Congratulations, You did it!
Today is your day!
You proved that you got brains in your head and shoes under your feet,
You have the steering wheel and you can steer in any direction
You are on your own and you will design your own life!
~ Said everyone
Flooded with millions of questions ever since 3 years of Arch Attire, about architecture and fashion being a diverse monologue I finally have a proud moment to put it all out there about a day that adds immense value to my existence,my future, my company, my thoughts, my dreams and every core of my being! Grateful to the day I became an architect and to people who made me who I am today!
But before we get to this day! I want to share my story of how did I land up here?
Destiny, may be? It feels like yesterday when I had passed 12th grade trying to find an escape route from getting into a medical degree. One gloomy evening while I was preparing for my medical entrance my eyes fell on some home decor magazines lying on the side table. Flipped through all the papers of the glamorous magazines and I decided this is it! That was my moment of enlightment and I said to myself with eyes glistening from excitement,”I want to be an architect!”
After a bit of research I realised that the entrance exams for Architecture were already over and I had no option but to wait to get into an architecture college pretty much next year. So I enrolled for drawing and sketching classes for an year. With in a week I was surprised to discover that how I loved to draw, create and visualize. Had I not chosen this path I wouldn’t have discovered the creative head inside me.
Next year I got selected in the top most college of architecture. All of our lives pretty much changed ever since then. From the first few days of orientation to the final year of Architecture our lives were revolutionalized. Each one of us were on a journey of self discovery with our own creations. The classes started to turn out to be a creative gigs and everyone started to design buildings better and better! While five years flew away in classical addiction of working on our own little inventions at architectural drawings. Pulling an all nighters before submissions was a regular thing. We would be working on our ideas for weeks and getting some sleep would be out of question. And inspite of all that hardwork we would sometimes get redo over redo. So falling 5 times and getting up 6th would be our regular mantra of survival.
One thing that Architecture does is, it changes you. Obviously it makes you capable of designing building. But it changes the person you are. The way you function, the way you think, visualize and perform. It teaches you a lot about perseverance and patience. And that is how I kept going and made it through all these years.
This was my second attempt at my thesis exam. My topic was Jammu and Kashmir Cultural Centre. Since I am from Jammu and Kashmir, this project was really close to my heart. I know what the state has gone through. I wanted the entire nation to know about the culture of Kashmir and celebrate it nationwide.
First time when I presented my thesis to jurors although I had a great design on the table, but I wasn’t confident. I did not believe in my project. Jurors kept asking questions about how having a cultural centre in Pune is not going to work and my answers kept complicating the entire thing! So I wasn’t surprised when I did not clear it in my first attempt. I took a lot of learning from this setback. I realised I failed in my thesis not because my design wasn’t functional but my research was not strong enough. A strong research is a foundation of a thesis project.
This time when I cleared I knew I am going to clear it from the very beginning. I presented the same project and still choose my site in Pune. Because this time I had researched on million reasons to back up everything that I did in my design. I made sure this time my design was more functional and my research was stronger than ever. I wasn’t nervous this time and more than anything else I believed in my design from the core of my heart. From the very first moment I made sure my jurors fall in love with my design and they actually did! When you believe in yourself the world has no option but to believe in you and that is what exactly happened that day!
I believe that if you are a good person, good things happen to you. I trust in the timing of Universe. Everything is meant to be at its own right time. I remember last year when I passed my architecture I was going through a sad day. I really needed to hear something good. There was nothing that could cheer me up but the news of me clearing my degree helped me move on and focus on the positive achievements of self worth. It is in moments like these I find Universe is taking care of you even when you don’t know.
On the Convocation Day, I noticed the glistening tears in my mother’s eye and a sense of pride that filled her when I was gratified. My parents have already watched my convocation video for more than 100 times and probably made it viral among the whats app of their relatives and friends. But that’s the warmth of life. I am glad that I could give my parents this happiness. I would not have come so far without their support. I am grateful to this day because when ever in future I need to know about my self worth I am going to look back to this day of how I made it so far! Not to forget each one of us are unique, rare and one of our kinds. So embrace your unique factor and let the good times roll in! This is the still the beginning but I am glad the foundations are laid and I have a strong base! Cheers to life!
I am often asked with numerous questions about my career and life choices.
Today on the occasion of my graduation day I want to answer most of the frequently asked questions I have been getting in my messages.
