Monday through Friday, you can find Radhika Shah sitting at her desk sipping on a hot cup of tea with a thoughtful look on her face. Shah joined the ATI team in the summer of 2019 as a Job Captain and has been working primarily on industrial and commercial projects. But Shah actually began her Architectural career in India, over ten years ago.
Upon the completion of her education, Shah initially worked on Residential designs and then obtained experience working on commercial, retail, urban planning, and government projects. When she came to the US in 2014, she was exposed to projects in the science and technology sector and had the opportunity to design Pharmaceutical Labs and Medical Research Labs. Though she genuinely appreciates a variety of projects, she enjoys labs and industrial/commercial projects the most.
A few weeks ago, we had the chance to sit down with Shah and converse about the day to day life in the Architecture industry.
What does a typical day look like for you?
“It’s always exciting and I get to learn new things every day. The best thing about my job at ATI Architects + Engineers is that every project is unique, and even if certain aspects of the job stay the same, there are always things that are different. I face new challenges each time I enter the office and it adds a spark to every day. Some days are all about meeting deadlines or researching for upcoming pursuits, but for the most part, I spend my time creating new inspiring designs.
What is the most challenging aspect of working in the field of Architecture?
“There is no ‘off’ switch; sometimes that’s great and sometimes it’s challenging. The architectural design process is very consuming. When I’m in that zone of conceptualization or designing, my mind is in it, regardless of the time of the day. I think about it while I’m driving, eating, and even while I’m dreaming- it doesn’t end until a concept and design is finalized.”
What inspired you to pursue a career in Architecture?
“I have always been inclined towards an artistic and creative discipline. My school was across the street from an architectural university. Every now and then they would display big installations and exhibitions of students work, seminars, and other cool events open to the public. I would attend those events after school and that was when I was inspired and decided to learn more about the architecture discipline.”
What do you think it takes to be an exceptional Architect?
“Determination is key, just like in many other fields—you have to be a good problem solver, and a persistent one. Patience—designs change throughout the process and you have to work with your clients each step of the way, and as designs change, you have to continue to coordinate with the other disciplines involved, such as structural, Civil, MEP, etc. Curiosity—you have to be curious, ask questions, and be eager to learn new things. When an architect understands how other disciplines work around them, they inherently become better at designing.”
What do you enjoy most about the Architectural field?
“Every day is different and because of that, I continue to learn new things. When I design a residence, I learn about comfort in personal spaces. I learn about human behavior in a non-confined and non-societal setting. While when I design a Lab, I learn how research is conducted and how clean environments are imperative to their work. So every project is an opportunity to learn something original.”
Working in the field of Architecture allows Shah to practice creative freedom and has sculpted her into an innovative problem solver. She is constantly challenged to think outside the box, and that’s clearly a big part of why she loves her job and thrives in her profession.
When asked what she enjoys most about working for ATI Architects + Engineers, Shah said she “enjoys the culture here, everybody is so talented and I love the environment of knowledge sharing. The projects are amazing and the exposure is great.” And ATI couldn’t be happier to have Shah on the team! Keep up the good work.