The entire practice is delighted to congratulate Kavita Dhande on completing her architectural education and successfully passing her Part III assessment. Kavita is based in our Birmingham studio and is an active member of the local and national architectural community, serving as a board member of the Birmingham Architecture Association and a Women in Architecture committee member. Kavita shares a part of her journey and how she reached this milestone.
- What encouraged you to pursue a career in architecture?
My enthusiasm for Architecture developed after a trip to Italy aged 11. My mother gifted me a book on Architecture, which encouraged a passion for detailing, the design of all aspects of a building and a fascination with how building worked. My admiration for the intricacies of a building is complimented by a love of craft and detailing.
Now, the varying roles of an architect and these responsibilities are my greatest interests in the profession. The construction and technology of buildings as well as the process from concept through to users and uses is my greatest intrigue in the subject.
- What does creativity mean to you?
Creativity has always been a means to express emotions, thoughts, feelings and beliefs using alternative means. I have always had a passion for anything to do with creating and making. Generally, my childhood was extremely creative and I was constantly encouraged to engage in various aspects of creativity
- How have you got to where you are today?
I completed my undergraduate degree at Northumbria University in Newcastle. I grew up in Birmingham, but I chose to study in a new city to maximise my experience by learning in a new environment. With the school being a part of the Built Environment department, I found the course to be more attuned to my enjoyment in detailing, the intricacies and understanding of the construction of buildings.
Upon completing my Part I, I decided to go backpacking to South-East Asia and explored the wonders of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. I returned to my home city and started my Part I placement the following Spring. I decided to continue working while studying so I could continue learning and experience in practice. I started my Part II studies at Birmingham City University and completed my Masters.
I moved to Corstorphine & Wright during my Part II studies and just before the COVID lockdown where I continued at BCU for my Part III studies.
- What do you do in your spare time?
I have an avid interest in Social Responsibility, Diversity and Inclusion, and Ethics in architecture as well as student engagement. I currently sit on the Board of the Birmingham Architecture Association, the committee for Women in Architecture, support RIBA as an Architect’s Ambassador and am an Ambassador for the Architect’s Benevolent Society.
Alongside engaging with the professional community, I’m currently trying to build my own house so a lot of time is invested in that. (Let me know if you want any advice on what NOT to do…!).
When it’s completed, I am looking forward to returning to enjoying anything to do with creating and making, reading, swimming, and cooking. The Birmingham Studio has a bit of a badminton team going but I don’t think we’ll be in the next Olympics!
- What advice would you have for someone who was about to start their own Part III?
The three key things I have learned which have helped me through my development are:
- When you do a good job – great! Be proud of your achievements and have confidence in your skills, knowledge and experience. When you don’t know or get something slightly wrong – it’s okay. In this profession, every project you work on, client you work with and practice you work at will be completely different and every day will be a school day!
- You’re only as good as the people around you. Get out there and immerse yourself in the industry – there have been so many people I have met outside of the studio that have helped me get to where I am today. Sign up for that talk, go to that event, be brave and speak to that person! There are lots of people around you who have been in the position you are in and are willing to help.
- You are so close! Whilst Part III seems so daunting, you’ve gotten through Part I and Part II. I think we set up Part III to be this impossible event in our lives but use this time (especially the interview) to realise how far you’ve come, what you’ve achieved and showcase your passion and how proud you are. Crazy as it seems – try to enjoy it!