Securing the prestigious JN TATA Scholarship, upskilling and choosing unconventional endeavours: Jayanaveenaa Periaswamy

Upskilling and upgrading yourself in the new-age era is an essential practice. Jayanaveenaa Periaswamy embodies this notion and talks about her journey as an Indian Architecture Student who bagged the Prestigious JN TATA Scholarship.

Wed Oct 19, 2022

Featurely is our editorial vertical at Futurly, where we feature coveted names, thought leaders and curious minds in the industry. They are the ones who have upskilled and upgraded their expertise to level up in the design industry and open up unconventional growth avenues. 

Jayanaveenaa Periaswamy and the outcomes from the Fluidity Master Class_architecture portfolio

Jayanaveenaa Periaswamy and the outcomes from the Fluidity Master Class

Jayanaveenaa Periaswamy is an architecture graduate from the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi. Right after she graduated, she joined ANT Studio in Delhi where she discovered her calling for computational designs and unorthodox forms. 

Thereafter, Jayanaveenaa invested in upskilling and upgrading herself through platforms like Futurly, and connected with like-minded people. Right now, she is pursuing M. Arch from AA DRL, London after being awarded the esteemed JN TATA Scholarship for studying abroad. With advanced technologies brimming in the new-age era, upskilling and upgrading have assumed a critical position. Jayanaveenaa Periaswamy encapsulates this idea and talks about how she secured the esteemed JN TATA Scholarship. 

Futurly: What inspired you to pursue a career in architecture?

Jayanaveenaa Periaswamy: I come from a small village in Tamil Nadu, a state in Southern India. For a curious girl like me, I found solace in my farm – exploring, reading, and enjoying. I did all my schooling in my town and had a keen interest in architecture all through this time. My teachers made me fall in love with Mathematics and Physics, which added more to that spark of interest. 

The architectural marvels designed by Zaha Hadid, Frank Llyod, and Gehry made me question a lot. That’s when I got selected to study at the School of Planning and Design, Delhi, and began my journey with architecture.

Futurly: What are your areas of interest and expertise?

JP: Post graduation, I joined ANT Studio – a computational firm working around fluid forms and natural materials. Working within those fabrications and material limitations was engrossing for me. That’s when I discovered my love for unorthodox forms. Besides that, I like exploring more at the intersection of Art, Architecture, and Algorithms.

In the Mountains House by Ant Studio_Archdaily

In the Mountains House by Ant Studio ©Jaidev Venkata & Anirudh S

Futurly: Why do you think upskilling is an essential practice?

JP: In my opinion, upskilling is an investment for you and your future. It reflects your concern about your architectural knowledge and plans.
As for me, I got to discover the Futurly Community which helped me with a holistic approach to the process of learning. Besides improving your skill set, you also get to network with like-minded people. This in turn enhances your communication skills and facilitates healthy competition and collaboration within the fraternity.

Futurly: How did you come across Futurly and what made you invest in their courses?

JP:  When I was in 3rd year, my college organised a computational design beginner’s workshop for students based on merit. Even though I didn’t get selected for it, I sneaked in, only to get intrigued by the entire process. The amazing tutors - Vamsi Krishna, Monish Siripurapu, Kartik Dondeti, and Sridhar Mamidala introduced me to the world of computational design, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Masterclass hosted by Mariana Cabugueira on Fluidity_futurly_how to make an architecture portfolio

Outcomes by Jayanaveenaa from the masterclass hosted by Mariana Cabugueira  on Fluidity ©Futurly ©Jayanaveenaa Periaswamy

When Futurly was established and the registrations opened up, I knew I had to be a part of this community. During my 9th semester, I stumbled upon one of their Instagram posts about the workshop for Maya. I got introduced to Maya in DigitalFUTRES’20 by ZHCODE but wanted to learn the software a bit more deeply. It felt like the right time to learn and take it further. This was my first paid workshop and I was sceptical about it. But, the whole experience was amazing. 

Even though I’ve attended free workshops on other platforms in the past, my first paid one was with Futurly. The community-oriented setup and one on one interactive sessions are what I like the most. Some of the people I met through this platform are my close friends even to date.

Futurly: What are the current gaps in architectural education that digital education platforms are filling in?

JP: Speaking from the perspective of an Indian architecture student, I feel a considerable gap between us and our western counterparts in terms of software skills. 

Futurly enabled the bridging of this gap by helping me upskill myself without any financial burdens. Moreover, all their workshops are conducted online. This democratised the learning process for students from my subcontinent. 

