WADe Asia is universe for female designers, artists and architects, celebrating women-led development in Architecture, Art and Design in Asia. It is the federation of World Women Artists, Architects and Designers. WADe Asia was started with the following objectives:
* Ensuring visibility of Women-led projects
* Bridging Mentorship between Leading & Aspiring Designers
* Standing by those who want to come back to the profession
* Encouraging, Sharing & Learning through Research
* Celebrating the Life, Work and Achievements of Women in Design
* Rewards & Recognition
Founded by Vertica Dvivedi, WADe was launched as WADe India in May 2016 and received a lot of applause. In continuation of the same, the recently concluded annual celebration of WADe Asia 2017 received enormous response. “Attended by more than 700 Architects, Designers & Artists over 2 days, the coming together of 6 countries, India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Thailand, WADe Asia was magnanimous beyond our imagination,” said Madhurima Chowdhury, Associate Director, WADe Asia.
WADe was aptly supported by the Indian Institute of Architects (IIA), Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID), Bhutan Institute of Architects (BIA), Society of Nepalese Architects (SONA) and Confederation of Women Entrepreneurs (COWE). The Keynotes by Didi Contractor, Padma Bhushan awardee Rajeev Sethi, Christopher Charles Benningerand Nela de Zoysa from Sri Lanka were most enthusiastically attended. WADe Asia is proud to have speakers like Shimul Javeri Kadri, Anupama Kundoo, Sonali Bhagwati, Parul Zaveri and Canna Patel in ‘WADe Masterclass with Mentors’ which was one of the highlighting sessions. Young architect, Manishi Aggarwal communicated the questions to the mentors on behalf of the aspiring ones.
With a host of Panel Discussions, Keynotes, MasterClass, Book launches, Students Workshop in association with IIA, WADe Asia had apt dose of entertainment as well. Stand-up comedy by Rajneesh Kapoor was thoroughly enjoyed. Also present were Bollywood Actress Bhagyashree and the soulful Singer Hema Sardesai. The panel moderated by Anuradha Chatterjee from Australia had international guests like Dorji Yangki, President, Bhutan Institute of Architects; Anju Malla Pradhan, VP, Society of Nepalese Architects, Nepal; Shamima Sharmim & Nadia Farah, Bangladesh, and Patama Roonrakwit, Case Studio, Thailand. Other talks were ‘Design Journey’ moderated by Sonal Sancheti, ‘Business of Architecture’ moderated by Ramprasad Akkisetti, ‘Slum & Shelters’ by Gita Balakrishnan and ‘Building with love’ by Payal Kapoor. Some of the panelists were Lalita Tharani, Rahul Sabrawal, Prasanna Desai, Swanzal Kak Kapoor, Pragati Jain and Supraja Rao. A special talk session called ‘Time is Changing’ had quick talks by change makers like Tanvi Jain, Tanya Khanna, Kavita Murugkar, Shweta Deshmukh, Maitri Buch and Pavitra Sri Prakash.
Brinda Miller was the jury for WADe Asia Artist Award. This edition of WADe saw the coming of beautiful arts and artworks by young women artists from around India. Receiving of WADe Asia Life Time Achievement Award by Didi Contractor received standing ovation from audience. The 88 year old lady is known for designing sustainable architecture in the Himalayan region with local materials like clay, bamboo, slate, river stone etc. When her name was announced on stage, actress Bhagyashree decided to step down the stage to give Didi the award.
Neera Adarkar of Adarkar Associates, Mumbai, was awarded the WADe India Special Contribution Award 2017 for Academics, Research and Social Cause. Pratima Joshi from Pune received the WADe India Special Contribution Award for Social Cause. She is passionately steering Shelter Associates that works to improve the quality of life of India’s urban poor, by delivering low-cost housing and sanitation solutions in urban slums. Neelam Manjunath from Bangalore is an architect, planner, activist and theoretician. Since decades, she is doing remarkable work in promoting one of the most versatile naturally available materials, Bamboo. She has been awarded WADe India Sustainability Champion 2017.
Vertica Dvivedi shared her vision for WADe Asia. “My vision for WADe is to see it move beyond me. We have created the medium and will act as enabler and facilitator. It is time for you to step in, take ownership and give more meaningful direction to this movement.”
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