Dhruv Gulabchande

Associate Director and Architect at HFM Architects; Associate Lecturer of Technical Studies, UAL CSM — Founder and Lead Mentor, Narrative Practice, London, United Kingdom
What inspired you to want a life in Architecture/creative industries?
I have always enjoyed art and design and was drawn to how the simplest of linework could become a tangible building element. My general curiosity in wanting to know a little about everything meant that I naturally thought of architecture as a bit of a game. Eventually I realised that there are few British-Indian architects; and so I wanted to be one of them!

Who inspired you in finding your path to Architecture and the creative industries?
I draw inspiration from the resilience and determination of my family, particularly my grandfather and father. Their journey, from forced migration to rebuilding in a new land, instilled in me the importance of ambition and hard work. Alongside family influence, mentors such as my secondary school art and maths teachers played a crucial role in guiding me towards the creative realm. It’s this combination of familial drive and supportive mentors that inspired my journey.
How you unlock obstacles and overcome bias in your work?
I tackle obstacles by showing agency. The unfortunate reality is that opportunities do not always present themselves on a silver platter; most of the time you have to earn them. Therefore I believe in open communication, addressing challenges head-on and actively participating in moments available to you.
What improvements do you feel are required to promote effective change in the academic and working environment?
To promote effective change, there needs to be a stronger emphasis on diversity and inclusion in both academic and professional settings. Implementing short- and long-term mentoring programmes, fostering a culture of open dialogue, and actively making quiet change will contribute to creating a more equitable and supportive environment for aspiring young professionals.

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