Women on top: Architect and urban conservationist Brinda Somaya brings together doyens from diverse design disciplines for Women in Design 2020+

JAN 5, 2020 | By Srishti Vaidyeshwaran

Twenty years after Brinda Somaya planned the first Women in Design conference, the venerable architect along with Nandini Somaya Sampat present the second edition titled Women in Design 2020+. This is a unique convention which will see the coming together of award-winning architects, conservationists, interior designers, educators, artists and leaders, who are shaping their industry and environment. Brinda Somaya, Chairperson for the conference, says it was born out of a need for networking and connecting with other women in the industry who shared similar challenges, and a platform for dialogue. Organised by the HECAR Foundation, the international conference will bring together leading professionals from diverse disciplines from around the world. With more than 35 women speakers and panellists, the event aims to showcase the imprint of women on architecture and design, while acting as a platform for discussions that will push the fold. Of all the bigwigs who will be present, these are the pioneers in the design world that we’re most excited about. Billie Tsien, the architect of the Obama Presidential Center; Martha Throne, the Executive Director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize; Chhavi Rajawat, the first female sarpanch from Rajasthan; Elizabeth Vines, a specialist heritage conservation architect who has consulted the UNESCO, the Getty Institute and the World Bank are among the speakers. Sunita Kohli, the first interior designer to be conferred the Padma Shri in 1992 and a member of the advisory committee of Rashtrapati Bhavan will also be present. From January 8-10, 2020 in Mumbai, the conference will touch upon multiple perspectives and vantage points with its varied panels and keynotes. Broad themes that will be part of the talks are the role of community in design and conservation, changes in design thinking and practices over the years, and the impact of architecture and restoration, among others. Women in Design 2020+ will also highlight the role of women in construction and crafts, along with inspiring stories and experiences.