Pooja Bihani, a Gold Medalist from S.P.S.M.B.H College of Architecture, Shivaji University, Kolhapur recognised her passion for architecture at a very young age. Bihani started her career as a designer with Sunil Tainwala of Aarteg in 1999. After her few years, she opted for entrepreneurship in 2006 and started her own architecture and interior designing firm – Spaces and Design.
Based in Kolkata, Pooja has carved a distinctive career graph in the past few years and has built a diverse portfolio with residential, commercial and lifestyle projects. With the mantra to ‘Constantly Innovate’, Pooja has expanded her works to cities like Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru and Cuttack (Orissa). In addition to being passionate about her architectural career, Pooja also takes keen interest in photography and travelling. Pooja added, ”Kolkata has always been an inspiration to me. The city has been the creative source for a number of filmmakers, artists and musicians. I constantly keep updating and upgrading my knowledge about recent trends and integrate the same in my work. ”
Stoodnt.com got in touch with this feisty architect to know more about her success story.
A selected excerpt of the interview –
How did Spaces and Design happen?
It wasn’t a launch for Spaces and Design. It was a journey and continues to be … to grow to evolve and to concretise various milestones. The seed thought of creating good spaces germinated Studio Spaces and Design!
What does Spaces and Design do differently?
The purpose of Spaces and Design is to create environs that epitomise harmony, aesthetics and optimum functionality; Enriching the life of the user in his habitat. In working towards this purpose … we do things differently because every user is different and unique given his lifestyle and his environment. Hence application of techniques, materials and planning is different in every projects.
What is the condition of design industry in India?
As per news , 65% of the Indian population right now is 30-35 years age group. INDIA being the youngest country right now, design is at its peak. The freshness of ideas and the desire to create a niche for everyone continues to drive the uniqueness of design at every level.
Architect as a career – scopes in India
Is brilliant and a great need right now. With the economy booming, youth in surplus for labour and smart cities like projects getting launched , there enough work and space for everyone.
What does it take to become an entrepreneur in this space ?
Being a professional and an entrepreneur is certainly challenging and the balance has to be mastered.
What are the challenges?
Budget over Design or Design over Budget is a constant challenge but I like it as both conflicts bring out newer ways of application of techniques and design and the space turns out unique for each; true to the purpose of Spaces and Design.
What are the qualifications, qualities required?
Qualification is just one milestone. When a field experience comes in one has to unlearn and relearn. This has personally helped me a lot. Inner strength to continue to do what is right , Innovation and update on of materials and Time Management are some of the other days I can think of!
What are the courses/diplomas/degrees to become an architect?
Architecture is the right balance of science and creativity. In short the right and the left Brain if I may put it so. A two year science base after school and then a five year bachelor course in Architecture is the way in INDIA.
Another option is a three year diploma course. However the earlier one is certainly complete and exhaustive.
Where do you see Spaces and Design in the next five years?
Moving more towards a greener and sustainable planet is certainly the vision and I see Spaces and Design creating platforms and projects towards this humble vision.