Interior design begins with the human experience. Therefore, a human-centred design approach is a go-to method followed by Disinji. At Disinji we believe that efficient spaces can only be designed with a close relationship between the client and the design team.
Promoting Green Interiors is the way forward in the world of interior design. Nowadays, people spend most of their time indoors, moving between their home and their workspaces, practically with little to no interaction with nature or similarly green spaces. It has been proven that the lack of interaction with nature has negative effects on one’s mood and effectively on their physical and mental health.
At Disinji we strive to create functional and aesthetically pleasing spaces, whilst balancing costs and environmental impacts. As a start-up company, growing in what is going to be considered as another construction boom on the Maltese islands, striving to balance costs and environmental impacts is no easy job.
We are not alone in this race for greener spaces, and with recent negative impacts on the health of our global ecosystems, we are late to follow suit.
‘Bringing the Outdoors Inside’ – Using natural materials, textures and patterns inspired by nature.
The most common way of achieving a ‘green interior’ is to place plants in space. At Disinji we consider being green as more than the incorporation of vegetation in space. For Disinji, being green means the inclusion and combination of natural materials, most of which are usually found outdoors. In the case of this project, a combination of natural timber elements, natural stone elements and the choice of natural colours and patterns successfully achieve a nature-centric interior
Repurposing Interior Elements
Sustainability also urges the reusing of existing materials and elements. Renovation offers a unique feature, saving time and money when compared to demolishing and purchasing new furniture, but more specifically, the impact of carbon on the environment will be limited. It is highly unsustainable to always consider every project as a blank canvas. Listening to space and understanding what the space is screaming for is the first step towards a sustainable design process.
By renovating the wooden flooring, ceiling, steel spiral staircase and the dining furniture itself, the studio managed to create a holistic and uplifting interior whilst limiting expenses. By using organic materials, natural colour schemes and live green planters, the interior of this restaurant, in particular, was designed to be a nature-centric one. This enhanced the air quality and brought a refreshing vibe which also reflects well on the customers.
The design team created a clever ‘green’ solution to create the best outcome for this restaurant. Its maximalist interior was projected by the ‘’feel of the outdoors’’ and the bold, emerald, green colour which is projected throughout the ceiling. The colour of growth, regeneration and cleanliness, green is intertwined with the natural and healthy world. Often used to convey environmental ideas.
Most importantly, these materials create a statement. Wooden flooring creates a warm environment, making you feel closer to nature. This detail is more noticeable and prominent if the floors contrast with the walls and the surroundings. Rattan is associated with the outdoors, hence introducing these elements enhanced the design of the space.
It must also be noted that the turnaround of this project was five weeks. In order for this to be achieved a high level of efficient communication between all parties had to be in place. This in the opinion of Disinji is another ‘sustainable’ aspect of the design process – clear communication.
Passive and Active Sustainable Design
Delving into the passive sustainable design such as the sun orientation, climate, window placements, daylight management and natural ventilation goes a long way in reducing the energy requirements for the building. In certain cases, thick walls absorb heat from the sun during the day and release it into the building at night. On the other hand, active sustainable design is where mechanical and electrical engineers are consulted to implement high-efficiency systems. These implementations would transmit a low environmental footprint.
How many times have you or a person you know asked for the air conditioning to be turned down or up at a restaurant? This negatively impacts the customer's satisfaction, whilst not being sustainable. Planning and designing passive and active design solutions during the design process reduces the negative impact. Showcasing sustainable design encourages others to look to eco alternatives for their own projects. On the other hand, it’s a reflection of a clear and undistracted mind.
Sustainable spaces should be designed to last. Its longevity and flexibility should be appreciated. The chosen colour scheme requires a thought process. The challenge of picking the right colour tones especially when having large apertures is important due to the natural lighting. The same colour hue can look fresh and stimulating in a sunny room, whilst seeming gloomy and dull in the shady room or during nighttime.
Lightwood and clean lines lay the basis for a relaxing and uncluttered visual environment. Leaning towards a ‘less-is-more' approach whilst keeping an organic and natural décor. It must be noted that in a commercial setting the efficiency and functionality of the space will always take preference. Therefore, a careful and smart balancing act of the necessities for a fully functional catering establishment and the vision of a green and sustainable interior is not always an easy task.
The greatest artist itself ‘Nature’, has inspired us through organic materials, patterns, and colours. The inclusion of naturally inspired elements in the design of interiors has gained rapid popularity over the years, seeing a significant increase through the desperate times imposed by the Pandemic. These difficult times have enhanced the search for nature in our daily lives, whilst also being embraced by the design décor worldwide.
We at Disinji find ourselves in a very exciting phase, both locally and internationally, where the appreciation of sustainable and green interiors is on the increase. We, therefore, look forward to our next sustainable project.
Kuya Asian Pub
Photography by Daryl Cauchi