“Young architects must equip themselves with Entrepreneurship development skills”

Rajini Itham

VBT Consortium has an impressive portfolio. Tell us a bit about VBT’s journey till here.

VBT consortium is one of the oldest architectural practices in Bengaluru. The firm with its international exposure and proactive design practice has evolved from the parent company, V. B. Thammiah & Associates, founded by the late Mr. V. B. Thammiah in 1956. The VBTC design studio is a dynamic place based on diversity and communicative collaboration. Today, the firm’s portfolio comprises large scale Residential, Commercial and Master planning projects in India and abroad.

You work as the Senior Architect at the firm. What does your job involve and how has your experience been so far?

As the Senior Architect, I lead the studio coordination among the project teams, clients and consultants; ensuring efficient design and technical management. My role also involves reviewing approval procedures, overseeing production of construction drawing sets and site coordination. Working with such an established design firm has been a very enriching experience –strategizing the creative process from design through completion, mentoring project teams while promoting a stimulating work environment and building professional and social networks. It is certainly challenging and exciting to be an integral part of VBTC.

Tell us about your approach towards your projects.

At VBTC, we adapt the ‘Concept based approach’ to Architectural design. Though extrinsic parameters such as site sensitivity, regulatory constraints and budgetary issues are factored in, each project is approached creatively by incorporating exclusive design thought and philosophies to guide the architectural process. With a comprehensive approach to Architecture, Interiors and Landscape, some of our residential and commercial ventures also assimilate integrated branding into the design approach.

What has been your most challenging project and why?

Each project comes with its own challenges. It could be the site, design intent, budget or construction difficulties. But challenging projects make Architecture as a techno–creative discipline, very engaging.

Pic Courtesy : Rajini Itham

Pic Courtesy : Rajini Itham

What kind of changes has architectural education seen since the time you were a student?

Firstly, there are a lot more schools of architecture today than when I graduated 20 years ago. The students today have easier access to data, thanks to digitization. They are also more exposed to global developments. This increases opportunities in any field to grow and diversify, promoting interdisciplinary trends that elevate the intellectual quotient of the professional sector.

What are the challenges one faces as an architect in the initial stages of their career?

Young architects must equip themselves with Entrepreneurship development skills. They must be able to multi-task.

Which technical and other skills should aspiring architects be equipped with?

Apart from subject knowledge, aspiring architects should possess manual and digital visualization skills, soft skills, and technical application of theoretical matter. The 5 year B.Arch. programme does include one or two semesters of apprenticeship, where students are expected to intern under registered practising architects to familiarize themselves with office procedures in an architectural practice.

What advice would want to give to the aspiring architects?
Architecture is one of those few professional streams, which gives a wide latitude to any enterprising individual to explore varied facets of the creative and the technical. It also offers the flexibility to branch out into allied fields or specialize in Landscape architecture, Urban design, Urban planning, Digital Architecture and even Architectural journalism.
Young architects should pursue architecture with the passion it deserves and a fulfilling and rewarding career is assured.