Brinda Somaya
Madhavi Desai
Namita Singh
Minakshi Jain
Neera Adarkar
Parul Zaveri
Renu Mistry
Anupama  Kundoo
Samira Rathod
Shimul Javeri Kadri
Abha Narain Lambah
Dhruti Vaidya
Sandhaya Savant


"In dreams begins responsibility" 
                          - W. B. Yeats.

There must be very few countries in the world where 
architects have such varied challenges as we have in 
South Asia today. Our involvement ranges from 
upgradation of slums to large corporate and 
public buildings, from low income housing 
to the restoration of magnificent 
vernacular and colonial buildings. 
Wonderful, exciting and fulfilling tasks 
that span our careers and 
take us from being hi-tech professionals 
to barefoot architects. 

The focus of this exhibition is South Asia. 
We have common traditions, problems and aspirations. 
All of us have a multiplicity of civilizations. 
In India, Bangladesh,Pakistan and Sri Lanka 
there is a cultural heritage of genius and beauty. 
These traditions are a source of inspiration to us 
Architects as we attempt to infuse meaning into our work. 
The contemporary architecture of India today, 
is the built expression of an interaction 
between a global culture and our rich past. 
Hindu, Buddhist and Islamic traditions were 
followed by the colonial influence and finally, 
post independence, the legacies of Le 
Corbusier and Louis Kahn. 
In fact some might shrink from the very idea 
of an 'Indian' architecture at all. 
Slowly in the 70's, 80's and 90's the Indian Architect 
has come into her own.

In an article I wrote in 1991 I said that I believed 
that the only way an architect can truly establish 
herself in the profession is through her body of work. 
This, I believed, was the only route that would 
give her the visibility to confirm her competence 
in the profession and could be achieved 
through publications and exhibitions. 
If there was not an adequate body of work 
of independent women architects for an exhibition 
it could be combined with the work of 
women environmentalists, interior designers and 
photographers amongst others. Otherwise women would 
always remain the "anonymous designer". 
Today, almost ten years later, I am happy to say 
we women have, in reality, achieved this dream. 
In fact the body of architectural work has grown 
so much that it was difficult for us in 'WIA' 
to decide whose work we would exhibit. 

With this exhibition we hope to achieve the 
public exposure that all women richly deserve. 
We will now become more aware of our own achievements 
and even more importantly, the work of each other. 
Design standards will be elevated and our 
professional image further validated. 
Professional contacts and friendships 
and a creative exchange of ideas, 
we hope, will be a natural corollary. 
Today the need is for professional concern 
with the environment and an improved quality 
of human life for all Indians and hence 
the need to train a new kind of professional 
who can intervene and be effective 
within our poverty stricken framework 
both in the rural and urban areas. 
We now need designers who can plan, design and 
implement new developments working interactively 
with the community at large. 
If we follow the role of the traditional architect 
we cannot meet this need. 
We have to go beyond buildings and work 
with programmes that transform society. 
Design has to be part of a peoples' process. 

The Hecar Foundation hosting 
'Women in Architecture - 2000 Plus' was created to 
celebrate Mumbai's multifaceted historic tradition. 
The foundation seeks to educate the public on architecture 
including heritage and urban issues through talks, 
publications, exhibitions, scholarships and seminars. 
This exhibition and the document to follow were made 
possible by the generous and spontaneous support of the 
Sir Ratan Tata Trust. The Foundation would also like to 
thank MK India and the Travel Corporation of India, 
the other two main sponsors of this conference. 
To all three of them "Women in Architecture- 2000 Plus" 
is grateful.

Minnette De Silva
Hiranti Welandawe
Fauzia Qureshi
Ayesha Noorani
Itsuko Hasegawa
Beng Kiang Tan
Eli Giannini
Vivian Mitsogianni
Afroza Ahmed
Sonali Bhagwati
Gayathri Shetty
Ismet Khambatta
Gita Balakrishnan
The Hecar Foundation
Founder Trustees:
Viral Doshi
Mridula Maluste
Ashwin Ramesh
Gita Simoes
Brinda Somaya
Organising Committee
Brinda Somaya
Urvashi Mehta

Pradnya Chauhan

Shimul Javeri Kadri
Gita Simoes
Abha Narain Lambah
Ajay Sharma

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