With the Rohan Builders’ The Drawing Board competition just around the corner, we spoke with Architect Vipra Kothary about the contest and architecture trends in the city as well as country. Excerpts…
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I am an architect and urban designer. I have a practice with my husband in Pune and we work on architecture, master planning, urban design and interior design projects. I am also a visiting faculty at Marathwada Mitra Mandal’s College of Architecture. When I am not working, I like to read, travel, sketch and doodle.
This is the first year of ‘The Drawing Board’ competition… What do you think of Rohan Builders organising such a competition for the students?
I think it’s a great initiative taken by Rohan Builders to encourage young talent and also provide them with the opportunity of an internship with them. Just as Rohan Builders revolutionised the Housing Sector in Pune, this competition is also one of a kind in Pune. I hope Rohan Builders continues this competition each year so that it becomes an academic feature that students can look forward to.
As an academic, what are your thoughts about the competition?
It is very important for students to get exposure to the actual practical world. The competition brief is such that it will urge participants to come up with a futuristic solution, but at the same time not ignoring the contextual roots. This attitude is the need of the day and hence it’s a great opportunity for students to express their ideas. With the level of awareness and exposure among students through internet and books, I am sure there will be an excellent and unique response to the brief.
How will the students benefit from entering this competition?
Any kind of exposure for students outside the syllabus helps in molding their attitude for the future. The competition will need the students to think out of the box as the first round will be judged only on their online submissions. As opposed to a syllabus based design problem, the students are proposing a design solution to an unknown audience. This will help in building self-confidence, self-belief and clarity of thought among students.
Could you give a brief overview of the future of architecture in India and emerging trends?
People approach us with all kinds of requirements. Everyone is now aware of latest world trends and we have designed houses with themes ranging from minimalist to classical. This awareness has made people understand the importance of an architect and in that sense the scope of architects has increased in the last one or two decades. Besides personal preferences clients also approach us with ideas related to sustainability and environmental consciousness. Simple things like being sensitive to site surroundings and creating least damage to existing site conditions are factors which clients are more than willing to go by. Environmental sensitivity and sustainable solutions are definitely the future of architecture.