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Poonam Verma Mascarenahs on The Life and Work of an Asian Woman Architect
5 April, 2021
The ‘Women in Architecture in South Asia’ conference in the year 2000 by HECAR Foundation in Mumbai is a touchstone in my memory. The most striking moment that stands out distinctly from the three days of uplifting proceedings was the release of the book The Life and Work of an Asian Woman Architect by Minnette De Silva. The presentation prior to release attributed the advent of ‘Tropical Modern’ to Minnette, which has been popularly associated with Geoffery Bawa, another Srilankan Architect, whose works have and continue to inspire. This perhaps was the beginning of my becoming aware of the tendency to celebrate male architects more than the women. It took another two decades to fully grasp the implications, as I was focused on my professional acumen and work, and the influence of gender and its perception eluded my thought process.