Lalita Tharani, Principal Architect, Collaborative Architecture
Collaborative Architecture, with its design centres in Mumbai and Calicut, is headed by Lalita Tharani and Mujib Ahmed. Under their leadership, the multi-faceted firm has grown to be reckoned amongst the best innovative practices in the country. Credited with more than 58 National and International awards, the firm is honoured to be invited by Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, New York, to be part of the ground-breaking Humanitarian Series Exhibition - Designing Peace, due in the first half of 2022.

I was a gold medallist during my academic term – an accomplishment for which I give credit to everyone who shaped my career directly and indirectly. I had the good luck to win the IIID national award for my very first project which opened doors when I started my own firm. Strangely, my professional striving became a daunting force once I merged the firm to form Collaborative Architecture with my partner, as I was reminded at every point by the clients, contractors, the industry and the architecture media alike, that I was the ‘woman partner’ of the Firm! It has been a constant thrust to be equally visible, but this is one of the many challenges that keep me motivated, along with scores of awards, recognitions, and encouragements that we have received.
I am raging to continue the progress my firm has made on the whole and make our brand of design one amongst the most innovative and admired while enriching people’s lives

Architecture, unfortunately, remains as an obdurate, recalcitrant bastion of male-dominated club; so much so that when the very first woman entered the elite club of global stars, and was called ‘Diva’, Zaha Hadid famously snubbed the term, calling out the profession’s tendency to fall back on gender stereotypes to celebrate achievements of women architects.

The Souk - Dubai Design Week - DubaiThe Souk - Dubai Design Week - Dubai

A quick look around the profession will validate that, in architecture, women are still largely considered as the facilitators, while men are considered as the famed prodigies. The biggest challenge women face in our field is the imaginary, pre-conceived role that women, by and large, are expected to adhere to.

House of Cantilivers - KeralaHouse of Cantilivers - Kerala

Be an ‘Icarus’ (the Greek mythological character) and reach out for the impossible …but replace the ‘wax’(from his wings) with perseverance, skill and grit.

Iconic Mosque -DubaiIconic Mosque - Dubai