Meet the 63 years young Architect, Bobbie Vijayakkar, an “origami maniac”
Bobbie Vijayakkar firmly believes, “Just because you are breathing at this moment…. that’s not living? But if you are pursuing your passion and also enjoying it….thats what is living!” And he lives his life by this dictum.
The decisive, action oriented and result focused Bobbie Vijayakkar, completed his formal education in Architecture from the country’s premier institute Sir J.J. College of Architecture, Mumbai in 1977 and registered with the Council of Architecture, Delhi. He is an Associate Member of the Indian Institute of Architects and Associated Life Member of the Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID) and has been practicing in the field of Architecture, Interiors and Project Coordination since the last 40 years.
During the Course of his career, Bobbie Vijayakkar has played the role of Associate Designer. Design coordinator and Design Manager among many roles, with a strong practical base in Design Development, Contract management, Project Planning Budgeting site Management and above all Client & Contractor Management. In 1984, Bobbie Vijayakkar traveled to Bahrain and Dubai on behalf of Standard Chartered Bank, to study Online Computerization Systems and Construction trends in Architecture. To his credit is the co-ordination of a 5 star hotel project in Kathmandu, Lazimpat, carried out in 1997. In 2011,he was shortlisted by CPWD as an Interior Fit-out Consultant for the 5 Star GRIHA rated CAG’s International Centre for Environment Studies & Development at Achrol, Jaipur.
The list of types of projects in which he has contributed professionally is endless and includes banks, corporate offices, high end residential fit-outs to mass housing projects, hotels, large retail developments, institutional developments and the list just goes on. However, the high point of his design career came when the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, allotted a major work in Jaipur. In this project he had the opportunity of interacting with Mr. Vinod Rai, the Indian economist who served as the 11th Comptroller and Auditor General of India in person along with his staff. This project was dedicated to the Nation by the then Vice-President of India, and in Bobbie’s words was “an honor and recognition of my talent and design acumen by the highest office in the country”
Bobbie Vijayakkar today has a strategic partnering alliance with both international as well in locally reputed Design Practices.
Bobbie Vijayakkar has worked for some of the best brands in the country, and has been associated with projects across India, Nepal, Srilanka and coordinated works with renowned Architects such as BLD-Bilkey Linas Designs, Singapore, August Designs, Thailand, Anup Kothari Associates, Delhi, Raja Aederi Associates, Mumbai, Patell Batliwalla Manohar Associates, Mumbai Sonu Aibra & Firoza Neterwala, Mumbai and Projects Managers like Optimal Designs Pvt. Ltd, Delhi and MASTERS Management Consultants ( India) Ltd., Mumbai.
Although he is a practicing Architect, the 63 years young Bobbie Vijayakkar, is an “origami maniac” (as he likes to call himself) as well. Bobbie started learning Origami, while at school as a hobby, and soon it grew on him and has now become his passion. He has been gently disseminating this Japanese Art by conducting Origami workshops for the children in primary standards, students of Architecture & Interior Designing Institutes as well as for corporate houses.
Bobbie has had successful stints at Art Festivals, Government, Institutional meets, several charity shows, workshops for several NGO’s for the HIV Children, Orphanages among others. In his words, “The aim of all such workshops, is to tap the creative talents and foster the behavioral skills developing team spirit, cognitive skills etc. These workshops also help develop patience, neatness and the art of paying attention amongst children, channelizing their energy in creative pursuits rather than watching TV or playing computer games.
“For seniors, these workshops offer a very engrossing leisure time that keeps them occupied and ensure muscle tone for hands etc, savoring the joy of Creativity, creating various forms, birds, animals, flowers and utility items by merely folding paper.
“This helps build a sense of creating artistic showpieces and become useful to the family and grandchildren by teaching these skills to the younger generation.”
Interestingly Bobbie’s workshops are designed considering age groups, level of education and other diverse consideration such as children in hostels, reformatories, children of construction workers, and even prisoners serving time in various jails and institutions.
Bobbie Vijayakkar is a visiting faculty at Dr. D.Y. Patil College of Architecture, Nerul, Navi Mumbai, CTES College of Architecture, Chembur, Mumbai and Vishwaniketan College of Architecture, Arts & design, Khalapur, teaching Origami as an elective subject for the first year students. He conducts Origami workshops at the Bharti Vidhyapeeth, Photgraphy Dept, Sir JJ College of Architecture, Smt. Tiwari College of Architecture, Nalasopara, Indra College of Architecture & design, Talegaon, Alana College of Architecture, Pune, Lovely Professional university, Jalandarand and the list goes on.
Vijayakkar’s face lights up as he says, “The students are spell-bound as to how a few folds to a material as ordinary as paper can create wonderful and exquisite 3 Dimensional models or utility objects. They are amazed that the flimsy character of paper can be reconstructed to form sturdy structures, that can span both horizontally and vertically.” He points out that the origami workshops and regular teaching has helped students greatly in visualizing, analysing and observing the design process with a new perspective and paradigm.
The Architect in him reminisces, “Like every Architect or designer, I, too, have had projects that got stuck, made several bad decisions, but I have learnt to always look at the best in every situation and to give my best to every situation.”