Interview:Dr. Vibhavari Kumar(Archi-REC-T)

Please state your current profile and explain your profile.

I’m an associate professor at NIFT Bangalore, currently, I’m the center coordinator for foundation programme and I’m also the link chairperson for the department of fashion coordination. Chairperson is basically a country head.


How did you make the shift from architecture to fashion technology?

When I was in architecture, I felt that in architecture I was growing only vertically and I was actually not digressing and there was no lateral thinking that was happening. So that’s when an opportunity came and NIFT had advertised for architects. So 2003 is when I applied and I got in.


Being an Architect, what are the different career options available to you?

If you look at a lot of leading names in the fashion industry, you can see people having a background in Architecture. For example, Tom Ford was an architect. There are people who are into product designing, graphic designing, furniture designing, fashion designing, accessory designing, who probably started off as architects. I feel architecture degree prepares you not only in terms of art but also for design.


What are the soft skills to be acquired in work culture?

Design thinking is what you need in this field. You have to be different and creative. Attitude is very important. If your attitude is right, you will be open to learning everything.


What is the extent one should go to find a balance between work satisfaction and monetary satisfaction?

I would suggest, initially keep the money at bay. I can give you the example of one of my students from NIFT who’s gone to Australia. He’s actually worked in Bangalore for 2 years and he was getting paid quite well and then he wanted a shift in his career so he went to Australia. He applied for an internship because they don’t directly take you in for work. He was not getting paid, so he was working the whole day there and then he worked at a restaurant in the evening. Today he’s built quite a name for himself in that same company.


Why do people get bored (occasionally, even if not always) with the jobs they wanted in the first place?

Probably because that’s not what they wanted. One needs to do a lot of introspection and figure out what they really want to do. From time to time, we should do a self SWOT analysis to figure out is this what I want to do.


How can one be sure that a certain career path is right for them? What is a good way to make that decision?

I suggest you give yourself a time of 2 years, where even if you’re working, you consider it as an internship. You learn different trades and when you’re working 6 months with different people, it’s only then you realize that this is what I want to do. Because there’s not much clarity as architecture has so many streams.

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