, use it as your V-Ray environment map along with a V-Ray dome light for best practice.

In the image above, you can see how applying a realistic background, puts the scene in a realistic context by using HDRI maps.

6. Subdivision Value

Realism comes with soft shadows. Use good subdivision values for every light in the scene to create smooth shadows. You can find the subdivision value for lights, materials and GI in the settings. Typically, 32 is the average subdivision value that works best with lighting and global illumination.

7. Use Denoiser

Denoiser can save a lot of rendering time. It reduces the noise in the render and helps smooth light and shadows. It brings realism in the render, because noise makes the render unrealistic.

It is really useful in closed room rendering, because you will find more noise in closed or dark interior rendering. Denoiser is a very powerful tool to reduce noise and creates a clean, smooth shadows in the render.

8. Use Depth of Field

Depth of Field creates a fantastic camera effect. It allows you to create a focal point in your shot, called the Focal Plane. This enables a blurring effect on everything outside the Focal Plane, creating an image that looks photorealistic as seen above.

9. Use Vray Frame Buffer – (VFB)

Vray Frame Buffer has very powerful features in it such as Rendering History, Colour Correction and Lense Effect, to name a few.

Rendering History, for instance, allows you to compare the current render with previous render to observe the changes you have made. This would include things like lighting, GI, Camera etc.
Colour Correction allows for small tweaking to enhance the realism in the render.
Lense Effect creates different opportunities to showcase your render.

10. Post-Production in Photoshop

Post-Production is a very powerful tool to change the whole look and feel of the Render. It’s completely up to you to use it within the scene. For example, adding the Motion Blur and Lense Flare effects for dramatic feel, using Blending modes for texture, adding Smoke and Fire etc.

Certain things are either very difficult or very time consuming to pull off in 3Ds max. Adding these effects does them in a jiffy and can go a long way toward bringing an image to life.

Althaf Khan
3D Visualiser


Space Design

Your home is your cocoon, more so on cacophonic days when the chaos and noise just won’t cease. In today’s context of the way our world and people operate, peace of mind is highly sought after, yet seems to elude us most of the time.

So how do you get there…or at least halfway?

Your home is your true identity and completely yours to control. So, what better way than to let your home provide you the peace and solace that you require? We have understood your intrinsic desire to attain peace and bring you seven Japanese Design Principles that are deeply embedded in Zen Philosophy.
These principles have not only inspired the magnificent traditional Japanese gardens but have also encouraged the desire for holistic and better living. The beauty and tranquillity of such spaces leave you feeling calm, connected, and complete.

Sounds tempting?

Well, we have summarised these seven principles into ideas that you could easily incorporate into your home to create a clean and harmonious flow of energy.

Idea 1: Imagine Your Space as an Extension of Your Mind

A heavily cluttered space leads to a burdened and unclear mind. Are you overwhelmed and zapped of energy every time you open your cluttered garage or storage room?
Perhaps a bit of Kanso – or decluttering – can help you put the space to a more purposeful use. Here’s a simple method to give you a jump-start. Make a list of all your things and categorise them into 4 actionable tasks:

A) Need to Keep: All things you cannot ‘survive’ without
B) Want to Keep: All things you cannot ‘live’ without
C) To Give: Things that can add value to another
D) To Throw: Things that need to go

REMEMBER: The decision to declutter may be difficult as it’s tough to part with things. This little list trick simply helps us organise the road to success.
Living in a clutter free space, allows for a clutter free mind that can focus on what matters most.

Idea 2: Embrace Irregularities and Imperfections

We often get caught up in chasing the idea of perfection – the perfect job, clothes, body and home. We want to live up to a notion of what is “ideal”. Not to say we must not strive for improvement, but sometimes things are right just the way they are.

Fukensei encourages acceptance – finding joy in the little imperfections. It highlights uniqueness and drives an emotional experience. So, why not extend this to the décor of your home?

Instead of polishing and refurbishing that old armchair you just inherited from your grandmother, why not leave it as it is – reminiscent of her life? Or repurpose a discarded piece of wood into a storage box or small tabletop. It’s a way of paying homage to beauty as it occurs in our naturally imperfect world.

