It’s not very often you get to see the top Women Architects like Shiela Sri Prakash, Parul Zaveri, Canna Patel, Anupama Kundoo and Sonali Bhagwati sharing the dais and pouring their heart in a most candid discussion. We may not be wrong to say that this set of illustrious panelists have come together for the first time. WADe is fortunate to have created a platform where life experiences of such women were shared while hundred of aspiring women architects and designers were listening. The session convened beautifully by Anuradha Chatterjee was thoroughly informative with some quick wits & tips shared by these leading ladies. In this article, we are just sharing some of their advices for young women in the field of architecture & design.
Ar. Shiela Sri Prakash in her message to upcoming architects and designers stressed, “Technology is just a tool. As an architect, we should always marry technology & tradition. Never forget tradition in the awe of technology because we come from a country with strong value systems.”
While everyone agreed upon the existence of gender bias along the sharing of their respective experiences, one thing all
“Woman must stop doing everything. Why do we have to be Superwoman? Instead of changing others, we have to change ourselves. Take a rest and don’t try to be the BEST in everything.”
of them stressed upon is that the world is changing and there is a growing acceptance for working women all across the globe. Still the change is quite insignificant and we have to be stronger in ourselves to bring about major change in others.
Ar. Canna Patel stressed over the fact that both men and women are leaders of the society but both are completely different. “We are different and we should be accepted as being different and we should set our new goals while we work in the field.”
Mr. Sri Prakash not only accompanied his wife Shiela Sri Prakash and daughter Pavitra but was seen keenly observing all the panel discussions and other activities happening at WADe. The positive change in society is quite visible.
“The acceptance for working women differs from cities to rural areas. In fact, I would go on to say that it is much easier to work in rural in spite of having the conservative attitude of client, craftsmen or masons once you know how to connect with them.”
“I came across a lot of women who were good at their work but since they came from a background which did not require them to earn their living, they somehow lacked the drive and it actually decimated the whole professional attitude down the line. When there is a need, when you know you have to swim so that you do not sink, it actually keeps you going because you do not have an option to let go. It is a very important factor along with your own determination. All these factors are important but unless you are determined yourself, there is nobody who can help you,” commented Ar. Sonali Bhagwati.
Ar. Parul Zaveri while mentioning the change in society was quick to point out a keen observation made by her during her professional career. She urged the young architects and designers to and a way to connect with the client and people one works with in order to get the best work done. She said, “ Things have changed to a certain extent and now there is an increased support for women architects who join the firms. However, the acceptance differs from cities to rural areas. In fact, I would go on to say that it is much easier to work in rural in spite of having the conservative attitude of client, craftsmen or masons once you know how to connect with them.”
Ar. Anupama Kundoo shared her insight on the changing behavior of the society and how the young ladies should strive for a balance: “Woman must stop doing EVERYTHING. Why do we have to be Superwoman? I don’t want to be a Superwoman. I really admire all those who are juggling all things like me but I am sorry we have to stop. I tell my husband that ‘Look we both have to share the responsibilities of taking care of our children since we both wanted to have kids. ere is already a lot more that I have to do, biologically and socially but why everything has to be on me?’ Instead of changing others, we have to change ourselves. Take REST and don’t try to be the BEST in everything.”
We regret that due to space constraint, we could share just a couple of the opinions from the insightful panel discussion at WADe India. Nevertheless, soon we will update www.wadeindia.com with more information related to the discussions.
“When you know that you ‘have to’ swim so that you do not sink, it actually keeps you going. Unless you are determined, there is nobody who can help you.”
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