Following the tremendous response to the launch of Women in Office Design (WOD) India in December 2020, the success has continued with the second event in the series, ‘Power Women of Design’. Hosted at Steelcase’s showroom in Mumbai on Thursday 28 January, the hybrid ‘live and virtual’ seminar was attended by industry colleagues in India and around the world.
The passion, energy and inspiration generated by the expert panel of leading women in the A&D community highlighted why India has, quite correctly, claimed its position on the world stage within workplace strategy and design.
Founder of Women in Office Design (WOD), Harsha Kotak introduced the event and each of the speakers. “I launched Women in Office Design back in 2018 as I felt I was becoming ‘cubed in’,” explained Harsha. “I would meet clients and potential suppliers but I wanted the opportunity to network to develop my thoughts and ideas with colleagues throughout all sectors of the industry and, indeed, the world. Learning by networking is the only agenda for WOD.”
Moderated by the newly appointed Ambassador for Women in Office Design (WOD) India, Payal Sandhu Khurana, the speakers included Shimul Javeri, founding architect at SJK Architects; Poonam Kothare, senior associate at M Moser Associates; Zainab Mukadam, Director Design at Concept Consilio India; Shweta Grover, Director at DSP Design Associates; and Meghna Vajani Director at Space Matrix.
During the 90 minute session, the panel described their individual ‘journeys’ throughout their career to date. The event concluded with a ‘round the table’ discussion about future developments and opportunities.
It is interesting that the Indian design community is actually dominated by women yet project implementation, including disciplines such as project management and procurement, still being weighted towards men. “We must break gender conditioning,” the panel agreed, “and encourage more men into design and vice versa.”
The session ended with a truly upbeat message: “We need to globalise ourselves as a design community in India. We must showcase our projects as we deserve to be on the global platform.”
Women in Office Design (WOD) in India has already agreed an ongoing collaboration with Steelcase with three more events scheduled in Calcutta, Hydrabad and Bangalore. There are also additional plans in the pipeline so WOD in India has an exciting future in 2021.
Women in Office Design was founded in May 2018 by Harsha Kotak, an interior designer with a vision to inspire and empower women working in all areas of the office design industry. WOD is a growing network of 2000 plus global members with chapters in London, Birmingham, Spain and now India. There are plans to expand to other major cities nationally and internationally.
Launched this year, the new WOD-Digital app provides a platform for collaboration, learning and networking with the rapidly expanding community women across the globe.
Check out the below video of this event;