Cultural references and inspiration have been applied to branding, product, and fashion designs for a long time. The application of cultural elements into various designs can also be observed globally and even locally in monuments that symbolise heritage.
Two notable examples of this include the National Parliament building (Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban), designed by the architect Louis Kahn, reflects a synthesis of western modernity and curved Islamic-influenced spaces and the National Monument in Savar, a wide-based spire that becomes narrower as it rises, is the symbol of the country’s liberation.
This unique blend - of design with culture - highlights our values and priorities. It also provides clues to our past and how society has evolved. It also helps us to examine our history and traditions and develop awareness about ourselves. It is important to preserve our cultural heritage because it keeps our integrity as a people. The importance of intangible cultural heritage is not the cultural manifestation itself but rather the wealth of knowledge and skills that is transmitted through it from one generation to the next.
ISHO, a local smart furniture manufacturer has been designing furniture that has been inspired by our cultural heritage. Take, for example, it’s a new series Sonargaon that takes a minimalist approach to the traditional designs of the region. The series consists of designs that are a nod to the ’70s and is a unique take on historical structures of Bangladesh with traditionally styled frames and modern fabric. The Sonargoan collection is inherently Bangladeshi and traditional and ISHO has added a modern twist in its design. By doing so, this is not only adding relevance and modernity to a traditional design but more importantly, is an acknowledgment of how important cultural references today’s world in creating an identity that people can relate to.
Thus, companies such as ISHO, who are purposely embracing innovation and creativity in all their furniture designs across all spaces in a modern home are helping to keep part of our identity alive by taking local cultural characteristics into account in the design process.