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A Sneak Peek into a Young Architect’s Life

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The development of budding talent is vital to securing the future of architecture. Take some tips from one such young and talented architect Umamah Khalid who is going the extra mile to add value to the field of architecture.

1. Can you give me a brief background of where you were trained as an architect and
what was your specialisation?
My basic education is from Beaconhouse National University and my specialisation was in architecture which mainly focuses on structures.

2. What skills have served you best in your architecture career?

I would have to say my eye for aesthetics and conceptual design, organisational skills
along with the way I imagine spaces while drawing have really helped me in favor of
being a good architect. Being organised is extremely important in any field as it allows a person to track and assess many details of each project and complete it perfectly within the given time-frame.

3. Which Pakistani and foreign architect most influences your work?

Mies Van Der Rohe is the most influential foreign architect which I look up to and he is the guru of spaces according to me. He is known for his role in the development of the most enduring architectural style of the era: Modernism. Mie’s minimalist style and his famous aphorism “less is more” is what I admire the most about him. Neat, clean and crisp lines are what contemporary artists need to learn from him.

4. When did you get to know that there is an architect inside you?

The moment I was born.

5. How do you plan a project and ensure that a project is completed within the timeline?

For every stage of a construction project, from the simplest to the most complex, there are certain steps and processes that need to be followed to ensure a successful outcome. There are normally four different steps within the design stage and they include programming and feasibility, schematic design, design development, and contract documents. During the programming and feasibility step, each of the objectives and goals of the project has to be outlined. We, at Architects Indesign, try to push ourselves and our staff in order to meet deadlines no matter what. We work day and night and 24/7 engagement in the projects is the key to success.

6. How do you balance practicality with an aesthetic appeal?

Some clients don’t see eye to eye with architects on what is “beautiful” or what is
“functional”. Example of aesthetics and function are; why the method of combination
makes sense or acknowledgment that client wishes may come first. This is something
which my training at BNU has really helped me. We have always focused on
functionality as well as form. So, we are not only trained to be form oriented architects.
For me, architecture is definitely habitable structures. On one hand, we experiment
as much as possible with the design by considering feasibility in terms of local
construction capabilities and budget. On the other hand, we also try to be careful
because very often clients ask for our opinions on all kinds of issues.

7. How important is it to go with the current trends in architecture?

According to me, one should not always go with the current trends in architecture. The aim is to be creative and come up with new designs every time which will ultimately set new trends in the field. Our firm belief is in creating stuff which is novel for everyone so we do not want to repeat whatever has happened.

8. Have you been influenced by the rich history of Islamic architecture of the Ottomans
or Abbasid Empires?

Well in terms of proportion yes but overall no. We learn a lot from that architecture in
terms of geometry and the right use of features but I’m more towards the contemporary side.

9. Have you ever experienced a situation, in which the client changed his mind when
your work had already progressed quite far? What did you do or what would you do in
such a situation?

It happens all the time and in such situations, we definitely redesign it for them with
another concept and that work keeps on adding to our portfolio. The architect’s job is a bridge between creativity and practicality, functionality and utilitarian structures. We always try to explain that to the clients and convince them so that our ideas align with each other.

10. Which is your favorite architectural building in Pakistan or anywhere else in the world
and why?

I like the bridges of Calatrava. They have a very dynamic sense of design and I love that.

11. Have you ever been in a situation where your ideas did not align with the client’s
idea? To what extent are you able and willing to meet a client's ideas, that don't
correspond to your taste of good design at all?

Our intentions are always tied to our clients’ intentions and the specifics of each project. We respond to the pragmatics first so that the clients are satisfied. Of course, I always try to push the design to provoke positive emotions, celebrate nature and go beyond utilitarian needs is an equally important function. Despite all that, this happens all the time that our ideas don’t align with the clients’ idea. Being the technical experts we try to make them come around to our terms.

12. How do you usually organize your work and which steps do you follow while working
on a new project?

First of all, we derive a concept of the design. Eventually, the concept has to lead to the aesthetic appeal of that design. Once we are done with the conceptual part, we start working to turn it into practical reality. Eventually, we have to do some working and detailed research in order to make the drawings. This is a standard procedure of making a design but as far as organising it is concerned, the whole team works hard in that part. So it’s not only me or one or two people. It’s a group of people turning the clients dream
into reality.

13. How do you divide your time between being a wife, and architect?

My husband is also an architect and we work together so it is easier for us. We are
overly ambitious people who have enabled us to come upon an understanding of
dividing the time evenly.

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Features

5 Life Changing Habits to Improve your Weight-loss Potential

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With ever-increasing trends of Keto, Banana, and GM diets, weight loss has become more of a trend instead of having a healthy lifestyle. As much as it is important to exercise and follow a proper diet schedule, we also need to closely monitor our everyday activities. It is mostly the habits that impede our weight loss process. If you are trying everything and still not losing weight; these are the habits you need to incorporate in your everyday routine to speed up your weight loss.

Proper water intake

There is no better fat and appetite killer than drinking a lot of water. Not only does it resolve your health concerns, but it also keeps your skin glowing and acne-free. Start drinking 8-10 glasses of water and you will witness a noticeable difference in your lifestyle and your weight loss journey as well. Another logic behind drinking water before every meal is to make oneself feel fuller so in order to reduce the calorie intake.

Take steps

The worst habit that is firmly ingrained in our lifestyle is “no walk”. We have started depending on machines and helpers around us that eventually makes us lazy and takes away the activity time from our everyday exercise. The most helpful habit is to take steps after every task. Here is a way to incorporate this habit into your routine. Every time you need to pick up anything from a distance, get up and take it instead of asking someone to help you. Take the stairs instead of escalators or elevators. Third and the most important step is to stop using the phone to convey a message to someone. Instead, take steps and keep the healthy habit of walking in your routine.

Cut down on sugar

Even if you are working out every day but still taking sugar, it will prolong your weight loss process. However, if you cut out the sugar intake, the chances of losing weight will increase. Start with cutting sugar beverages, energy, and sports drinks. If you have a habit of eating a whole piece of dessert after food, cut the quantity. These baby steps will help you eliminate the sugary items from your diet completely. 

No meals after 7 p.m.

Restrict your diet in the window of 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. because the lesser the number of hours in which you eat, the lesser will be the calorie intake. There is no as such strong evidence but only logical reasoning that calories you consume in the day get burnt up with the activities you do, whereas, the calories taken at night sit in your system and turn into fat. 

7-9 hours sleep

Lack of sleep can cause you fatigue, which would result in low physical activity. If you take proper sleep, your metabolism works faster and your mood also remains fresh. Moreover, the study also says that you burn calories while you are sleeping. Apart from that, to have a healthy lifestyle, a proper sleeping pattern is quite essential. Sleep deprivation can ruin the whole schedule of the next day making you less motivated and more exhausted. 

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Fashion

5 New Collections that Quickly Stole our Attention

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Every now and then, we are on the lookout to find clothes that perfectly align with modern-day trends. Every single week, one or the other clothing brand comes up with a new collection. But, do they really offer something new, unique and up to the mark? This is a tricky question. One should not just wear a dress that has a brand tag but should go for comfortability and the variety that it offers. For us, the most appropriate style is the one done with experimentation or the one that brings something out of the box. Behind each collection, there should always be a vision to bring something new, quirky and fun to wear.

These are 5 new collections that we absolutely loved and they have all the elements of class and sass that you need to pull any event.

Shisha AW ‘19 by Zara Shahjahan

Adorned with dainty and minimal sheesha work, these basic attires paired along delicate organza dupattas are sewn with a fair share of subtle oomph and grace. Immersed in sophistication, Zara Shahjahan’s new collection has got an edge to fit in the aura of any sumptuous event.

“Across the subcontinent, shisha embroidery has grown to be a symbol of identity, with various and particular styles of embellishment adopted across regions and borders. At home, it is commonly associated with Sindh, Pakistan but it is a practice that spans across Asia and afar, including Eastern Sumatra. It is claimed that the technique was introduced by the Mughals in the 16th century to the Indian subcontinent, with the Persian term ‘shisheh’ transferring over to Urdu/Hindi. We continue to look towards references that feel like home at Zara Shahjahan, and this technique is one that is heavily employed in this collection, hence aptly named ‘Shisha’. Take a closer look.” – Zara Shahjahan

Shahnoor by Anum Hassan

Dainty, refreshing and quirky!!! Anum Hassan’s Shahnoor is a mix of charming and vivacious hues merged with lively patterns and coruscating details embedded in each outfit. 

“Shahnoor means “royal glow”. I took the inspiration from my niece as her name is Shahnoor. So, the theme was to come up with bright and colorful patterns giving joyous vibes. To give it a subtle look, we have used darker tones as well. The main idea was to bring a range that is affordable for everyone. We have used a lot of stonework and threadwork on it. Its a fusion of tradition and modernity that goes very well with today’s trends.” – Anum Hassan

Lela AW’19 by Natasia Paul

We were totally awe-struck by Natasia Paul’s debut collection. This is probably a rare embodiment of classic and contemporary coming together on a plain canvas. Each piece radiates royalty with a sheer glam incorporating modern age captivating details. Whattay treat!!! 

 “Lela” is my first collection so goes without saying how special it is to me. The inspiration for “Lela” comes from gypsies around the world. I find the gypsy aesthetic quite appealing; it’s flamboyant, feminine and easy at the same time. They symbolise a nomadic lifestyle, freedom and progression. It feels like a wonderful fantasy as they’ve been able to escape from the hustling life that we have, but their reality is far from it.” – Natasia Paul

Saheli by Zainab Salman

Keeping in mind the erratic fashion trends, Zainab Salman’s new collection Saheli is a pure portrait of traditionality soused in elegance and exceptional craftsmanship. 

