In pursuit of participatory decision making to create sustainable and resilient urban spaces

Darshana Agrawal, Daksh Jain,Kavita Jadon & Hanisha Chothani  – Co-Founders, Urban Foundry

After completion of their postgraduate course in November’2020, in midst of global pandemic, when they realised that job market isn’t conducive, Daksh Jain and his friends didn’t waste time and instead channelized their knowledge and energy to create a collective that would work in the field of urban development and betterment of the local identity. And thus “Urban Foundry” took its shape as a collective for people interested in various facets of urbanism to come ahead and work and ideate. It is worth mentioning here that one of their senior, whose work on a UNESCO heritage site was immensely praised also was an encouraging factor to Daksh and his team to go out of their comfort zone and venture into the world of entrepreneurship.

Being so fresh and new in the field that the entire team of Urban Foundry had to face challenges at every stage. People don’t take them seriously. Whenever they presented their ideas, they were ignored for being either too dreamy or too ambitious. Moreover, there’s a lot of exploitation of fresh minds in the field of architecture; that’s the brutal truth which Daksh learned. The urban field is diverse and one needs to be good in networking here. Currently they are in a phase of making their portfolio strong through various collaborations. Everyday has been a new learning for the team. Darshana shares her moment of realisations,

“Initially we were called for the meetings and what we presented didn’t seem lucrative enough. We took a step back and realized that we need to learn from the market and build strong connections to be able to work. We also need to stick to our instincts and work with others respecting their methodology and ideology.”

Though these youngsters sound all promising, they feel that patience and perseverance will pay off. It’s not that things will happen in a jiffy, it takes time to bag a project and for that knowing one’s strength and skill set is most important. The field of architecture and urban study is vast. There are multiple options available and one can cut across various disciplines. That’s what helps to broaden the vision.

Being strong in research, these young entrepreneurs feel that there are aplenty of opportunities out there and one needs to be courageous to take that first step. Hanisha explains,

“We are working on multiple things and exploring all of them at once. If it clicks it stays, if it doesn’t, we learn something from it. You need to make strong case and build relations.”

Visibility is also equally important, as a result organizing events, book discussions, virtual conferences, small competitions, writing articles and reports, research and documentation are a few things they have taken up during this pandemic.

Daksh and his team is all pumped up to be associated with some great associations such as Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation, Kalashetra Studio, Dept. of Architecture, MBM Engg. College, Inframe design studio, and in their various ventures. Though a long way to go, still these collaborations boost up their confidence and help them to strive for newer heights. Determination, Dedication and Self-belief are the three key aspects that fuelled these entrepreneurs’ journey and they want the same to be nurtured by today’s youngsters and budding businessman. Kavita signs off by giving few of her advices for the aspirants in her line of work, she says,

“Keep working and keep learning. Sometimes your ideas are great but execution is where you mess up. It happened with us. But don’t be disheartened with your failures. Introspect, learn and redo. That’s what we have been taught as architects. Repeat and repeat till you succeed.”

If you’re inspired with this story, do share it with your friends and family & be their fountain of positivity! Don’t forget to share your views and experiences with us in the comment section; we care for all of you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *