YOGINI PHADKE–Founding Partner & Head on Business | Newarch Landscapes LLP
Architecture is one of the professions that demands dedication, hard work, creativity and an eye for details. An architect works towards providing comfortable spaces along with aesthetic appeal. In recent years, there is an increase in the viability and visibility of women in architecture and in the related design and construction industries. Despite all the challenges on a construction site, women have successfully contributed in designing spaces that are comfortable, functional and elegant.
Meet Yogini Phadke, Founding Partner & Head on Business at Newarch Landscapes LLP, Mumbai. With years of experience since 1999, in the field of Open Space Design Consultancy (Landscape Architecture), Yogini has played a key role in the organisation by contributing in shaping environmentally resilient, aesthetically appealing, and socially liberal open spaces to truly enrich the quality of life. She has been working towards actively strengthening Newarch’s progress. Her work was duly recognised when she won the much coveted ‘The Real Woman’ award in the year 2021.
Yogini shares her journey towards success in the construction industry as a ‘Landscape Architect’ with Construction Chronicle. Here are the exciting excerpts-
Your journey towards the landscape industry.
Yogini: While pursuing my studies for B. Arch, I was fascinated by one of the subjects called Landscape Design. So finally, my interest in the subject motivated me to gain more practical knowledge about the subject and I took up a vacation job in my 4th year with a reputed firm with my husband, who was also interested in pursuing landscape. After completion of the course we both decided to start our own firm in the year 1999 named NEWARCH Designs, which was converted into LLP organisation in the year 2012, and since then we are successfully practising open space design consultancy adhering to our key values which are reliability, progressiveness, versatility and meritocracy.
As a woman, what kind of challenges did you face or do you still face in the industry?
Yogini- As we are in the field of open space design consultancy we carry out an initial site survey visit. This is generally done when the site is in very natural condition ie. full grown grasses, wild shrubs, swamp, puddles etc. Sometimes construction work has not started or is in initial stages. In the year 1999, during my early days of commencement, I had to do urgent site visit while returning from a family function to Lonavla for a meeting with client for a bungalow project. As I was new to the field then, I was oblivious to the norms to be followed while visiting the site especially the kind of footwear. So, I wore open-toes short heeled sandals for my visit and I had tough time as the visit coincided with the rainy season. I still remember, as we were walking on the raw site talking to the client, I stumbled upon a rock but still continued walking. After a short while, I realised that the rock had caused deep injury which needed immediate stitching and that was done at the local hospital. Now, I am cautious while choosing clothes and shoes for site visit and this applies to all my lady team members.
The other challenges which I would like to mention is the long distances I had/have to travel to visit the site, no proper toilets on site, wet mud and swamp on sites that would make walking very difficult. Above all, there would always remain a fear for the snake attacks due to the presence of thick bushes all around. Today also, I have to be on high alert while visiting such open sites.
How a woman can make a difference in this industry?
Yogini: Women are more sensitive towards nature, and can contribute majorly towards sustainability. Sustainability, as we all know, is the present necessity to save the earth for tomorrow. So, I feel this sensitivity will create more eco-friendly eco system and durable solutions for open space improving the overall quality of atmosphere and air.
What is your message for other women who aspire to join this industry?
Yogini: It is a promising field for women who love to paint their hands with mud, enjoy the outdoors and are sensitive towards the atmosphere. I would like to share that our organisation also has many lady members who are passionate and dedicated towards their work and are carrying out their duties with success. There are women at our organisation who are working for last 14-15 years. We always motivate them to not quit work due to personal problems and help them to overcome them. So, I can proudly say that they have managed to balance their professional and personal lives, successfully and are our executive partners.