Swetha Bhargavi: Expressions in Rhythm and Form

Be Your Own Hero

Hello I’m Swetha, an Architectural Designer and a trained Carnatic vocalist. I was introduced to Indian classical music at a young age by my father, who himself is a trained mridangam player. I also learnt Western Classical music in my high school years. My teachers and my parents have been my biggest motivators, pushing me to persevere and continue my music, despite academic pressures piling up as I neared the high school exams. 

Like most kids around me, I enrolled in coaching classes for competitive exams to eventually pursue an engineering degree. Though I loved math and science, there was always a part of me that yearned for a more creative avenue wherein I could express myself, just as I could, in my music. Architecture presented itself to me, as a perfect blend of technical know-how and artistic expression, constantly evolving as a profession to cater to the needs of the rapidly changing world around us. Unlike music, I knew no one in the field of architecture. Nevertheless, I took the leap, into the grueling but rewarding five year long undergraduate course for architecture. 

As I was navigating core architectural design courses in college, music was always a part of my routine, this time through a Classical Music club at our college. We conducted concerts, lecture demonstrations and had regular practice sessions, to share our love for classical music. Being part of the Light music club introduced me to singing with a musical band, understanding and learning musical terms and undergoing some voice training with some of my very talented peers. I love being on stage, the nervous excitement, the collective coordination and most of all, the joy of performing.

Today, I work at a small architectural firm in Venice, CA having completed my Masters in Architecture here in LA. I enjoy working on design tasks of varying scales, envisioning and curating spaces. I especially enjoy creating realistic imagery for projects and I love that I get to design people’s experiences and make their dreams a reality. I am still a beginner in my career in architecture and the joy of seeing something you design get built is truly unparalleled. When I’m not making architectural permit sets, I’m with my iPad and mic, singing my heart out in a corner of my room at home. I create small recordings of cover songs and post them on my social media handles. 

From someone who used to worry a bit too much about validation from people around me, I came to realize that it was in fact myself that I needed to impress the most. The euphoria that I got from making that one amazing song recording or nailing the brief on a design assignment, was what I needed to motivate myself everyday. 

I’m still pretty early in my journey and I have a whole lot left to learn and experience, but I’m learning to be comfortable in the pace of my own journey, as I navigate my passion for architecture and music and I’m excited to see how it goes!

Photo Credit: Shwetha Bargavi; View Shweta's Architecture Portfolio, Music on Instagram, Carnatic Music Portfolio
Featured Saree: Eclectic Raw Silk in Peacock Blue paired with an Ikat blouse

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