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‘Opt for locally sourced materials to create sustainable, eco-friendly designs’ 

AIT-SAP alumna Raunak Kaur reveals how she integrates her design philosophy into the process to build healthy architectural spaces

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Raunak Kaur is an experienced architect with a demonstrated history of working in the architecture and planning industry. The architect graduated from Apeejay Institute of Technology – School of Architecture & Planning (AITSAP) in 2015. “Since then I have been fortunate enough to be working with the well-known firms in the architecture industry, one of them being Morphogenesis, with whomI have been associated with for more than 6 to 7 years,” she emphasised. It’s only in 2021 when Raunak switched her job in order to explore and understand other market trends, how the different architectural firms are functioning and what all avenues are existing for her other than what she has been working on till now. In this interview, she shares about her inspiration and more:

Why and how did you decide to pursue architecture? Any inspiration to choose this career path?

I decided to pursue architecture ever since I was in 3rd grade. I met my dad’s friend who was an architect at that point of time, and when he explained to me about this profession I just felt super fascinated; it was like “Wow,  this is something I would love to do.” And ever since then I have been trying to pick up things or elements or anything that would lead me in the design direction and ultimately here I am.

Is it important to be good at drawing when one is planning to pursue architecture? 

I will not say that it’s essentially important to be good at drawing while you are pursuing architecture. But what’s important is to have a very clear vision and clarity of thought. However, drawing is an essential tool, at least you should be good at linework, if not sketching. It’s because linework helps you to ideate and explain your ideas to your peers and clients. Hand sketching, rough sketches – all these were really important  just before the digital world came in as these helped us communicate our ideas.   

Any architectural myths you wish to bust

It’s always about the money that you make; it’s never equivalent. You will have to slog, slog, slog and work really really hard. Still you feel that your peers in the other industries are doing better than you. But it’s the design satisfaction that gives that liberating feeling. You feel overwhelmed when you see your designs being constructed on site. Another myth is that since you are pursuing architecture, you will certainly succeed. That’s not true – you need to put in ample hard work to achieve that. 

What is your design philosophy? What are some of those elements of sustainable architecture you integrate while designing a space?

We should align ourselves to the basic principles such as orientation, climatic conditions, vernacular architecture, local material available and lifestyle of the people. We should always procure, use and make it a habit of using materials or elements that are locally sourced. Make use of those materials or elements  that are sustainable for the lifestyle of the people living in that space. Well, the materials should be eco-friendly in terms of how they are used while considering their lifespan. For instance, if I am building a house in Kerala, I should research and identify eco-friendly materials available in that state to make a house for the inhabitants. Also, it’s important to note how those materials are used to make the living comfortable. 

Post the pandemic, what are the new trends that are influencing today’s architecture/designs?

Flexible designing and spatial designs – the idea is to make it flexible in terms of how the same space can be reused at different points of time.

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay newsroom. With experience in both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world, she has worked with Careers360, India Today and Value360 Communications. A learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveller and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.

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