Architect Karan Grover.
Architect Karan Grover.

Vadodara-based veteran architect Karan Grover speaks from the heart to the young and the successful

An excerpt from his presentation prior to the felicitation at the iGen Design Forum 2017

In today’s wealth of fast-paced information, it is no longer enough to focus on beauty without explanation. Which means that the process you use to create something is equally important as what you create, if not more. Each of you has been selected for different reasons, but each of you share at least one thing in common. You each represent a transformation in your field. Being labelled a transformer is not easy. Some of you will live up to this potential for the remainder of your careers, some of will exceed it and, although it’s sad to say, some will fail. For those of you that succeed, I dare you to constantly strive for more. To better yourselves with everything you do, and push yourselves to accomplish all you think is impossible. For those of you who exceed such high expectations, I implore you to give back. And… for those of you who fail, I challenge you to not accept failure as a loss, but instead use it to better yourselves and those around you. Failure is a part of life! However, how you accept such failure will either define you, or consume you.

Learn from each other, inspire each other, and challenge each other to be great. Knowledge is not contained to one arena, it does not live in a cage. So open your minds to new ideas, and never stop for an instant. We have great challeng-es ahead of us, and we need each of you at your best. Issues such as urbanism will not be solved by a single individual. Instead, it will require a collective collaboration of many, and the cooperation of society as a whole.

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Today, architects must offer far more than years before. While some might think this is a burden, I see it as better-ment to our profession. We can challenge ourselves like never before, and reach new heights – not only within our designs, but also in our understanding of design itself. The power of design is infinite, and inescapable. Design is as ubiquitous as air, and is just as often taken for granted. We must re-examine and re-invent techniques from our past that remain useful. And we must continue to innovate new capabilities, and new systems.

Along the way, your skills will improve further. You will learn new techniques and new strategies that will only help you broaden your horizons. And please don’t misinterpret originality for individuality. As individuals, we each process information in different ways – which means that our solu-tions will differ, along with how we arrive at those solutions. This is where our individual originality has a viable place. A wall will always be a wall – but how we design that wall, how we plan for its existence, and our inspiration behind it are what really matters.

Each of you has opinions, and each of you need to be heard. You are the voices for generations to come. Voices that will alter the very future of Indian design… Embrace this fact and use it to your advantage. Each of you holds within yourselves the ability to inspire others. Not only with the boldness of your designs, but also with the content of your character.

I challenge you to see the very best you can be, and push yourselves to be better. To stand up for a worthy cause, and to pursue your passions with an open mind and a creative spirit. Don’t be afraid to stand up for something you know is right. Don’t be pressured to walk away or alter your course. Stand your ground and use your ingenuity to solve the problem, no matter how complex it may be. Each of you has a voice to be heard, so please ensure that it echoes with a resilience that forces us all to take notice.

I challenge you to push the boundaries of possibilities. To create new hope, new ideas and newfound principles. I challenge you to accomplish more than generations before you. To succeed where others have failed, or create solutions to seemingly endless problems. I challenge you to give back more than you take. To use your knowledge and abilities to improve the quality of life of complete strangers.

I challenge you to dream big and carry hope in your hearts, but most of all I challenge you to be more than you ever thought you could become. You have my help, my best wishes and my congratulations.



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