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Practice of architecture has no gender – Chitra Vishwanath

Chitra Vishwanath - Women in Architecture

Chitra Vishwanath, Biome Environmental Solutions Bangalore, has designed and implemented hundreds of real estate developments – residences, institutions and resorts – guided by ecological principles, integrating sound water, energy and land-use thinking into design.

You can see some of the work by Biome on THIS LINK .

Below, we are quoting Chitra Vishwanath, where she shares societal influence on the upbringing of the girl child, gender in architecture and questions the trend “Women in Architecture” itself..

Brain is just a muscle  and can therefore be exercised according to what it is required to do—says scientist Gina Rippon of Ashton University UK. Didi Contractor too laments that she could have done much more if only she was familiar with maths which unfortunately in the days of yore many women were not encouraged to study and much less to become architects. It is the society which has moulded us in such different role plays necessitating the need to showcase “Women Architects” and their contribution.

I just hope this trend ends soon and women and men architects are judged on par—and hope it will happen soon since we see more girl students than boys in our Schools of Architecture.

I was encouraged by father to study Architecture, him being a Sculptor and my husband helped me a great deal in establishing a practice. So it has been a collaborative process for me always and I am trying to establish collaboration as the bedrock of our practice which has morphed into a shareholding firm from a proprietary firm.

Creating architecture involves many people very unlike artists and therefore we need to give credit to all the team members and the creative process thrives on conversation, curiosity, consultancy and exchange of ideas while also be a profitable and successful business so that ideas have a longevity and not become flash in the pan.

So whether it is women or men architects–Architecture- in our country needs to look seriously as to what kind of built environment as well as environment on the whole are we leaving for posterity. As much as I applaud the democratisation of architecture and  of building we need to be aware of good practices with respect to use of resources, generation of waste and also create space of artistic value.

Definitely the societal conditioning of girl children would help us in the near future, before it becomes the flat world of “Architectural practice” without any gender stereotyping, in creating an inclusive society ….A positive note to begin and end with….

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