Idea 3: Practice Restraint Without Compromising on Functionality

In today’s world, extravagance and excessiveness is often considered a sign that you have arrived. The principle of Shibui however suggests that a design that delivers its intended function in a quiet, unobtrusive manner need not be decorated in order to make it attractive. Admiring the design for how well it serves a function, by leaving it as it is, is its true appreciation. It alludes to a refined taste and an understanding of good design. It encourages minimalism, by keeping the focus on what is important.

Keeping this idea in mind, try to incorporate designs that are clean, functional and practical. This enhances focus and alludes to sophistication rather than pretentiousness. For example, if you have a living room with a fabulous view, don’t take away from its panoramic beauty by adorning windows with heavy curtains or walls with distracting paintings.

Idea 4: Strike a Balance Between Natural and Intentional Elements

Living in or close to nature could extend your life. Greenery has been known to have a calming effect and keep your mind focused. Coupled with this are physical benefits such as cleaner air.

The principle of Shizen refers to design that takes cognizance of nature and adapts to it, but always keeps the function of the design in mind. It is possible for you to infuse some of the positive benefits of nature into your home, even if you live in a small apartment. Here are some ways to do just that:

– Introduce potted plants around the house. Even a single plant on your work desk or bathroom sink can bring in a little bit of nature’s positivity.
– Cultivate a micro herb garden on your kitchen windowsill. You’ll be able to use freshly plucked herbs in all your cooking.
– Improve your productivity and enjoy the benefits associated with the natural light of the sun by placing your work desk where it gets maximum sunshine.

Idea 5: Don’t Fear Ambiguity; Invite Discovery

Yugen suggests that when we define something completely – for example, if we say that a dining table can be used only for eating – it leads to stagnation and loss of imagination.

Including elements in your décor that could be open to interpretation unlocks possibilities and encourages imagination. It could be as simple as a painting that provokes thought; or a bar stool made out of a tree stump that could find alternative uses – a side table perhaps. A dining table that has an easy to clean surface, like a granite top, could be used for diverse activities – from art projects to rolling dough. This principle finds particular use in small spaces.

Idea 6: Break Patterns; Encourage Unpredictability

Do you often feel like a hamster on a wheel? Doing the same thing day after day after day, in a monotonous ‘need to do’ cycle?

Datsuzoku encourages moving away from routine and towards surprise and amazement. By bringing this principle into the design of your home’s interiors, you can create spaces – little respites – that allow your mind a break from your otherwise clockwork existence.

Most of us have at least one room or space in our home that we believe is uninteresting, but exists to serve a specific purpose – a small, poorly lit and unengaging guest washroom for example. Bringing in the element of surprise, such as by adding a thought-provoking and strategically lit painting, photo, framed quote or interesting patterned wallpaper can transform the energy of the space.

Idea 7: Find Serenity in the Midst of Disturbance

The world we live in today is hectic, demanding and distracting. Amidst all that distress, what you really need is peace and contemplation. But often we don’t take a “time-out”, leaving us vulnerable to burnout and exposing ourselves to a variety of health problems – a result of our human tendency to procrastinate, delay, and take things for granted.

Seijaku refers to incorporating elements that bring about a feeling of calm and stillness, even in the midst of chaos. So, to avoid the usual “it’s never too late”, fix things today, and create at least one space in your home that is conducive to relaxation, meditation and rejuvenation.
Pick a room in your home – your bedroom or bathroom are good choices – and make it your sanctuary. Think about how you can eliminate disturbances – remove clutter, make it a gadget-free space and include décor elements that help you feel calm.

Zen principles allude to the importance of nurturing your soul rather than materialism. These seven ideas each tie in with nourishing a vital part of your soul and bringing balance and harmony to it.

Manifesting peace might be easier than you think and even a few small changes can make a world of difference.

Which one will you start with?


Design Strategy

I was sitting in my garden the other day and reflecting on Zeitgeist’s journey as a design house. In effect, we have been agile, design thinking and lean from the very beginning without knowing it or being certified for it back then.

