“Thank you for the recognition and honor that you have conferred on me , today .
I got into SAP Chennai armed with a sketch book, with dreams of making a better world .
To get into an architectural college today you need to pass a rigorous entrance test , and in the process sometimes dreams are forgotten .
40 years ago, Architecture was considered a necessary evil….a subject that was mainly to beautify the exterior of a building.. very often clients would bring a building designed by an Engineer and ask for its ‘ architecture’ to be done on the exterior…!
Lady Architects were alas,considered merely for colour schemes…And interiors.
As one of the first lady Architects in Kerala to start my own office in Kochi,,I found it an uphill task. Not only did I have to convince clients that I was capable of designing a whole building, but I also had to gain respect from the workers at site and convince them that I knew what I was doing..Suvarnarekha Design Consultants was started in 1984 from the bedroom of my parents home with one part-time draftsman ….I did everything else .
Working within the framework of societal gender prejudices and rules,sometimes with a baby in one hand and a pencil in the other,relying on word of mouth to get work ,as it was not possible to join clubs and network..as a woman .It was literally like competing in a man’s world with one hand behind one’s back.!
Thanks to having a good foundation in the fundamentals of design I am confident of being able to design any type of building and today my firm Suvarnarekha Design Consultants is recognized as a leading Architectural firm in Kerala.We are not just Architects… we are total designers .
Thanks to the internet , we are now seen from all over the world and our work draws enquiries from places as far away as Canada .This year we had over 500 enquiries for internship from students from all over the country.
I concur with Lady Gaga when she says that ‘Its not about winning, but what it is about is ,not giving up. If you have a dream ,fight for it.There is a discipline for passion and it is not about how many times you fall down,its about how many times you stand up and are brave,and you keep going on….’
Our generation of Architects have laid the foundation for the acceptance of ladies as professional equals .
For this ,and on behalf of all others who have strived to achieve in an unequal world ,and on this day when Women are celebrated all over the world, I am so happy for the recognition given to us.
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