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An Architect’s Take on the Colour of Year with an Earth-Toned Set Design

  • Colours
Feb 22, 2024
Colour of the Year 2024, Terra – Beautiful Homes

In a first, Asian Paints collaborated with an architect to design the set incorporating the ColourNext Colour of the Year 2024, Terra, into interiors. David Joe Thomas talks about how he went about doing that, along with an insight into his creative process

As architectural pedigrees go, David Joe Thomas stands alone. The Bengaluru based architect’s star-studded resume began with an internship with Bijoy Jain’s Studio Mumbai, moving countries to work with Rick Joy Architects in Arizona, then joining the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture in Copenhagen, for an MA Architecture in Spatial Design. He rounded things off then by joining David Chipperfield Architects in London. So, Asian Paints could not have chosen better collaborator to design the Colour of the Year set. This is, incidentally, the first time that the Colour Of The year set has been designed by an architect.


Back in India since 2022, Thomas explains his creative process, design philosophy and the inspiration for the Terra-inspired set. 

Beautiful Homes (BH): How would you define your design philosophy?

David Joe Thomas (DJT): I grew up in Kerala, so my architectural pursuits have been influenced by the unassuming physical presence of my childhood memories in a century-old ancestral home. I have always been fascinated by architecture that goes beyond serving functional needs and is able to evoke human, experiential and existential values. My practice draws from a careful consideration of place, traditional craft, local building cultures and materials and its sociocultural context.

Warm earthy colour of the year – Beautiful Homes

The Colour of the Year, Terra reflects the need to slow down and forge deeper connections.

BH: When did Asian Paints approach you for the set design and was this the first time you’ve worked with the brand? Is this something you’ve done before?

DJT: I have always been interested in different forms of space making, from objects to architecture. In fact, since returning to India, I’ve been working on exhibition and product design projects in Bengaluru. This is, however, the first time I’ve worked with Asian Paints and on a project of this kind.


BH: How did you envision the set and was there anything that particularly influenced you?

DJT: The set is a mise-en-scène of primary architectural elements juxtaposed with furniture and objects that render a familiar domestic interior. I was attempting to create a still life of archetypes of columns, walls and fenestrations with no physical roof, negating the ‘functional aspect’ of providing human shelter, not unlike a ruin or a construction site. It hints of a home as a stage for human rituals.

Set for the colour of the year shoot – Beautiful Homes

David created a still life of archetypes of columns, walls and fenestrations.

Set made with primary structural elements – Beautiful Homes

The set is a stage of primary structural elements.

BH: Your thoughts about this colour and incorporating it into the set?

DJT: In developing this spatial concept for Terra, the use of these architectural archetypes is an effort to reflect on the primordial relationship between man and earth and how human civilisations from time immemorial have built with different forms of earth. The concept for Terra explores this very human inclination to dig, form, burn and wrap ourselves in soil. The colour is a recollection of these very elemental anchoring qualities.

Colour of the Year 2024, Terra – Beautiful Homes
Terra emphasises a sense of homecoming and belonging that we seek in the spaces we inhabit.
Set for the colour of the year shoot – Beautiful Homes
The concept for Terra explores this very human inclination to dig, form, burn and wrap us in soil.

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