“You will be starting your bachelors at age 24, that too Architecture for six years? When will you get married and have kids?” Back in 2009 studying at a ripe age till teaching architecture today, I feel ‘sort of nothing has changed’.
In this session I want to focus on the struggles with a lot of joy and much gain with pain. Starting from studying the course which has a male dominance in society to teaching it and becoming a co-founder of a firm.
The most important anecdote in the journey is my maternity and the struggle to save my job with the organisation I am associated with for four years now. The travel so far is as bumpy as it could be for any other field to balance work and professional life.
If teaching Architecture is not easy then why is it the chosen field by more female architects? It is said that they just want to get out of the home away from responsibilities of in-laws or the construction site. Then what about the responsibility they are taking by nurturing the young professionals! If a female architect chooses to teach full time it is for escaping from every possible thing you can imagine. Maybe that’s the reason I did not get maternity leave as per my rights.
Looking into the monotonous routine, I feel, was this the same intention I studied with? Where is the golden experience of being the designer of the imagination of the beholder ‘s? Who are these students for whom I am putting efforts in nurturing as bright architects of tomorrow?
In the last one and a half years of my maternity and motherhood journey has evoked a lot of questions with reasons and few solutions. Let’s have a look at it together.
Poonam Solanki graduated from School of Architecture, CEPT University, and did a PGDA in Heritage Management and Conservation from Deccan College. Since 2015, she has been working as an Assistant Professor, teaching History of Architecture, Basic Design, Architectural Communication skills, and Graphics. She Co-founded Manavkruti architecture in 2022 and focusses on people-centric experiences as the foundation of design.