Q. How did you start your blog?
A. Well something really big happened to me between all these years while pursuing architecture, you tend to follow your heart when you design and that is what brought a major shift in my personality. Not many know that I have been a very socially awkward person all my life but designing started to liberate me. When I had decided to be an architect, my inspiration drew from a magazine and subconsciously universe was conspiring to support me in that direction too. Little did I know that when I would graduate I would already have a 3 year old architectural digital magazine.
When I look back in time I really get surprised how the dots in the story connect so well. If you really want to start something you really need to believe in it from the core of your heart . I have felt such kind of positive energy twice in my life.
a. When I decided I want to be an architect.
b. When I started Arch Attire while pursuing architecture.
Because thoughts have power to move the world. Believing and working on both these thoughts changed my world. I am glad I am on this path and every day is an enriching experience to life.
Q.Have you quit architecture to pursue full time career in blogging?
A. No architecture has made Arch Attire what it is today and there is no hiding from that. Infact I don’t see Arch Attire just as a blog but a digital company that offers services like design consultancy, designing and building spaces, influencer networking campaigns, brand reviews, digital adverts, marketing consultancy and personalized content curators. Yes, I agree that I am not working in a mainstream way but I feel grateful that I have got to choose a path which is quite different and I would love to set some trends.
Q.How does Fashion and Architecture connect?
A.While in college I learnt that every design has a principal language . eg: Fluidity, Direction, Parallelism, Symmetry etc. If you say show me ‘Fluidity’. I will show you a dress that is fluid and flowy and then I can show you probably a building that has a fluid facade too. There you go! Architecture and Fashion speak same design language and are created on similar design principles.
Q. What are your future plans?
A. In India we want to bridge the dearth of untouched sanctum of architecture inspired fashion. For the same we are working on launching two more digital properties at Arch Attire this year.
Q.Why did I name my brand ArchAttire?
A. Architecture and Fashion are two basic attires needed for human’s survival. The right choices a person forges from these two basic aspects builds a sound and exemplary lifestyle for human. Everyone strives to possess the trendiest of attire, be it hippiest housing or the most fashionable clothing. Arch Attire pledges to serve both.”
Q.Can you make a career out of blogging?
A. In digital age everything is possible. If you really wish to make a career in blogging. Know your niche, build a proper website and focus on curating good content. You could be a doctor, engineer, singer, artist, model but if you have opinions put it out there. The world will listen.
Q.Which are your most favorite brand collaborations so far?
Well I have worked with more than 700 brands in the past 3 years and each association is equally important to me as I love my job and I see each collaboration as an opportunity to curate unique content every time. But personally the collaborations that has given me some best of the memories are:
Autodesk – Being an architect, Autodesk is the most prime software we use. I am glad I got to represent them on their global platforms.
Jewelove – This has been so far my longest tie-up with any brand. We planned an entire calendar of stories for them and we have created most versatile and unique content for the brand. We always think of innovative ideas of creating content and I enjoy when the brand respects and gives you your own creative space. Jewelove is a classic example of my platinum collaborations and we explore so much together.
LorealParisxBalmain: I personally loved being a part of this global campaign because the content brief was quite bold and I think my personality resonates quite well with the vibe brand spells with this limited edition of lipsticks. I love to experiment with bold colors when it comes to make up. Although we had to do a 45 seconds video, we almost ended up shooting for 18 hours at a stretch for this one.
Birdhichand Jewellers: Birdhichand Jewellers are by far the most impressive jewellery brand that understands the power of digital media. They are so swift and their efficiency is effortless every time we have worked with them. We have personally discussed every association with Director Mr. Yash Agarwal and his innovative skills have made them the top jewellers in the country. We have promoted the brand at Lakme Fashion Week, Amazon India Fashion Week and GQ Best Dressed. I am happy to see how the brand has reached great heights and is globally renowned with their premium jewellery.
Q. Any lessons learnt ?
A. I am a firm believer of self love and self confidence. If you have these two things no body can take you down. Also I never run comparisons of my life with others. The fun is to enjoy what you are doing and you can only do that if you focus on your dreams and work on making it happen. At the end of the day it is extremely important to be grateful for everything you have in life. And I am extremely grateful that I get to say this today with a prefix Ar. before my name.
#Gratfeul #ProudMoment #Happy #Love #Hugs #ArSwatiSharma
Convocation Ceremony – Ar. Swati Sharma
College – IES College of Architecture, Bandra
(B- arch) Bachelors Degree in Architecture
UNIVERSITY OF MUMBAI