WADe Asia 2018: An Amalgamation of Architecture, Design and Women Empowerment

By Vasundhara Dudeja in Events 06/09/2018

If one were to talk about breaking myths through women pioneering in engineering, designing and architecture all at the same time; WADe Asia 2018 proved to be just the place for it!


Organised from 31st August to 1st September 2018, WADe Asia 2018 (World Women Architects, Artists, Designers, Engineers Ecosystem) saw the biggest gathering of professionals in art, architecture and design business to promote and empower the work led by women in a male-dominated industry.


WADe Asia 2018 was made up of a myriad of things including panel discussions, talks, performances, interactive sessions and WADe Asia Award Ceremony sporadically organised within two days with a singular aim to celebrate the unseen power of women in architecture and design.


Raj Rewal, the supremely regarded legendary architect graced the event with his keynote speech and ‘Indian Modernity’ a film by Manu Rewal delved into his unique designs which redefined the landscape of modern architecture.


Raj RewalRaj Rewal at WADe Asia 2018


Madhav Raman, a renowned architect from New Delhi, who was also the special host of WADe Awards 2018, said, “People have long been differentiating between architecture and design through broad strokes which are both biased and stereotyped. WADe Asia, not only front ends this conversation but has also maintained its reputation for constantly pushing women in architecture to the front row”


The panel discussions that took place in the course of two days like City & Heritage, The Future of Design and WADe Masterclass with Mentors threw light on various aspects of architecture and design. Women Leaders in Design & Architecture Education of India, Design Journey, Messages from Architect Parents to Architect Daughters and Business Intelligence in Designs were entirely women-centric discussions contemplating the nuances of progression of women in this field.


Mr Pinaki Nandy, one of the speakers, presented some shocking statistics in architecture and design.


“50% of architects are women and yet only 3% make it to the top. Similarly, in design 70% are women and only 11% are at the top”

These numbers not only reinforced the reason to have platforms like WADe Asia to promote gender equality but also brought up and celebrated firms like MorphogenesisDSP Design Associates,  Kamath Deisgn Studio, and more.


Namita Singh, who won the WADe India Lifetime Achievement Award 2018, during her speech, coursed through an exceptional journey through a more prominent male dominant architectural world and still made her name to be added as one of the most renowned women architects India has seen.


Namita Singh, Lifetime Achievement Award at WADe Asia 2018Namita Singh receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at WADe Asia 2018


WADe Asia Awards 2018, besides giving awards to winners through competition under WADe Excellence, YoungWADe, WADeArtist (Painting & Photography), also had awards through nomination viz. WADe Lifetime Achievement Awards (Yasmeen Lari and Namita Singh), WADe Sustainability Champion 2018 (Revathi Kamath), WADe Role Model 2018 (Sonali Rastogi) and WADe Woman Engineer of the year (Annie Sinha Roy).


Bandana Jain at WADe Asia 2018To encourage young designers to use and promote Sustainable Materials, WADe introduced YoungWADe Sustainability Enthusiast Award which was presented to Bandana Jain this year.


Heart touching moments like India’s 1st woman Tunnel Engineer, Annie Sinha Roy,  who broke out into tears while receiving the WADe Woman Engineer Award as this was the first and most unexpected recognition received gave a flair of warmth to the whole event.


Annie Sinha Roy receiving the WADe Woman Engineer Award 2018Annie Sinha Roy receiving the WADe Woman Engineer Award 2018


WADe Asia 2018 witnessed the launch of PHD Women Entrepreneurs Committee. That combined with some excellent keynotes from architecture veterans like Raj Rewal, Namita Singh, Revathi Kamath made WADe Asia reverberate with an aura of high spirit and dynamism.


Women Entrepreneur CommitteeThe announcement of PHD Women Entrepreneurs


The cultural aspect of the event was exemplified by the performances of India’s first women Ghatam Artist Sukanya Ramgopal on the first day and storytelling session by Mehak Mirza Prabhu on the second day. Samuel Budiono gave an exquisite talk about music and architecture wonderfully merging two absolutely diverse things into one forming his inspiration. Evening performance by Singer & architect Samir Date along with Dipalee Date was soulful and enjoyed by the audience.


Vertica Dvivedi, the woman behind it all, with her stupendous energy and dedication to make something so huge stand up in all its glory from the scratch formed as one of the most outstanding personality of the event.


“Positivity and inspiration are all that this event was about! Even though these two days were insane, these two days were the ones where I lived to my fullest and I can’t wait to go through it all over again the next time!”


Truth be told, we can’t either!



Vasundhara is an in-house content creator. Other than past experiences of writing including writing as an Intern for The Hindu and various other platforms, she is also an engineer, a dancer, and a bibliophile.

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