“Our new Bridal Campaign “Saheli” is about celebrating our legacy, empowering our craft and sharing a precious bond with the people we love. The pieces exude the deeply rooted, old-world charm. This collection is a translation of passion and love from our craftsmen and their expertise of turning materials into heirlooms, that can be cherished for the generations to come – Every piece in this collection has been curated with a lot of care and a lot of attention has been given to the detailing.” – Zainab Salman

Noor-ul-Ain by Asifa Nabeel

 Asifa Nabeel’s Noor-ul-ain creates magic with its fine craft and celebrates the glorious tradition with its vibrant hues, celestial cuts and magnificent embroidery put together in every outfit.

“This collection is a remembrance of the beautiful forgotten eras. We have brought rich palettes, golds and stunning embroideries to keep the old school glamour intact. It’s created for the people who cherish their past and are in love with their present. It’s a bridge between the past and present. It’s an old tale, called: Noor-al-Ain.” – Asifa Nabeel

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Beauty

Hira Waqar- Being a Superwoman

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Dr. Hira Waqar of Dental Smiles clinic has set a gold standard for working mothers as she strives to achieve as much as she can. She started out as a dental practitioner alongside her husband and decided to take time off as she became the mother of three young children. Still practicing dentistry, Hira has now expanded her horizons to include a side business of making and selling scrumptious sweet treats at her online page: Hira’s kitchen and is avidly pursuing her true passion, makeup.

  1. You clearly play many roles in your life (mother, wife, entrepreneur). Do you ever feel that one role overshadows another and if so, how do you cope?

we play many roles in our daily routine. I never let any role overshadow another. I stick to a particular time table according to my kids’ biological clock. I am a mother before anything else. I fulfill all of my responsibilities without seeking any help. I feed my children, I bathe them myself, put them to sleep, play with them, make sure their socioeconomic requirements are fulfilled; at the same time, I’m responsible for their behavior and their upbringing. In the same way, I am a good wife. I take care of my husband and his needs; looking after his home in his absence. We run a private Dental practice together and I used to go there full time previously, but now only by appointment during afternoon hours when my kids are asleep. In the evenings I look after my children and complete my baking orders at the same time. So I’m a multi-tasker by nature. I can’t sit idle.

 

  1. What inspired you to pursue a side business in baking?

Well, my daughter inspired me the most in doing Baking as a side business!

I’m a keen learner and a good baker. I live in a joint family system so family bonding could never be better than it is at the dining table. My husband and daughter have always appreciated my baking and motivated me to pursue it as a side business.

  1. What has been the most challenging part of running your business from home?

Since I live in a joint family we have a joint kitchen. Ergo the main challenge I face at times is that my orders shouldn’t coincide with family timings; so no one gets disturbed by my work. I also have to do the tasks unrelated to baking myself: from buying boxes to getting stickers, and printing menus. At times it can become difficult to drive around with 3 kids. But the Almighty gives me the strength.

  1. What were some of the obstacles you faced in setting up your business and how did you overcome them?

To be very honest I didn’t face any obstacles. I was thinking of starting my own business one day and I asked my husband to make me an online page. He did so and immediately I got my 1st order of cupcakes and a Brownie pizza. The next day I prepared my order but I didn’t have any boxes or logo stickers so I rushed to the market and bought boxes from a friend and got the stickers of my logo printed. I successfully delivered my 1st order. The very next day and Alhamdulilah the series of orders started. It was so quick that I didn’t even get any time to rethink, the response to my items turned out to be unexpectedly good.

 

  1. As a mother of three, what are some of your tips for other working women?

Hard work, consistency, patience and most of all faith in Allah. Believing in your capabilities is a key feature in running any successful business. Don’t ever underestimate yourself! You have power over your mind.

  1. Having a hectic schedule can be tough. What are some of the ways you cope with having too much work on your plate?

Don’t ever get panicked or think of your duties as a burden. Just love yourself and love your work. That way you will find joy in everything you do, despite being tired.

  1. What is your favorite item off of your own menu?

My daughter, her friends and most of my clients like my Brownie pizza. However, I personally enjoy my fudge brownies more, especially with a cup of coffee.

  1. Who do you feel serves as a role model in your life and why do you look up to them?

The One and only role model in my life is my Mom!

She is a true example of selflessness and untiring struggle and above all, she is a good human being.

  1. There are so many businesses out there. What motivates you to stick to baking and will you be expanding into other things?

Life needs changes and experiments and so do I. Since I couldn’t limit my spectrum to dentistry, I branched out into baking which relaxes me and gives me peace of mind. However, makeup is my true passion. I have taken many courses and I am thinking of starting it as a new venture early next year Inshallah.

  1. According to you what is one skill an entrepreneur must have?

An entrepreneur must believe in herself, your confidence and will power can do wonders for you.

 

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