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Architecture finds a balance between technical and artistic

elements says Architect Minakshi Mohanta

Minakshi Mohanta (Architect)

Insights

1. Once you finish B.Arch., you will have many options. You can work with any
practicing architect, work as a freelancer, work in a firm, pursue higher studies such
as M.Arch., renovate heritage houses and much more.
2. Architecture field isn’t financially rewarding in the early years of independent
practice. Unless you have a strong background (family business/firm), you will find
yourself in a mess of hard work and many rejections.
3. There is an increased demand for architects and thus, the job opportunities are
soaring.
4. It is not a regular 9 to 5 job, therefore, your social life is affected.
5. There are always pending submissions leading to sleepless nights.
Profile Details

Name – Minakshi Mohanta

Profession – ​Architect

Age – 35

Gender – Female

City – New Delhi

Industry – Planning and Architecture

Where have you been born and raised?

I was born and raised in New Delhi, in a well-educated family. My father and mother are

doctors. We were an upper middle-class family and I was the only child. My grandparents

live with us too.

Who all had the most influence on you and how?

My grandfather had the most influence on me. He is a retired teacher. He always told me

stories of success and encouraged and helped me with my studies. Both his character and

stories influenced me.

Please give us a summary of your career.

After completing my 12th, I was confused between engineering and architecture. Someone

told me that architecture was much more demanding and tougher than engineering. I
always wanted to choose the road less traveled, so I chose architecture. After completing

my ​B.Arch.​ from ​SPA, New Delhi​, I managed to get a job. Initially, I was not satisfied with

the income and rejections made it worse. I always questioned my seniors about architects

being underpaid. Often, I thought about changing my profession. Slowly and steadily, I got

well established in my field. I was referred to many more clients and more assignments

came my way. I also completed many assignments abroad which paid off well. Now, I am

financially and professionally satisfied.

Which institutions are best for education/training of this


profession?

First, you need to complete your 12th with PCM and appear for a ​national level test NATA

and qualify it with good marks. Based on your score you get colleges. Some of the colleges

I suggest are:

● SPA, New Delhi


● Sir JJ College, Mumbai
● CEPT, Ahmedabad
● Anna University, Chennai

What are the costs associated with the education/training of


architecture?

It totally depends on the college you choose. The average cost varies from INR 2 to 3

lakhs/annum.

What are typical entry-level jobs in this profession?


After you are done graduating with B.Arch. You will have many options to go ahead. You

can collaborate with any practicing architect, work as a freelancer, work in a firm, and

renovate heritage houses, etc.

What is the range of salary one can expect when starting out in
architecture?

Salaries depend on the architect completely and on the market condition.

1–5 years experience – 25,000 to 40,000 INR per month.

6–10 years experience – 40,000 to 70,000 INR per month.

10 years or more experience – 1,00,000 INR per month.

The amount you are paid totally depends on your work. You can earn thousands, lakhs and

even crores if your work is worth it.

Please describe your work.

I start with meeting clients, and either helps them determine their needs or listen to the

needs they’re already aware of. Next, I gather information pertinent to the project. Then

begins the conceptual design of the project. This stage is very interesting. Lots of sketching

and diagramming and layout work. This is where the artistic part of the job factors in. Then

comes the construction document phase. Here the details get hammered out. Once these

documents are completed the project is ready for construction. It is a creative field where

you can create and imagine anything, out of the box, but in a very constrained manner of

order, concept, theme, and story.


What are some of the positives, which would encourage
someone to consider a career in architecture?

It’s a beautiful profession which will give you immense pleasure and satisfaction. Some of

the positives to consider are:

1. Since the need for a sustainable and green living has increased, the need for
architects have also increased and will get 20% more by 2021. Thus, you have a
higher prospect of job opportunities.
2. Architecture is a varied stream and it has many possibilities as architecture is a
blend of technical and artistic elements in the workflow.
3. You have complete control over the design and implementation.
4. Your pay increases manifold once you establish yourself in the community.

What are some of the challenges that you would want someone
to be aware of when considering this career/job?

I think architects get a raw deal. The negatives of this profession are:

1. Professional organizations are more concerned with their own interests than your
struggles. Contractors often blame architects for their shortcomings.
2. Unless you have right contacts it’s really hard to start your own business.
3. You have to work really hard, 50 times harder compared to an average engineer.
4. The work is very stressful, and your social life is affected.

What are relevant trends/ skills/ technologies that are currently


commanding a premium in your job profile?

3D Max​, ​Revit​, ​Rhino​, and ​grasshopper​. Apart from this ​BIM software​, facade optimization

and parametric design are in demand.

What kind of person would be happy in your career?


The person who possesses an excessive amount of willpower self-control would be happy

in this career. You need to be able to take criticism in stride. If you have the self-confidence

to sell your design, you do not need external validation. The most important are those who

can go days without sleep.

Give another choice, what would you do differently as far as your


professional selections are concerned?

I would be an Industrial designer or a civil engineer as it would provide a new outlook for my

profession.

What would be your advice to students or professionals who are


just starting their journey on a path similar to yours be?

Since you are a new architect your first impression needs to be the best. Create your own

web of people and make effective use of technology. To earn better all you need to do is

earn respect and trust in society.

Contributing Writer-​Pawandeep Kaur

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