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Women in architecture: Husna Rahaman

Women in architecture: Husna Rahaman


The role of light in the philosophy of a prominent Indian firm.

Women architects? The ones that stand out in the international scene are just a few, but they are definitely out there. The website Archdaily.com addressed this topic and found a group of incredible women capable of leaving their mark with their projects, their work ethics and their dedication to the profession. Not only do these women design and build, but they also have managerial skills: they lead teams, manage offices and they are truly their own bosses.

Among these leading international women architects we find Husna Rahaman, Indian architect of Fulcrum Studio, prominent firm in Bangalore. Through our Indian partner Ivory Edge, we recently had the chance of getting to know Husna due to an impressive project that took place in Bangalore. Our architectural products were used in the lighting design plan for the interiors of a penthouse of over 4,000 m2 designed by the Fulcrum firm.

It was the perfect occasion for us to continue stepping into the Indian lighting market, but this time through the front door. Yes, because Husna Rahaman and her colleagues design projects that aim high, to the creative and inspirational elevation of their profession.

“The creative process is something that brings me higher, it keeps me there and it’s something I can’t do without. It lets me float freely from my own being, somewhere, anywhere.”

“The philosophy of the firm is the way we feel and interact every day. It’s a creative lab. We are adventurers, discoverers and playmates. This joy and calmness come from the lines we draw, from the dreams we weave and the zeal with which we stake a claim to our reality: the finished project.”

We talked with Husna Rahaman about her interpretation of architecture and the use of light.

About the Ekka penthouse, she said: “It’s designed in such a way to make it part of the sky.”. How much weight does the inspirational component carry in your works and how do you manage to give it a concrete expression?

“The inspirational element is the propelling force. We initiate with inspirational intent and it is a potent energy that drives the project on all levels. On the conceptual level it keeps the dream crisp and alive, and on the personal level I seek constant elevation in order to inspire and be inspired.“

How did you manage to characterize the various rooms in such a large space like this one?

“Each room is characterised by the amalgam between the occupant, function and the behavioural patterns we would like to reinvent. We believe space can and should change perception and emotion. We seek to affect response that is ever changing, ever new.”

What was the role of lighting in this project?

“Light is the absence of darkness. Darkness is the absence of light. Between that space the possibilities are illuminating. To define the space based on the degree and quality of light is a compelling thought. It starts as a deeply philosophical commentary at the early sketch stage. Shadow and reflection are tributaries I find haunting.“

What is the meaning of light in your professional philosophy?

“The meaningfulness of light is staggering when one uses it in the perfect proportion to dispel the darkness. A perfectly lit space knows this. It is a special alchemy which can only be felt, experienced. Your reaction in such a space is luminous and due to the intangible nature of light, one responds without being aware of the stimulus. That’s what fascinates me about light. It’s an indirect response that is more powerful than a response to a tactile medium.“

How did the collaboration with Panzeri and Ivory Edge start and how will it proceed?

“The association with Panzeri commenced with the very special project EKAA, the largest penthouse in the city. We found partnership since we shared common design values. We wanted light to be seamlessly woven into the design at the foetal stage. We required customisation, clarity and technical prowess. A willingness to be wholly understanding of the project. We found this with panzeri. We hope to strengthen this association with the years. IvoryEdge brought forth this union and were our technical team on site.“

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