Architect Keith Menon: 'AI Has No Limitations And Creates Whatever It Wants To Create...'

Architect Keith Menon: 'AI Has No Limitations And Creates Whatever It Wants To Create...'

Keith Menon, Architect and Co-Founder of Spiro Spero, talks about bridging the gap between tech and skilled labour for sustainable architecture

Anjali KochharUpdated: Saturday, November 25, 2023, 10:18 PM IST
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Evolution and developments in digital and tech-savvy infrastructures never fail to amaze people.  Keith Menon, Co-Founder of Spiro Spero, is a serial social Entrepreneur and creative geek, who offers a unique perspective on the integration of technology and sustainability in the field of architecture and design. Considering and enlightening the importance of sustainability in business and the environmental ecosystem. Keith himself did the interiors of Kaia Hotel in Goa, keeping in mind the significance of natural and durable resources with neutral colour combination. 

“To find efficient ways of designing things, AI comes into the picture for visualisation, optimising weight distribution, aesthetics, and structural integrity to create a surreal world. This allows the simulation of a lot of different kinds of models of what can work in the wage structure and how it can be integrated into the design. AI has no limitations and creates whatever it wants to create or whatever is unimaginably beautiful,” he says. This is why Keith Menon is passionate about leveraging technology to streamline the design process since he feels that the evolving role of technology is edging and balancing sustainability in Indian architecture.

Blend of human creativity and technology

Keith acknowledges AI’s creativity as a double-edged sword and highlights its use to enhance both visual aesthetics and conceptual design. He believes that, 10-15 years ago, 3D printing was nowhere, but today he envisions a future where technology, specifically 3D printing, plays a pivotal role in architecture and design. He says that these days clients come equipped with AR, VR, and AI tools to visualise and participate in the design process and nothing much which could lead to greater creativity and individuality in architecture. This is why he trusts the need for a harmonious blend of human creativity and technological innovation since it eliminates manual errors in structural execution and makes the architectural and design industry efficient and cost-effective. AI can be a game changer for the design & architectural industry as it helps designers and thinkers translate their ideas into tangible designs; that is why he believes in promoting sustainability in every way.

Love for technology

Keith’s love for technology is at par because he has been a tech geek since his childhood wherein, playing with tech had always been fascinating for him. He calls himself an early adopter of technology as he believes that it brings something new and innovative to the table every time. Therefore, tech sustainability is a key to his vision and mission as it’s a holistic approach that encompasses the parameters of resources, responsibility and long-lasting deliverables. These fundamentals ensure not only business monetisation but sustainability in conscience-driven USPs; thus, he considers tech as a powerful tool that empowers business.

Solving challenges

Keith feels that when it comes to the architecture, texture, design and lighting, he and his team become very selective since they often come up with higher costs. Moreover, in India, with the growing interest in sustainability, people have still not adopted sustainable practices mainly because of the affordability of sustainable options and a lack of awareness. To overcome such challenges, he mentions the importance of working with clients who share a genuine interest and commitment. He prefers working with people who have a fair understanding, enthusiasm and excitement about emerging technologies and limitations of both the tech side and human side as well. He prioritises collaboration, financial planning, and education for sustainability to flourish wherein, unity among clients, designers, and policymakers also becomes a need of the hour to drive change and to bridge the gap between sustainable practices and consumers' expectations.

He believes that customer expectations and actual sustainable practices often don't align all because people feel that the cost is pretty high. In fact, focusing on skilled labour, he feels that it’s going to be very expensive in the near future and to overcome the same, people either move to metro cities like Mumbai or strive to get a job as a techie.

India has its own sustainable practices but it is yet not considered a globally sustainable country because businesses claim to follow sustainable practices, but the reality is still different. He observes a paradigm shift where businesses have started shifting towards sustainability but they need to understand that consumers play a pivotal role in pushing for sustainability by supporting them as they demand transparency in their practices and this is even applicable to the hospitality industry too.

Sustainability in hospitality industry

For hospitality spaces, it is expensive to maintain sustainable practices as they generate extreme amounts of waste. Keith says irrespective of the fact that “whether it’s a bar, restaurant, hotel, resort, guests tend to prioritise comfort and affordability over sustainability making it difficult for businesses to adopt sustainable practices.” He underscores the need for guests and consumers to support sustainable businesses to drive positive change in the industry.

He added the perspective of the Indians and said that people like us are trying to come out of the shadows of colonialism or being brown to erase the differences and racism. Keith also believes that sustainability will become more prevalent when it becomes economically viable and a stronger cultural norm wherein, India’s economic growth can also be considered as a significant factor in shaping the country's sustainability landscape.

Keith says, “If someone enjoys doing their work, they give good energy to it and happily leave their workplace all because it has that energy and goodness to it”. Thus, he trains and teaches people to leverage technology to better sustain the digital architectural industry.

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