Say it Loud – A’19

img_9647.jpg“If you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others” – Michelle Obama

A woman. A colored woman. A colored immigrant woman. A colored Asian Indian immigrant woman. A colored Asian Indian immigrant mother in architecture. I wear my labels with pride. I look different, I sound different, and I think different. I bring me to the table as a whole, not just my professional expertise. It’s a constant struggle to use my work, my voice and my identity to break stereotypes and shatter generalizations. It’s important not just for my survival, but also for the likes of me.

So, the moments when my identity is celebrated become extra special for me. This month, I was featured on the #AIAadvocacy page for my contributions as an Asian Indian, and at #beyondthebuilt for my diverse contributions in the profession.

Honored and humbled to be a part of great diverse designers at “Beyond the Built Environment”. I am in great company, some of them are people I look up to, some of them my contemporaries that constantly inspire me! 

Stop by to check out “Say it loud” exhibit at A’19 in Las Vegas starting June 6th!

Beyond the built engages community through architecture to advocate equitable, reflectively diverse environments.

Link to the original:

As published, pasted below:


An Associate at WHA, Meghana has worked on diverse commercial and residential projects throughout California. Her projects have received SAGE awards, SoCal Awards, PCBC Gold Nugget awards for 2018. She is the recipient of AIA California Council‚ AEP‚Associate award and Presidential Citation for 2018. She is the founder/chair of Women in Architecture committee for AIA Orange County. She is joining Board of Directors for AIA Orange County as Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in 2019.

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How did you first learn about architecture and when did you decide that built environment profession was an area of interest for you?

Growing up around Indo-Islamic architecture elements, such as arches and dome, and South Indian temples deriving mathematical design elements and patterns, I wanted to design buildings that told stories to future generations.

What do you do?

As as Associate at WHA, I head Construction Documents/ Construction Administration for multiple award winning multifamily senior housing and apartment projects in California. I am Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for AIA Orange County.

What excites you in the work you do?

The ability to create a community with interwoven- interconnected social, environmental, and economic characteristics excites me. Beyond the aesthetic presentation of an enclosed space, life safety, and universal design excite me.

Who or what inspires you professionally?

Rosa Parks of Architecture, Norma Sklarek inspires me. Third licensed African American architect in US, she is an example of what grit and resilience, along with talent and interest can do to create an inclusive profession for a diverse community.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment or achievement?

This year my work towards creating an equitable future as Founder/Chair of Women in Architecture Committee for AIA Orange County was recognized and honored by Associate’s Award and Presidential Citation by AIA California Council.

Featured Project Name: Luxaira

Featured Project Location: Irvine, CA

Featured Project Completion Date: 2018

Role in Featured Project: Construction Documents & Construction Administration lead

Featured Project Description:

Inspired by Irving Gill’s aesthetic purity and bold massing with smooth plastered walls, wood trim elements punctuated by grand arched entrances, Luxiara‚157 accessible apartments provide dignified and affordable aging-in-place solutions for residents with mobility requirements and sensory impairments. Two horseshoe shaped buildings with a central courtyard are designed with an insightful understanding of the needs of the aging demographics without compromising design and style.

Photography Credit: Anthony Gomez Photography


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