Sameep Padora: letter to a young architect

Sameep Padora is an architect some days and has also been recording versions of Kashmiri folk songs

Hindsight is 2020, and looking back I probably learned more from failures (and there have been a few) than I did from success. However, if there is just one thing I would recommend to a young student architect, it would be to inculcate doubt. For as long as I can remember, doubt has been the only consistent part of my process. It would not be wrong to say that negotiating this singular condition is the pivotal design operation for almost every project I’ve worked on.

Doubt is the acknowledgment of not knowing, and a jumping-off point for the process
of exploration.

Question everything. Your own ideas included.

Perhaps Richard Feynman’s dogma could be one of the ways to navigate our polarising world of binaries:

‘If we will only allow that [doubt], as we progress, we remain unsure, we will leave opportunities for alternatives … In order to make progress, one must leave the door to the unknown ajar.’


Mumbai, India
27 July 2020