Understanding the workforce’s health concerns – Myvn Architecture

MYVN is a team of young creatives sensitized to values such as ancient practices, inspiration from nature and solution-based innovation. The team also seeks to apply these values with modern tech applications. The team witnessed the shift of work processes into virtual formats as an important aid during the pandemic’s disruptions. The studio draws the learning that their workforce’s health, on and off the field, is most crucial for the times ahead in their practice.

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Tell us about some important projects that your studio was involved in just before the lockdown.

Some important projects that our studio got involved in just before the lockdown were Archive, an apartment housing and Growing Grid, an IT Park The studio underwent a stage of transition of working on more architecture based projects than interiors during the break out of pandemic. The lockdown gave a flexible timeline where we dedicated more time to the process, enhancing our understanding of various parameters of design to build stronger fundamentals and contribute to society.

Which were the biggest challenges and fears you faced because of the lockdown?

The biggest challenge we faced because of the lockdown was a drastic shift in the timeline. The execution of the Growing Grid project was slowed down. There have been no fears as such that our studio experienced but employees from the northern part of India couldn’t continue to work with us during the unfortunate pandemic. 

What were the challenges you faced with the monetary flow in your practice and how are you handling them?

There was no concrete profit during this time of pandemic but a balanced flow of monetary input and output was maintained successfully.

How are you strategizing to adapt to the new conditions of work upon resumption of office post the lockdowns? 

Post lockdown, due to a transition in the project typology, timelines, workforce, a revised work environment is blooming in the studio. Before the lockdown, our team has been working in a vigorous and hectic time frame. A flexible, efficient, oriented workflow is coming into shape now.

Were any new methods of work evolved during the lockdown?

 During the lockdown we dedicated a timeframe for process and research, cultivating a more sensitive and reasonable design process.

We learned from our roots and by going through rigorous iterations. This has been fun and productive.

How were the coordination issues resolved with the studio staff and on-site team?

To keep up the coordination with the studio staff and site team, we avoided unnecessary site meetings. On the contrary, encouraging meetings through online platforms and virtually connecting helped.

Social media and networking platforms have played an important role during this time. 

What were the biggest learnings from the pandemic? And which decisions and new work methods you feel your studio will continue with for the future?

The biggest learning from the pandemic is to consider and respond efficiently to the welfare and healthy living of people, specifically employees, contractors and other teams working with us.

A healthy routine must not be compromised for happy sustenance. 

Please share a few words about any construction approval processes being influenced by the lockdown. How have the development authorities responded to you and did they share any instructions regarding the approval processes?

As we experienced, there was a significant delay in the sanction process due to pandemic. There were no instructions or notifications that we received from development authorities.

How have your contractors and labour network been influenced by the lockdown and what measures have you made to sustain or revive them?

As a studio, we maintained our relationship with the contractors and labourers we had already worked with or have been associated with to undertake the sense of responsibility of their sustenance. From our end, we made efforts to make payments on time. Also, extended a word of request to our clients to do the same.

Are you involved in any off-studio/allied initiatives such as office collaborations, NGO and social projects, working with authorities, photography, writing, research, conservation, etc.? How were these initiatives influenced by the lockdown, and how are you handling them? 

The principal architect of MYVN, Ar. Elayaraja Mayavan comes from a village of Tamil Nadu, and he voluntarily helped the people of his village through his family, who reside there.

About the practice:

Please let us know about the founding year, principals, team and studio.

MYVN was founded in 2016 by Principal Architect Elayaraja Mayavan. Key Team members are Bala Shanmugam, G Prashanth Gupta, Kawin Prasanth, Sabari Vijaya Kumar. Our studio is driven by young curious yet sensitive and creative architecture designers.

What are some of the processes and work methods unique to your practice? 

We approach and treat every scale and diverse intent of projects with equal importance and enthusiasm. Being engaged in opportunities like creating temporary and permanent light installations and other scales, natures of projects. To question the fundamentals and evolve towards solution-based innovation is a regular ritual of our practice. We strive to seek inspiration from nature and rich ancient values of architecture, going back to roots. Supporting the process through advanced computational design methods is also a part of our work methodology.

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