WADe India is a dedicated platform for woman architects and designers of India. The platform was successfully launched on 14 May 2016 at The Leela Ambience Gurgaon with the aim to recognize the Role Models and Emerging Young designers leading the women-led development in the field of architecture and designing. Founded by Vertica Dvivedi, WADe had presence of eminent architects & interior designers from across India. Some of the delegates include Guest of Honour Dr. Kiran Bedi, Chief Guest Dr. Nazma Heptulla, Designers Sussanne Khan & her mom Zarine Khan. The event was anchored by celebrity Television actor Hussain Kuwajerwala.
WADe India launch event 2016 witnessed presence of 45-60 high profile women designers, more than 200+ top designers from across India, and more than 350+ delegates in total. About 85% of the attendees were female and 24% of attendees were below 30 years of age, which clearly indicates how keenly the young ones are following this initiative.
Soon after registration in the morning the event was inaugurated by none other than India’s 1st & highest ranking woman IPS officer, Dr. Kiran Bedi. Lamp lighting was done by Dr. Bedi,Ar. Divya Kush,President – Indian Institute of Architects, Prof. Krishnarao Jaisim, Ar. Prem Nath, and Mr Sarosh Wadia, Vice President, IIID.
Vertica Dvivedi, Founder, WADe India, introduced WADe to the audience and invited Dr. Kiran Bedi for the opening speech which was apt for the audience and powerful for the nation. Dr. Bedi said, “I feel great to be a part of WADe India initiative. Women Designers needed such a platform to connect & grow. I wish Vertica and WADe India all the success.”
At the WADe India launch event in Gurgaon, it was a great sight to see the Top Women designers and the young emerging ones sharing the same space. Sussanne Khan and Zarine Khan were seen mingling and clicking photos with young aspiring designers. Role Models were felicitated and the emerging young architects were recognized and awarded.
The panel discussion – Challenges for Women Designers to start own practice in India and the ways to overcome, had Ar. Shiela Sri Prakash, Ar. Anupama Kundoo, Ar. Sonali Bhagwati, Ar. Parul Zaveri and Ar. Canna Panel on panel that was moderated by Anuradha Chatterjee. These leading women shared their stories of starting their own practise, the good and not-so-good, as well as milestones, and the points that young women should remember.
The third panel discussion was not only interesting but also insightful for couples working together in architecture & design business. A Retrospective: From the successes of Men-Women partnership firms & women only firms had prominent panellists Lalita Tharani & Mujib Ahmed, Krupa Zubin & Zubin Zainnudin, Santha & Kalhan Mattoo, and Annkur Khosla. The fun-filled discussion probably brought a good amount of learning points for panellists among each other and for the guests. It was moderated by Lipika Sud. A brief but stimulating session was there by Professor of Marketing, Ramendra Singh, IIM Calcutta on importance of Marketing & Promotion for Women Leaders in Architecture Design.
Immediately after the lunch, it was time for special entertainment when Vasu Primalni was on stage for her stand-up comedy. It was hilarious and full of laughter. Vasu is the recipient of Nari Shakti Puraskar from the Govt. of India. She is also one of the top 3 female stand-up comedians of India, Triathlete, and Environmentalist.
Chief Guest Dr. Najma Heptulla, Union Minister for Minority Affairs was unable to attend due to ill health. However, the message that she sent for WADe India was read out which was full of motivation for the audience.
Ar. Sanjay Puri, Principal, Sanjay Puri Architects, Mumbai, paid an emotional tribute to Ar. Zaha Hadid, the Queen Architect of this world and the 1st among women to win the Pritzker prize. Zaha Hadid left us for her heavenly abode on 31 March this year.
The Award ceremony started right after this. Hussain Kuwajerwala, Celebrity Television Actor & Anchor took over the stage with his warm & inviting presence. With every name of the Role Model, their vision, dream or the selected Roles they would play for WADe India was proudly announced. Vertica Dvivedi, Founder, WADe India, gave away the awards for the Role Models and Special Category, while Ar. Prem Nath, Ar. Divya Kush, Prof. Krishnarao Jaisim and Mr. Sarosh Wadia gave away the awards for the Emerging Category. The list of Awardees are posted at www.wadeindia.com which includes Namita Singh, Brinda Somaya, Sheila Sri Prakash, Anupama Kundoo, Sonali Bhagwati, Abha Narain Lambah, Sonali Rastogi, Parul Zaveri, Shimul Javeri Kadri, Chitra Vishwanath, Lalita Tharani, Krupa Zubin, Santha Mattoo, Annkur Khosla, Nina Puri, Ponni Concessao, Seema Puri, Reny Lijo and Designers Sussanne Khan, Sunita Kohli, Raseel Gujral,
Shabnam Gupta, Rupana Reddy and many more leading names. Among the Emerging were Farah Ahmed Mathias, Pritika Kinra, Priyanka Khanna and B. Shweta. Madhavi Desai and Gita Balakrishnan were felicitated for their Special contribution to the industry. The special award for Innovative Young Architected was an initiative by Delta, thus aptly named WADe Delta Innovative Young Architect Award. Presentations by our other partners Nolte, Amulya, and Oligo were quite stimulating.
WADe India event 2016 was a warm space celebrating women-led development, bright with glowing faces. WADe is specially thankful to all the husbands and relatives of Awardees who have accompanied them to WADe India and added so much more happiness to this celebration. Special thanks to 9 year old little Leah, daughter of architects Reny Lijo and Lijo Jos from Thrissur who patiently sat beside her parents and attended the whole event. WADe extends heart warming thanks to Mrs. Usha Khosla, mother of Annkur Khosla who accompanied her daughter to make this celebration more special. She extended her love to others around and made the WADe team feel quite relaxed.
Since WADe is walking an untrodden path, it has faced several challenges in setting the concept. No amount of Thanking would be enough for expressing the roles that Jury members played for WADe India. All we can say is, “For than Jury, more than Friends for WADe and more than Dependable.” The event was concluded with a brief speech by Pragath Dvivedi, Director, Bigsea Marcom (I) Pvt. Ltd.