‘If you want an easy life, don’t be an architect’

Architecture is a field where one needs to combine a number of aspects to come up with the right plan. With the thorough understanding and love for this field of someone like Priyanka Khanna, Co-founder and Architect, 42mm Architecture, one is bound to achieve a great result. She loves to take up challenges and stay up-to-date with today’s fast changing world and has a special place in her heart for traveling. Here, she talks about her journey and her learnings with Urban Melange.

1. Why did you choose this line of profession for yourself? What was your inspiration?

As for me- it just happened, I didn’t grow up thinking I would be an architect. The reason I got interested in Architecture is that I saw it as a field of synthesis-basically a field where you bring into play different aspects of various fields i.e. Art, history, culture, climate, and technology. Unlike traditional colleges where you must slog yourself in classrooms and libraries, reading and writing all the time, a course in Architecture gives you the liberty to use the right side of your brain, the creative part.

2.  What helped you in being a successful entrepreneur?

As a business owner, it is important for me to be fair to everyone. I always assume that men and women can and should do the same work. Women designers in our studio are given equal opportunities to go on-site and deal with on-site technical situations. No one in our design studio gets preferential treatment. We as an institution believe in having a strong focus to deliver quality design work, not just on our own but also empowering the team to deliver the same.

3.  Did you have to face any problems in your professional journey just because you are a woman?

Architecture is a profession that is sustained not just by design skills; It actually takes a huge group of people to make every space come together, which requires a lot of project management, teamwork, and coordination. Even after 15 years of practice, being a female architect you still encounter the initial barriers with site supervisors & people working on site. It takes a little while for people on-site to gain confidence on my skills and experience to take technical instructions. I guess the women in the field have to work a little bit harder to get to that same point, but we all knew it’s not going to be easy. As famously quoted by Zaha Hadid –“If you want an easy life, don’t be an architect”.

4.  What have been your major learnings from your journey till now?

My major learning throughout my journey is that knowledge is power. It is the tool that outstands and outshines you and any situation. I feel that in the changing world it is important to innovate and be aware of trends around and stay relevant. Travel, collaboration and communication helps build the same.

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