Web Design Manager, Aishwarya Tipnis Architects
I have never been to Chandernagore, yet I feel like I know the place at the back of my hand, a place so familiar, it feels as though I have sat at the Jora Ghat and discussed the politics, khela, pujo, art, culture; that I have walked the streets and discovered the hidden gems of mansions, heard stories of Nelines family, witnessed the workshops at IdC, walked along the Strand and sat in the Church myself.
For the past year, I have been working behind the scene. Vaibhav and I worked in putting together the lego workshop together. I must admit I never ever thought Lego and heritage could be linked. Its almost being kids again, when in between making working drawings for Elements bathrooms we were playing with Lego Blocks. (Quick like a Ninja while Sir was away!)
My main job now is get the website up, and believe me its a tough job getting the colours, fonts, graphics right, coordinating with the graphic designers and web coders. The funny thing is one never realises the amount of effort that goes behind actually building a good website, and today I feel like I have become half a coder myself talking all jargon like HTML, CMS, CSS etc.
I was never into websites or even heritage for that matter, I became the website design manager almost by default. The thing is everyone thinks that all architects do is design buildings,thats what even I thought before I came to ATA about 1.5 years ago. Here my friend and colleague Meghna Chaterji and Ashim Chakraborty were involved in a super interesting project called Dutch in Chinsurah and their job was to coordinate between the Graphic designer Payal who was sitting in London and the coder Sanjib Da in Calcutta. I had witnessed their lengthy conversations and marathon of emails with Meghna being the mediator, Payal would prescribe Meghna would force Sanjib da to inscribe.I observed their struggle every single day, Meghna realised two days before the launch the website was unresponsive, and that sent everyone into a frenzy! We were also building the ATA website with another coder Jyoti, who for the longest time my colleague Vaibhav thought was a beautiful girl, only till he turned up at our office and we realized he was actually Jyotirmoy Sinha. So Meghna was really the website person until one day she decided she needed to move on and I by default got her work portfolio.
Now Heritage & People of Chandernagore was actually Udit Sarkar’s baby, but as talented as Udit is behind the screen, communication is sort of not his forte. So it was decided that I would be the coordinator between Udit, Chitra the Graphic Designer and Hemant the Coder. And although sometimes you hope you learn from the past mistakes, one actually has to be in the water to swim. I thought it would be a cake walk since we were already two websites old, we had successfully completed Dutch in Chinsurah and ATA website. But destiny had other plans, and thus would became almost like a game of Chinese whispers, Aishwarya Maam would give Udit and me a brief such as she wanted a “contemporary feel” to the website, our job was to tell Chitra that she should design a “contemporary website”. It took 7 versions of designs over two months for us to agree on the website architecture, colours, fonts and “look and feel”. We confused each other as design is so subjective!
We went from historic to iconographic to bright colours to the final colour palette, we kept going back and forth with the designs and frustrated each other so much.
And all this while, I kept thinking but this is so different from architecture, until it was Chitra who actually made me realize the similarities. She said that design is the same for all fields and the technical part here that is coding which we think is way above our head is actually like MEP (plumbing, electrical design) in architecture, which is kind of true in a way.
Our website has evolved a little more now, given the “technical” parameters and we’ll soon release a teaser. I am up to my neck deep in work since its less than 30 days to the launch. I aspire to be a project manager one day and this project has given me a taste of the same, as a PMC I need to coordinate between the Architect & Contractor while here I am the pipeline between the Designer and the Coder, in a broad way its the same job and so I love it!
I hope all of you will love the website we are building! Keep watching this space for more updates on the launch.