Zainab Mukadam
Director – Design|Workplace Strategist-Concept Consilio India Pvt Ltd (Interview PART-1)

Being empathetic yet being cool, adaptable and flexible in approach, meet one of the power women in office design

Architects are indeed enablers and are unaware of the magnitude of impact they have feels Zainab Mukadam, they create an environment where everyone dreams and aspires and further materialise those dreams and aspirations.

Zainab is an architect specialised in the corporate industry, she is workplace strategist and is also the director of design at Concept Consilio India Pvt. Ltd. Apart from being an architect, she feels she is an aspiring poet and a writer, is a dreamer, she loves to read, loves literature and poetry, loves painting and feels words are her tools.

Zainab grew up in many countries during her formative years, she feels this has made her more adaptable. Since we are going global and interact with many people, due to her formative training, she can relate to other cultural identities and accept them too. Zainab feels that Architecture is not just about design, it is an all-encompassing profession, it is about business, communication, interaction, knowledge, up skilling, exposure, technology, sustainability and so on.
Being adaptable in approach and empathetic too at the same time

Zainab feels that most of the times the architects are unaware of the magnitude of impact they create, they create an environment where others dream, aspire and materialise those dreams and aspirations. She feels that designs are a reflection of the society, architects build that design and a good design defines itself rapidly. She feels that architects must design focusing on adaptability, as the environment is so volatile and fast changing, most of the times the change is accelerated. The structure, design and built environment should be in such a way that it adapts itself to the changing demands of the society that the architects design for. Zainab feels that a good design always evolves itself, it is evolutionary, a self-developing process and architects are enablers towards the design. She says that design is a cultural artifact, it is more like a Sudoku puzzle which presents itself after we fit in client’s requirements, geometry of the building, basic design principles like ergonomics, good sunlight, health and well-being and so on and the solution that evolves itself is hence design. Zainab also believes that empathy plays a major part in her design philosophy, how a design makes us feel especially when it comes to control or enhance our emotions through design.

Architecture is indeed a noble profession, integrity on top priority

Zainab follows and believes that one needs to be adaptable and flexible in our approach. For her, it has come through her formative years by living and learning from different cultures. It creates a symbiotic synergy. An architect needs to be sensitive towards the client requirements and have best intention at heart. Since Zainab is an avid reader, her thought process was molded after reading Dale Carnegie’s books on thought leadership. One should genuinely have best intention at heart, be honest to self, have sense of integrity and the results will show up and we will end being satisfied too. Architecture is indeed a noble profession. An architect should know about nobility which is the source of good for fellow people and mother earth too, being sustainable, be a part of CSR initiatives, follow recycling, being sensitive. An architect needs to be curious too, finding ways to up-skill themselves, she believes that there is a takeaway in each conversation. Every interaction is an opportunity to learn, to grow, we have to find that opportunity to learn and adapt. A clear vision and intention are necessary so that we have a clear idea where we are heading to, the right direction. Our end goal should be clear, if it is clear then everything will fall in place. There are other business-related aspects which we need to follow and implement such as knowing the market updates, cater to the changing business needs, know the volatile market, know about the import and export policies etc.

Being jack of all traits and master of one

Zainab gives priority to diversification, one should know all the aspects of their profession, be aware, upgrade themselves, find a niche for themselves and specialise. We should have a core competency. She also suggests that one should consult the experts when needed, take informed decisions and have a sense of intellectual humility, the ability to listen to others, accept that “I do not know everything”. To be continued. >>