Continuing our dialogue; today we have Nilesh Bansal from Chaukor Studio to share his views. Along with his partner Tejeshwi Bansal, he started Chaukor Studio in the year 2012 in Noida. The studio aspires to provide regenerative design solutions. By integrating traditional formal expressions and design subtleties with modern materials and technologies, they strive to create ecologically sound and elegant building environments.
On the subject, he says;
“It is essential for budding architects to be flexible to adapting before establishing their private practices. Architectural practice is one of the most challenging and demanding professions in the country today as it requires enormous design skills, technical knowledge, legal knowledge, business skills, communication; and it is continuously evolving and changing.”
Nilesh Bansal approaches this issue with some preconceived notion of a plan, or an attempt to do so –
“We had earlier decided to start our practice after attaining five years of experience but Studio Chaukor was formulated within a year after graduation.” Although most architects advocate learning under someone before branching out onto your own practice, there are several aspects that become elemental to this decision – each, personal to the individual’s ability, self-confidence, and resources at hand.
A sentiment shared by most architects about the dissociation between the learnings of an architecture school and on field experience, Nilesh believes we are not trained to be adept to handle the challenges of an architecture entrepreneur but merely that of a designer, Nilesh states –
“During the architectural course, the major focus is aimed towards developing temperament towards design development and evolving visualization skills. The architectural study is in itself vast and extensive. If there is any scope left to accommodate other aspects, it is focused towards history, theories, and associated technical services.
This leaves a large gap between the understanding of architectural design and business of architecture. To overcome this challenge, one has to develop other alternate skills and learn to run the practice not as a designer but as a design entrepreneur.”
This statement captures the essence of the problem at hand; as aspiring architects who wish to have our own practice, we have to develop the skillset on our own to handle the obstacles that come with starting the practice be it in the terms of logistics, or showing conviction in design or coordinating with different parties involved in erecting a project.
Although this may be the current scenario, Nilesh raises an exemplary point – although we do not have all the tools at first to successfully run a practice, what we do have is the fraternity which acts like a backbone guiding architects.
Senior professionals are crucial for a holistic and a natural growth of young practices. Their experience is unparalleled compared to any guidance that books or courses can offer, it is irreplaceable. There are multiple scenarios from time to time where we have to seek guidance from our seniors and make decisions accordingly.
This is better understood in the context of current business outline which is being taken over. As more and more architects, as well as other specialists, are branching out to entrepreneurship, a latent potential in developing architectural entrepreneurship and its learnings lies at academic as well as professional level. Nilesh Bansal speaks about this advancement from the perspective of a principal architect of an upcoming design firm;
“As architects, it has always been the primary focus of our profession to address issues and challenges faced in the society through the means of design and creativity” he continues, “In the current scenario, architects can tap into the sector of technology and amalgamate it with their inherent skillset; and find latent opportunity by means of reaching out to resolve critical challenges.”
Nilesh speculates about the advent of technology and how with the aid of social media, it allows architects to use the platform to postulate their ideas and represent their ideologies to interested parties –
“Social media at present has emerged as one of the widest and strongest medium of communication. This does provide architects and designers with the requisite platform where they can showcase their ideas and creativity and reach out to people.
Media has played a crucial role in making design process and ideas more collaborative as it is an open-source platform that allows professional from various parts of the globe to participate in addressing issues.”
Social media helps us address to some extent, if not wholly a facet of architecture entrepreneurship which one does not indulge in otherwise in the practice – the idea of public relations. It brings about a platform of expression that a young practice could use, to further identify themselves in the industry.
He concludes by drawing an interesting parallel between the architect and the profession to further yield the necessities of evolving as a practice- “As the practice is vastly comprehensive, it also proves to be one of the most satisfying professions; and allows people to develop into well-rounded individuals.
Understand the reasons for why you want to emerge as a design entrepreneur, if you do justice to Architecture, it does justice by you.”