Could you give a brief introduction of yourself and your current profile?
I am Ganesh Ramachandran from 1996 batch. After college, I worked for a couple of years in the field of urban design and planning and then went to the US to do Masters in architecture followed by a Masters in urban design from University of California, Berkeley. I worked in the US for about 8 years in the field of large-scale planning and urban construction. Currently, I am an urban designer and I have worked for the government, non-profit organizations, college campuses, private companies, etc.
What skills are necessary to follow the career path you have chosen?
To be an urban designer, teamwork and patience is very necessary. Cities are not built in a day or by one man. You must be a keen observer, patient listener, and a good collaborator. You should realize that you will have to work out in the open and not within the luxuries of a studio. You should be an acute observer of the strengths that other members of the team posses and use those strengths in a positive way. Also, you must realize that while working on urban grounds, you can’t keep everyone happy. There are people who will discourage and challenge you. You must have the necessary strength of character to move on and also, must have good communication skills to put your ideas across in a convincing way.
Do you feel the college helps in every way possible? Or are there some inadequacies?
Any college can help only up to a certain limit. It is up to us to evolve as a professional and grow every day. However, if you go on to take up a project on a large-scale then you might face some difficulties because the skills for working on a large-scale project cannot be developed in a place like Trichy or even Chennai. Anyways, I feel that the most important thing is an open mind and the desire to remain a student forever and keep learning new things and NIT Trichy definitely tries to cultivate this attitude in each and every student.
To what extent should we find a balance between work satisfaction and monetary satisfaction?
It varies from person to person. Those not from a financially stable background would definitely place monetary satisfaction over work satisfaction while others who have a good backing would keep work satisfaction as their primary objective.
How easy is it to branch off after college and choose to follow a career path other than architecture?
In this day and age, it is very easy to branch off. Many celebrities who are architects have chosen totally different careers. Anand Mahindra was an architect. Even the members of Pink Floyd, the band, were architecture dropouts. So, if you have the will and passion to follow another career path and definitely a bit of luck, you can definitely branch off.
How can one know if a particular career path is right for him/her or not?
There is no exact way to make this decision. There are people with multiple careers so you don’t necessarily need to stick to one particular career path itself. Moreover, I feel it is very important to love what you do. If you wake up every morning with no sense of excitement about going to work then you must seriously rethink what you are doing in life.
What is the future of architecture in India?
There is a lot of future for architecture in India. India is one of the few countries with a high economic growth rate. There is an ever-growing need for housing and shelter and with such a high demand and limited resources, there is a huge need to think out of the box. Thus, every hard-working and passionate architect has a very bright future in India.