Charcha Women in Design

Women in Design

Women Empowerment is a word that has frequented news channels, social networking sites and election campaigns in India of late. Be it in professional life or personal life, it is a serious obligation to celebrate each and every woman in one’s life. It’s not a thing to forget that we belong in a country where in all our teachings, women are given the place of a Goddess and are worshiped. Bharat Mata is the mother of every Indian in our land. While such a woman looks after every Indian child, Indian women have made their presence felt virtually in each and every field in present times. Celebrating International women’s week ARCH College hosted a Charcha to  celebrate all independent women in the design domain and additionally to mark a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

Laying the first stones of the Charcha dialogues, ARCH Director Archana Surana reminded the audience that if one delves with the wide and deep angles of  roles and responsibilities, a necessity of fine tuning would invariably pop up. For instance, no daughter is born with the required manners to behave well with her parents as well as with her future parents in law; no woman becomes a wife with the full knowledge and understanding of how to live with her husband, kids and in laws; no woman is born with the training to earn wages in a mans world.

The sculptural dynamism of Ms. Surana’s radical mindset and design work was an expression of her feisty personality. It emboldened her to challenge the design status quo and relentlessly pushed the boundaries of both form and function in a predominantly patriarchal society.

So, regardless of roles, a woman needs to raise herself out of the boundaries imposed by contemporary patriarchal society. They are should have each and every facility which men can have, and avail every inch of liberty as men. And they need to be raised and educated in a suitable manner, so as to have a better, strong and more intellectual societal presence and existence.

Gender disparity manifests itself in various forms, the most obvious being the continuously increasing social stereotyping and discrimination. Women Empowerment means to empower women in all aspects of their identity. They must be free to be the way they want to be.

Women always have been woefully under-represented in  design, be it in design policy making bodies, important design forums, exhibitions, or even in existing literature.

There are so many women designers whose work might be easy to recognize, but whose names have escaped popular imagination.

Furniture designer Yojna Jaisingh, revolutionized the design of workplaces, while redefining the concept of modernity, and beyond. She stated that a woman’s empowerment starts at a personal level only.

Sonal Srisrimal, a star architect, and one the first females to attain that position, has had an enormous impact on the perceived status of women in design. She highlighted the difficulties women faced professionally in the realms of architecture and design elaborating how her headstrong determination and remarkable creative talents could not be stifled, and ultimately lead to spectacular success.

Another inspiring high-performance woman in the creative field of visual arts and design is Sonal Chitranshi whose love for Indian crafts, fabrics, and vibrant colors is well reflected in her elegant designs. A gifted designer, with a sharp eye for color, form, and space, her colorful prints are used all across the nation today. She defines the ability of women to enjoy their right to control and benefit from the resources, assets, income and their own time; to manage risk and improve their economic status and well-being as empowered women. Her steely determination, is aptly summed up in her statement that Education goes a long way in empowering women financially.

The involved and interested audience had their queries resolved by the panel in a Q and A session at the end of the Charcha.

Archana Surana delivered a vote of thanks and presented gift hampers to the honorable panel while reflecting on her journey and challenges as a woman. Addressing the panel, and using her own example, she showed how a woman could conquer the upper echelons of those worlds on her own terms. She further stressed that women are the backbone of society! No society could achieve sustainable progress with a minimal or negligible role for women.  As an empowered mother with an offspring makes for the bright future of any nation, Women Empowerment is a substantial tool to develop a nation; in fact, it is the only thing that determines and puts in place a strong and harmonious society.