The beginning of the journey  

Our journey as an architect has been a potpourri of various things, from trying to confine ourselves within the bounds of the architectural profession and deciding to explore beyond what was required has led most of us to explore different pathways. While it has been a few years since graduation, one still feels like a fish out of the water. Trends are changing by the second while the bosses at architectural firms are trying to sell that five year- old render from Pinterest. In search of novelty, one’s life does take different twists and turns. Anita’s story is an experience that would inspire one to think outside the box.

The beginning of the journey  | Breaking Free

As she narrated her journey, Anita faintly remembered looking for a crash course to prepare for the undergraduate entrance examinations at the national level. While intending to enrol in fashion design, the tutors at the coaching class recommended that she take up NATA for the sake of it. A few months later, Anita was in a studio full of talented people at Ramaiah Institute of Technology. The first semester passed fleetingly, and she could not care less about attending classes. Like everybody at the time, she found it laborious to interpret and translate the Building Construction drawings; to be fair, it would take a good few months to figure out what wall sections meant. With so many terminologies to keep track of and more to memorise, including the detail of an Egyptian tomb, Anita felt herself losing herself until she started understanding the essence of everything. She was confused; nonetheless, as the years went by, she would get better as anyone would. She immersed herself in actively participating in competitions and was glad that she finally got a hold of what architecture was; until her internship commenced. Her journey was about to get better and worse.

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Encountering real-world problems

Since the commencement of her academic semesters, Anita’s journey has taken quite a turn. Her practical training began during the COVID-19 pandemic. After completing a grossly underprepared thesis due to the imposition of the lockdown, she had to look for a job under the prestigious architects of Bengaluru. She got accepted to a small firm after trying her luck with late applications. She was extremely anxious to start her professional journey, even though it was temporary. However, Anita had enough time to adapt and study their existing drawing sets until she became acclimated to their work. While expecting to do minor drawings, she undertook much bigger responsibilities, including making a walk-through or creating sanction drawings. It wasn’t long until she realised that interns were essentially cheap labour. She decided to train at a different firm in the upcoming semester.

Anita’s second semester of training contrasted the first; she was given just enough responsibilities and work as an intern. She had an adequate work-life balance and loved working on many projects. Her fellow interns were extremely friendly and would always find time to entertain themselves or help each other out. Anita would always say that her experience with practical training at the firm was her most enriching professional experience.

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Twists and turns

During her journey as an architect, Anita felt attracted to doing digital art and thus learned to use the Adobe Creative Suite. Her knowledge would later become a vital asset in her career growth. After learning that architecture paid less, she applied for general design roles until she finally secured a production and graphic designer job. That is when she appreciated her education; architecture is a course that does not restrict you from creating buildings and spaces. There are so many opportunities for one looking to explore beyond their limitations. As the saying goes, “Where there is a will, there is a way”. Anita’s journey has been nothing less than irregular, but looking for the right fit caused her to adapt. Many, like Anita, have completed their architecture studies to practice in various fields and are excelling at it too. Someone looking to deviate from the field is often criticised for their choices. However, believing in oneself and exploring one’s interests and passions is important. This journey, after all, does not have a route. Therefore, the author urges you to carve your own.

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A hopeful future | Breaking Free

Humorously enough, Anita did not continue in the design pathway and chose to pursue a Science degree in Sustainability from the prestigious University of Melbourne. Her decision was driven by the fact that her portfolio did not get her to a design subject, which she had shifted to. That brings us to our conversation today; she preaches about wanting to make the world a better place. At this point, it would be natural for the audience to ponder if her journey is an inspiration, a road not taken or an outright blunder. The author remains slightly partial to their long-time friend and wishes her the best. Ultimately life is filled with trials and errors that we must make to fit into the right boxes, or we can create our own someday. 


Haritha is an architect and designer who has worked in multiple disciplines such as architecture, interior design, and production design. She is an advocate for responsible design and sustainability and is a nature lover. Her other interests include music, dance, digital illustration, and traveling.