Have you ever felt like giving up on the hardships and failures in your life?
No doubt, the year 2020 was tough for each of us in different ways and will quite likely become a part of our long-term memory. The pandemic has made us reinvent the way we work and interact in our environment and success became harder- especially with growth and reinvention involved. SURFACES REPORTER (SR) in association with WADE ASIA invited women in Design to share their inspiring stories from 2020. Here is the inspiring story of Amrit Panwar -an architect who managed to grow her new excursion during this tough pandemic period.
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Meet Amrit Panwar
Amrit Panwar is the principal architect and founding partner of Architecture aNew- A brand that strives to challenge the standards, pushing the boundaries in functionality and beauty, to offer a new, fresh perspective on modern possibilities.
She finds a new lesson to be learnt at every place, every hurdle out there. Starting her journey as a full-time practicing architect and visiting faculty in 2003, she got an opportunity to teach very early in life.
Thus, she became an assistant professor at her alma mater- Chandigarh College of Architecture. Teaching students about design and construction made her more enthusiastic to bring a change in society through design and technology.
The Critical Choice Between Profession and Passion
Taking the decision to pursue your passion at any age is challenging but even more so when you risk years of your building an alternate career choice.
Amrit, after ages of teaching, found herself at crossroads with the turn of the decade, asking herself whether she should finally establish her venture, an absolute dream of every professional or continue teaching as she had for years already.
With the principles and the support of her husband, it wasfinally in 2004 that she found her firm- Architecture aNew.
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Surprisingly, she continued her professional career with a clear streak of not taking a single day off as a break in her life except for the 21-day break when she was giving birth to her little angels. Hats off to this level of passion and dedication towards her passion and work!
Hurdles to Deal With
Being a mother of two children, a practicing architect, an academician and at the same time- a well-settled family person after 17 years of marriage is somewhat stressful to deal with. For her, maintaining work and life balance with family was quite stressful, but not impossible to cope with. She had been struggling through her arduous journey playing multiple roles as an architect, a mother and an entrepreneur. Her role truly justifies the quote by Ar. Zaha Hadid "Don't be an Architect if you can’t work hard”.
2020 was a really hard time for her, “So here I was; January 2020 beginning, an acute paucity of funds since I had invested all my savings in my then future venture and two months down the line, I am locked down and stuck with such scarce resources.” she exclaims.
Her work fell from a decent number of in-hand projects to right away a mere one and two in the bush.
Amrit adds, “I was petrified and really anxious. It was a constant battle of backward contemplation about my decisions of leaving behind a secured job as a professor to invest myself in a self-employed business. Nonetheless; every pace, every hurdle has a new lesson in store. And that exactly is my story.”
Amidst lockdown, she realized that she has been able to explore her design potential more practically and has created much more designs than ever. She didn't even bother that she had only one project in hand, still she focussed on designing the landscapes and farmhouses and reverted to the use of very own basic materials like brick, wood, and stone.
Amrit was focused on selecting the plants and designing as per the beauty of leaves and flowers made her sensitive to her surroundings, which were with her all the time.
What Kept This Lady Motivated?
After collecting all the speculations and thoughts, it was her responsibility to bring the best and positive out of her family. So here comes the quote: "count your blessings", which kept her and her family motivated to survive against the lockdown most beautifully.
“Always count your blessings. Answers lie next to you; one just needs to be innovative and smart enough to pick them up. The Lockdown gave me the time to look around me and learn more” She says.
Change is never easy for anyone. The same was true for this lady. But once she embraced the "new normal", she was reborn at the age of 40 and that is where the next chapter of her story began - the tale of recovery, growth and innovation; because she needed to be innovative to set her new excursion.
The Dreaded Year of 2020
“So, all in all 2020 has been a year with considerable ups and downs. But, reliving my passion for cycling, photography, marathon running, art, craft, stitching, knitting, cooking, and my life line-creative designing sailed my boat through the pandemic healthy and fit” She exclaims.
It has been 17 full years for her in the field of architecture with her Architect husband winning many prestigious awards like the awardfor the Design of housing on International Women’s day, 2nd Runner up at the Gate Design competition forthe Airport in Mohali, Design Diva.
“I have been a speaker at the prestigious FOAID event, curtain-raiser at Chandigarh College of Architecture for Symposium on Rural Landscapes &panelist in E-conclave during the lockdown. I also had the opportunity of being a Team leader for the consultancy Heritage project at CCA and was a member for holding national & international symposiums by the Chandigarh administration.My architect husband& I have groomed as a team and even got the opportunity to get projects featured at various online and offline platforms. One proud moment if I recall was when a house designed by was featured in a Bollywood blockbuster.” She adds.
The story of Amit Panwar proves that nothing can restrain you from achieving your goal if you are dedicated enough towards the same.We shouldn't forget that challenges and failures are actually stepping to success.
Keep reading SURFACES REPORTER for more such articles and stories.
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