Mumbai

‘Solidarity and exchange of ideas is most important’

Brinda Somaya (right), and Nandini Sampat of HECAR Foundation.

Brinda Somaya (right), and Nandini Sampat of HECAR Foundation.  

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Design conference centred around women emphasises on more collaborations for fusion of different cultures

A one-of-a-kind conference that aims to share stories of women from around the world, who have excelled in the field of architecture, construction and other related design fields was inaugurated here on Wednesday. The inaugural day of the three-day Women In Design 2020+ International Conference, organised by the HECAR Foundation, was dominated by talk of solidarity and collaboration.

The speakers on the first day were world renowned architects, Brinda Somaya, Neera Adarkar, Salma Damluji, Joana Dabaj, Abha Narain Lambah, Elizabeth Vines, and Billie Tsien.

The conference showcases talents of women architects, while giving them an opportunity to innovate on new idea in collaboration with design professionals from across the world. “This will help us come up with unique designs as they would be a fusion of different cultures,” said conservation architect Abha Narain Lambah.

In her keynote address, Ms. Tsien, the founding partner of the award-winning firm Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects-TWB, emphasised upon the importance of exchanging ideas for being a successful architect. “The feeling of solidarity and exchanging of ideas are key to success for highly-skilled women professionals,” said Ms. Tsien, who is currently working on the Obama Presidential Centre in Chicago.

Ms. Tsien highlighted the importance of building spaces for families in order to keep growing as an architect.

“There are some issues when it comes to women taking architecture as their profession. No one has come up with child care being mandated across federally [in the US]. It is an issue which governments need to look at across the globe,” said Ms. Tsien while stressing the fact that the number of women studying architecture, is more than that of men yet the workspace remains dominated by men. She went on to state, that architects needed to have the courage and desire to come up with infrastructure which would represent a society’s culture. “The cliche of the husband and wife working side by side at the computer screen has now been mostly supplanted. How does this help a woman striving to make it on her own?,” asked Ms. Tsien.

Urban conservationist and founder of HECAR Foundation, Brinda Somaya, said not much has changed in the past few decades for women architects.

“We often talk about the role of women in the future of architecture. But, what are the new ideas which have emerged for women architects in the past years? The question definitely needs to be addressed,” Ms. Somaya said. Ms. Somaya emphasised the need to collaborate, an idea that would help the world in developing unique design projects. “There is no place for an individualistic practise in the architectural profession,” said Ms. Somaya.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 5:51:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/solidarity-and-exchange-of-ideas-is-most-important/article30518411.ece

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