Milestone 1: Designing Spaces that Enhance Human Experiences

The journey began with space design and the desperate desire to inculcate an Indian benchmark to global living standards.
This came from my years growing up abroad and knowing the difference in how I felt in a well designed space versus one that had little or no expression. A space that had intention had the ability to change my mood and mindset. And as we gravitated to applied learning, life pushed us in the direction of designing spaces to bring the best mood out of the human experience. We began to recognise the value in that feeling and held on to it. We had intention. As we moved toward authenticity it became easier to identify the disconnect in an experience – a story half told.

A space that had intention had the ability to change my mood and mindset…As we moved toward authenticity it became easier to identify the disconnect in an experience – a story half told.

Milestone 2: Infusing Personality through Brand Development

It became evidently clear to me that messages were being interrupted and lost when we didn’t put the receiver first and weave language for a complete understanding. The ability to tell that story became the need of the hour. It didn’t make sense to design the environment without understanding how the personality wove through it. We needed to be more than just one of the best interior designers Bangalore had to offer. And so we began to build the other half that was missing. This was not part of the plan. Just a gut instinct and a chance we took. So we tested. Staying light, we brought in the talent for identity design and very soon began to align on projects from multiple perspectives.

Milestone 3: Using Design Thinking to add Value and Impact

When I looked at the plate it still only seemed half full. How could we integrate these services and create an offering that actually meant something in the long run? I wanted more out of the design process. And as I began to search, my search found me. Design Thinking became the framework I gravitated toward. It had the beginnings of a structure that resonated with me. It put people first. Leaning into this kind of thinking aligned with my sense of purpose and growth.

I was excited to put these frameworks into our processes at Zeitgeist.

What would happen if we integrated this kind of thinking into our lean start-up. How much value could we offer? What new ideologies would come out of it? How could we offer strategic design consultancy that added value and impact?

Design thinking….resonated with me…..It put people first.

And so we began to recreate our internal structure around better belief systems, deeper meaning, and higher purpose.
Alignment toward this way of thinking is the naturally progressive way and we fit right in. It amazed me to think how far we had come.

With a gentle smile it struck me that everything happens by design.

Madhuri Rao
Founder & Chief
Design Strategy


Space Design
What is Minimalism?

More than a design ‘style’ from a visual point of view, minimalism is a principle – that of removing all unnecessary decor or features from an object and leaving only those that serve the purpose of the object. By doing so, the object is left in its pure form to deliver, without hindrance, that which it was created for in the first place.

To quote Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, “Less is More”.

Whether it be living a minimalist lifestyle or designing an easy-to-use website, minimalism is always about removing what is unnecessary and keeping what is essential. This allows for a clearer focus on what matters most.

What Colours Are Usually Used in Minimalist Interiors?

When it comes to minimalist interior design, a muted colour palette – most commonly black, white and grey – is usually incorporated, to emphasise the clean lines, give the feeling of space and keep the look modern and natural, omitting bright colours that can distract.

Such thinking would be hard pressed to find a spot in India, where we are known for our loud colours, ornate decor and intricate patterns.

But what if there were a middle ground? One that understands that the Indian market is ready to adopt the new and the modern, but perhaps not quite ready to let go of the warmth that we are accustomed to in our homes, and indeed, our way of life.

How Can Minimalist Interior Design Find a Place in India?

Zeitgeist’s design strategy when it comes to finding that sweet spot has been to use a Greige palette while incorporating modern minimalist interior design into various spaces, ranging from hotel lobbies to private homes.

Greige, which is basically a mix of the colours grey and beige, offers in its spectrum a variety of colours that are neutral enough to stay minimalist, yet have the warmth that appeals to the Indian consumer’s sensitivities.

With this strategy textiles and patterns can still be incorporated, as can an array of beautiful natural materials like various natural stones and fabric that India is so well known for.

In this sectional snapshot of a kitchen that was designed by Zeitgeist, we have incorporated clean lines and a greige palette, but have introduced copper fittings and accessories to retain an Indian feel.

In this laid back minimalist living room, we have incorporated a greige palette into the patterned decor elements and material like jute, keeping the room Indian, yet modern.