Interviewed by The Success Today – A Digital Webzine.
Could you tell us about yourself and your work?
I am Khushboo Madan, born and brought up in New Delhi. I completed my schooling at DAV Model Town and later got my diploma and degree in architecture from BPS Women’s University, also known as Asia’s largest women’s university. In addition to that, I did my Bachelors in Technology with a specialization in Civil Engineering from DCRUST University. During my studies, I worked for renowned infrastructure companies such as Indian Railways, L & T, Dams of India, called Dak Pather Barrage, and Tehri Dam. She likes doing new things, and this profession has helped her develop in many ways.
I am the Founder and Principal Designer of Design & Build, an interior design firm specializing in high-end and bespoke residential, commercial, and hospitality interiors. My sensory-rich projects are imbued with a modern mixture of found objects, repurposed materials, accessories, and furniture made at the highest level of international craft. My communication skills and my ability to deal with the clients’ problems on time have always given the best results. My hard work and effort have made me who I am today, along with the most important skill of following my passion to take it to the next level. One should always have a fire inside them when it comes to imaginative and creative thinking skills and possesses the ability to analyze and critically assess problems. A good designer should have the ability to see the big picture as well as be able to pay attention to the smallest details. In this field, you learn many new things, explore new places, and meet new people.
How you and your service is helping society?
Design helps us engage while keeping us connected to the world. It helps us navigate our way through physical and digital spaces. Design is used to communicate and depending on who we are, it can be influential by understanding our behavior and demographics. As a designer, you have the power to change people’s mindsets and steer their behavior. Being a designer means that you will influence people and their perspectives on life. You influence how they might live their lives. You have the power to change their mindsets. A successful product allows the businesses that created it to grow, which provides job opportunities for people. Suppliers of materials benefit from the growth in sales, and if the products are designed with high regard for sustainability, it also reduces the long-term impact on the environment. Design for social impact is the practice of interrogating real-world systems—institutional, economic, social, political, and interpersonal—to define opportunities for change that give voice to those who have been disenfranchised or marginalized by design.
What is the USP of your work?
Creativity with honesty ensures that we are honest with our design. For our design, we must infuse what is uniquely us into our work. If we do not, then what we are making is neither genuine nor essential. We have held back that which only our perspective can provide and we have not done our best. To do our best, most honest work, we must be vulnerable with ourselves. If you do that, your strengths and weaknesses will come together in your creativity to provide your best design. It is that blend of your treasures that is the best thing, the only thing you need to make and share. Showing the world something that you made is hard enough. Just as your skill and mastery of your medium will grow with practice and time, your vulnerability must grow as well to keep you honest with both the work and yourself. Creativity is best thought of as a kind of effort, not an abstract thing. But no creative person in history was creative in a practical sense without applying effort to some kind of project.
What are your vision and mission?
The mission of Design & Build is to provide innovative, efficient, and sustainable solutions through exceptional client service, excellence in architectural design, and ethics in practice. It aims to be amongst the leading architectural design firms that are globally recognized, highly valued and respected by clients, colleagues and other industry leaders.
What are your achievements in this industry?
Design & Build is an international brand now and is working in different parts of the world. We have received the National Architecture & Interior Design Excellence Award for Leading and Most Innovative Architecture and Interior Design Firm of the Year 2020, Best Interior Designers Under 40 in India 2020, Top 100 Decowood Design Divas Of India 2020 Season 4, Top 100 Decowood Design Divas Of India 2020 Season 5, Top 10 Decowood Design Divas Of India 2020 Season 6, India’s Inspirational Women Awards In Architecture Design 2020.
Does your work ever feel tedious to you? If so, how do you stay driven and motivated towards it?
Architecture is not boring, but very challenging. Around the world, architecture is seen as a man’s career. The challenges I face as a female architect, I believe, are the same challenges any professional woman faces: work-life balance, professional growth opportunities, and fair pay. The hardest part is simply being a woman and having the same kinds of multiple responsibilities as any man would have in any career. Architecture is a profession where there is a lot of overtime required. Finding a work-life balance is always a struggle. However, it is an interesting career where you are constantly learning. self-identity, the pursuit of quality in design, enjoyment and awareness of the impact on people. Work with yourself and maximize what works for you. Whenever you feel down, remind yourself why you chose architecture and then focus on yours and push your idea to its limits. Explore the limits of your concept, then be confident in articulating it and be firm in defending it. Nobody can say your piece of rock is the wrong shape. Treat your work like a baby; it is your brainchild.
What are your hobbies and specific interests other than your profession?
Cooking and reading are my hobbies. I enjoy traveling solo to learn about my culture and to gain some wisdom as well.
You have achieved so much in life. Is there any specific advice you’d like to share with our readers to help them grow in life?
Well, the quote by Farrah Gray – “Build your dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” This quote is about your future, and what your plans for it might be. If you have no specific plan, or you are not working on your dreams, what will you be doing? Hence, you should always have a dream.
Why is having a dream important? Dreams are what give us the drive to get things done. A dream is what gets us off the couch and makes us work towards something we might not otherwise want to do. For some people, work is what they do to earn the money to chase their dreams. Or, perhaps, they’re using it to hire others to build their dreams for them. We don’t always have the awareness to realise our dreams. Most of us don’t know how to fly a plane, but we go on vacation. We pay someone else to do that for us. For pilots, that’s a job, but most of them are there because they love to fly. They get paid to do their job, but their job is also part of their dream.