Also, all the tutors were from different walks of life and shared their journey while helping us upskill in a limited time. That was quite reassuring for me.

Futurly: What are the challenges you faced in your journey as a designer and how did upskilling help in overcoming them?

JP: As an architect, the struggle of implementing your imagination is real. Earlier, sketching and drawing were the only tools available to convey our out-of-the-box ideas. But, I found myself struggling in communicating my concepts since I couldn’t sketch the complex ones in one go. Eventually, I learned about Rhino and Grasshopper which bridged this gap by facilitating the visualisation of ideas through animations.

Through this battle, I realised the importance of learning different tools and softwares. I always encourage students to try out umpteen tools and find their niche. It will make it easier for them to bring out their best in terms of creative and imaginative concepts.

Futurly: What perks did Futurly+ offer you?

JP: With Futurly+, I get to access courses that are well-structured and entail well-timed submissions. Moreover, the time-limited accessibility feature is a boon because it pushes me to finish the courses on time. Also, what’s great is that I access all of this through a single app even while I’m travelling.

workshop hosted by Mumun Keser  on Houdini for Architects_Futurly_parametric software

Outcomes by Jayanaveenaa from the workshop hosted by Mumun Keser  on Houdini for Architects ©Futurly ©Jayanaveenaa Periaswamy

Futurly: What endeavour are you working on right now? How does the future look for you?

JP: As of now, I’m pursuing M.Arch in Architecture and Urbanism at AA DRL, London alongside some of the Futurly members. I was awarded two scholarships for studying abroad, one from AA Bursary Committee for a 66% tuition fee waiver and the prestigious JN TATA Endowment Loan Scholarship for the rest. It feels great to be able to financially support my education abroad which wouldn’t have been possible without the upskilling journey I had with Futurly. 

Right now, I’m enjoying every bit of what I’m getting to learn and explore. Post my Masters, I want to work in London and acquire more research and industry knowledge. 

As for the future, I intend to set up a research and robotics firm in India. The purpose would be to provide a platform where people from different disciplines can come together as a team to work towards something unconventional. My dream is to bring robots to India and make them more accessible to everyone.

Futurly: Can you tell us more on the JN TATA Endowment Loan Scholarship?

JP: The JN TATA Endowment Loan Scholarship is a one-time loan scholarship aid meant for Indian Students for studying at an International University. The scholarship provides financial assistance of up to 10 lakhs as per the academic performance of the student. 

I wanted to financially support myself using scholarships for lesser financial liabilities once I graduate. Monish Siripurapu, founder of Ant Studio was motivating me to apply for different scholarships to help me secure a scholarship. I applied to the JN TATA scholarship around mid-March and the application was long and draining. Your Statement of Purpose is very important to communicate your desire and ambition for the scholarship. There are 3 rounds of selection - Primary, Aptitude test and Interview. The Aptitude test is slightly tough. Next, there is an Interview round with the President of JN TATA Endowment Fund - Ravishankar and subject matter experts from renowned architecture firms in India. 

My interview was long, they asked me a lot of questions about the course, and my goals with it and tested my knowledge in computation design and robotic fabrication. A month after the interview, I was awarded the scholarship. Overall the scholarship process had a lot of paperwork, and adding to the amount of competition there is to get this highly sought-after scholarship was a task. My advice would be to always plan ahead and work consistently towards it.

Who is your favourite Architect or Designer?

JP: I have two, Zaha Hadid and Frei Otto.

Any tips for budding architects and designers?

JP: Be adventurous, experiment a lot, and don’t GIVE UP.

Future of architecture in one word?

JP: Daring and Inclusive.

Your go-to software?

JP: Rhino+, Grasshopper, or Maya.

Favourite workshop with Futurly so far?

JP: Maya Workshop with Mariana and Houdini Workshop with Mumin.

Fluidity Master Class

Masterclass hosted by Mariana Cabugueira on Fluidity ©Futurlylearn More
Fluidity Master Class

Houdini for Architects 1.0 by Mümin Keser  ©Futurlylearn More

Ar. Saili Sawantt_Architectural Journalist

Saili Sawantt
An Architect + Writer, Saili has worked as an Architectural writer & brand storyteller where she has collaborated with firms, studios, organizations, luxury brands, events & educational institutions to communicate in the real estate & travel industry. Her recent initiatives include curating an online workshop on communication and networking within the AEC industry. She is a commentator on the design industry’s upkeep through her social handles while also being an avid reader and traveler.