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MY PLACE UNDER THE SUN

Ar. Ponni Concessao



Ar. Ponni Concessao has been a practicing architect since 1996, as co-founder of the firm with her husband Oscar Concessao. Now evolved into Oscar & Ponni+Rahul Architects, Ponni has gone on to become the first woman architect in Asia to design a state secretariat building! Cheers to woman power... Cheers to Indian women architects!


Picture from the  restoration of the  Chhatrapati Shivaji  Maharaj Vastu  Sangrahalaya Museum  (CSMVS), Mumbai

India's demographics show that women form close to 50% of the total population but less than 20% of women are part of the workforce. Which unfortunately means that the best of India's brain power is trapped at home! Remember, the path to a nation acquiring a super power status means equal participation of Men and women in the workplace - as it is in the west - and that is non-negotiable.


According to the Council of Architecture, close to 44% India's 58,646 registered architects are women. This is much higher than that in the United States where the percentage is about 26%. Schools of architecture show more than 60% enrollment of women, and these numbers are reflected at entry level positions in architectural practices, but less than 1% helm self owned or co-founded firms.


View of the iconic  Royal Bombay Yacht  Club, Mumbai,  restored in 2010

My personal experience with the inequity in architecture started when I was a student. Our patriarchal society showed me interesting aspects of the bias. I was refused entry into one of India’s premier engineering institutions (with an architecture department) - just because I happened to be a girl!



Text : Dr. Ponni M. Concessao, Founder & Principal - Oscar & Ponni + Rahul Architects

Images: Courtesy The Architect




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