The Twelfth Annual Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectual Design Excellence 2010
Berkeley Prize 2010

Ishanie Niyogi

Born in the historic city of Calcutta (now Kolkata), I traversed the length and breadth of my country due to my father’s official postings. As a child I did not much appreciate such frequent moves and separations from my friends at school. But now turning back I do appreciate the impressions they left, enriching me with India’s varied cultures.

Since early childhood I recognized the creative instincts hibernating within me. Thus art, debating, oratorical, singing, dance & dramatics became a way of life with me thus molding, guiding me at every stage to choose a creative career line.  
 
During my final year in high school, after winning a National Debate Competition, my school principal, presented me with a book on Architecture and Cultural heritage. That book was a revelation. Now, looking back as a student of architecture I realize, this exposure to the rich cultural diversity and myriad architectural styles prevalent in India left deep imprints, motivating me to pursue architecture as a professional course.
 
I truly appreciate architecture that matures with time reflecting its history. But I also look at the current rate at which development adorns which leaves us no choice but to save energy and other resources.  I consider saving our architectural heritage and responsible design equal priorities. It was only after I took a course on conservation and heritage management in college that I realized there was a way to integrate both these requirements – adaptive reuse! 
 
Since then there has been no looking back. I have chosen to do my impending final year thesis project on restoration and adaptive reuse and I am planning to intern with firms specializing in these areas.  I know I have finally found my niche in the field of architecture and hope to contribute something of significance to the community that has given me so much. I hope to carry the work that started with this essay, and in future give it a more substantial form as an Architect."

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Ms. Ishanie Niyogi, Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, India
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